Items filtered by date: May 2016
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 23:33

Systems design

Systems design

System design is described as simply the designs of the systems. A system is defined as an interconnected set of elements which are organized in a manner that achieves something. A system consists of element, interconnection, and purpose.  This paper will focus on examining a system design problem.


Observation

According to an article in the Washington post, the US weapons system designs were compromised by Chinese cyber spies.  According to this article, there are many designs of the most sensitive advanced weapon systems of the nation, which have been compromised by hackers in China. Some of the systems designs that have been stolen by Chinese hackers include missile defense systems like Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, the patriot advanced capability 3, and the terminal high attitude aerial defense. Some other systems that were compromised included aircrafts like E/A 18 and F-35 fighter planes, the UH-60 Black hawk helicopter, and the C-17 cargo plane (Nakashima, 2012).


There were also several control and information systems which were compromised by the Chinese hackers. United States has started increasing its pressure on China and tries to prevent state sponsored hackers to continue harming the US economic and national security. There are stronger actions that the nation has taken so that to deter any future cyber aggression. From them look of why the country has for long been attacked by Chinese, it is possible to conclude that US government has failed to ensure that all their systems are secure which include the systems that are used for storing information and also the participants in the departments.


According to this post, it is reported that, in the past years, there have been numerous computer systems around the country including those, which are owned by United States government, are being targeted for intrusion, which are attributed to the Chinese military and government. The Washington post, states that the US designs, which were compromised included those for combating ships and aircrafts and also missile defense vital for Asia, The Gulf, and Europe. From the post, it indicates that the report about the attack did not specify the time and extent of the cyber theft or even if the theft involved computer networks in US government, subcontractor, or contractors (Nakashima, 2012). The reason for the report not providing information about the method of getting the data was because it would provide Chinese people with knowledge which would be exploited in conflict like the ability of corrupting data and knocking out communication. The information would also help in speeding up china development of defense technology.


Connection

According to this book by Meadows, she focuses on offering some insights for solving problems on scales which range from personal to global. In order for a problem to be involved in the system design, the book explains that there is a need for team Cooperation. This will help in focusing the mind of the members to getting solutions that will, help solve this problem of attacks on US systems. The system designers must make sure that they think in the systems so that to avoid helplessness and confusion (Meadows, 2008).  This is something that these people should do so that to find effective and proactive solution to the situation.


The issues of cyber spies are normally connected with system designs. The means in which the hackers were able to compromise the systems of US is connected with problems in system designs. According to this article, it indicates that the majority of these problems are part of a growing and ongoing Chinese cyber espionage campaign to stealing United States technology, to advance the development of the Chinese weapons, and later turn them against their creator. The electronic intrusions tend to give China the access to advanced technology, which could accelerate the development of the weapon system and also weaken US military advantage in any future conflict (Hargroves, & Smith, 2013). The problem can be solved by US government making sure that the people they trust with the information are people who have a positive intention for the nation.


Something that US should focus on is securing the military systems.  This current situation of hackers being able to have access to US weapon secrets is as a result of lack of secure system design. US have worked hard at making sure that they keep their information system secure through hardening of the military systems. From what can be seen regarding this issue, the data was stolen from the military subcontractors and contractors. Therefore, in order to ensure that such an event does not happen again, it is necessary for the systems of the military contracts to be secured. China has not been able to attach the military systems, but have introduced other tactics that they can use which is attacking the military contractors (Nakashima, 2012). All the changes that have been done to harden the military systems need to be applied to the military contractors systems or any of the organizations which are normally trusted with the classified military plans.


A system need to be created that will cover this issue of cyber attacks.According to the book by Meadows (2008), she states that there is a need for the system designer to understand the layers of limits. The choice of the system that will help in avoiding attacks for the system is by making a choice that will provide security and also provides a limit to live within. When providing a limit for the military contractor’s systems, it will be necessary to change codes, communication, and encryption so that to, make sure that the hardware in the military system is not compromised (Kamara, 2007). According to Meadows (2008), she states that when a system is attacked it is extremely essential to analyze the system so that to determine what the attackers would have gained.


Therefore, the military defense system need to analyze the system so that to determine what China would have gained through having the designs and capabilities which will need to be modified in order to avoid being made obsolete. Another way that US can do so that to help in avoiding attacks on its system is through counter attacks. Counter hacking is a method that has been used by many people, which would help the military in destroying the stolen data or even recovering the data (Hargroves, & Smith, 2013). The system designers can also decide to create sites that contain bogus, but at the same tantalizing information that contain backdoors or malware that may affect the attacking system. This will allow United States to connect back into them.


Speculation

A means in which these problems can be solved so that to prevent from happening ever again, it is necessary for United States to ensure that they start naming and shaming china. In order to do this, nation will require issuing more information that indicates China as a country with bad cyber actor. Later, the US leaders will use this information in calling out for china in speeches and also in diplomatic discussions.  According to reports about the system design being hacked, it is because US has been seeking collaboration with China about cybercrime (Nakashima, 2012). This is not the way to go because, it indicates that US is inviting China to steal US secrets. Instead of inviting China, US need to take a tougher line with china so that to cease cooperation with China on the issue of cyber security (Meadows, 2008).


Another possibility that could have resulted to increase on US system designs being compromised by Chinese hackers is that US has been engaging in cyber exchanges, and cyber war games with Chinese when these hackers have been taking advantage of the information that they acquire from the association, and they get to learn how to better hack United States systems (Kamara, 2007). The continued collaboration with China proves that United States known about the problem, but they feel to do anything about the issues which emboldens China.  This is the reason as to why China is still attaching United States system designs because US is not taking steps to help in solving the situation. It is necessary for US to consider working with allies who will help in taking legal and economic actions against the Chinese companies who tend to peddle the stolen property.


There are lots of United States military and business secrets which are being stolen by the Chinese as part of the extensive cyber campaign. From the information that Chinese get from US, they are using this information in advancing their economy and weapons capabilities; thus, making United States system design be useless. Therefore, in order for such cases to be avoided, US need to stand up to china and make them feel the pain of stealing their secrets (Meadows, 2008). Failure to do this will result to more incidences of hackers stealing US weapons system designs.  With the increasing rate in which secrets are being stolen from US military, it indicates that the nation fail to provide a better system that will ensure the safety of its secrets. A factor that would have resulted to United States military system being attacked is failure of ensuring the viability of the cyber capabilities and defenses.


There is a lot that the military system should do in addressing the issue of security by addressing cyber threats in establishing the right balance of integrated cyber forces, defenses, and capabilities. In order to understand the cause of the problem facing the nation, it is necessary to start restructuring the systems that they are using (Meadows, 2008). The system that is being used in storing information regarding the military operations should be changed through conducting research that will help in determining strategies that then military department with the use, so that to avoid hackers from accessing into US information systems.



Reference

Hargroves, K & Smith, M (2013). Whole system design Routledge

Kamara, F (2007). System design activities AuthorHouse

Meadows, D (2008). Thinking in systems Chelsea Green Publishing

Nakashima, E (2012). Confidential report lists US weapons system design compromised by Chinese cyber spies Washington Post retrieved from http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-05-27/world/39554997_1_u-s-missile-defenses-weapons-combat-aircraft

Published in Information Technology

Onlooker's Guide to Rowing

Types of Races

In general, competitive rowing falls into two categories

  1. Head racing
  2. Sprint racing.


Head Races

Head races take place in the fall on rivers and are three miles long. The route follows the twists and turns of the riverbed, so crews must navigate around bends and under bridges. A head race has a staggered beginning. Crews position themselves a couple hundred meters upstream from the starting line. On command from a race official, the first crew begins rowing reaching full speed as the boat passes the starting line. The interval between subsequent crews is about 15 seconds. The boat that completes the course in the shortest amount of time wins the race.


Sprint Races

Sprint races usually take place in the spring and summer on rivers or lakes. Competition at the national, world, and Olympic level are approximately 1 1/4 miles. Masters competitions are about 5/8 to 3/4 mile. Most sprint courses are divided into six buoyed lanes allowing six crews to participate at one time.  The race begins when all boats are aligned at the start.  The crews start at once, but the first crew whose bow crosses the finish line wins the race.


Basic Techniques

These are the things to observe

Continuous fluid motion: The rowing motion should not have a discernable end or beginning.

Synchronization: Rowers strive for perfect timing performing each part of stroke in unison.

Clean catches of the oar blade: Splashes as the blade enters the water means the blades are not entering the water correctly.

Even feathering: As the blades are brought out of the water, they should change from a vertical to a horizontal position and skim the surface of the water at a uniform height.

Source: US Rowing, “Official Regatta Watcher's Guide"

Published in Sociology

Introduction

A number of law enforcement agencies have been put forward in order to deal with the current rise of digital crimes and digital terrorism. These agencies have been specified on the area they are supposed to focus in order to help deal with criminal activities. The independence on these specified groups does not prevent digital crimes and digital terrorism from happening and causing different harms to the society. The paper will focus on the history of digital crimes and digital terrorism in the society.


We shall explain why the topic is relevant to the context of digital crime and digital terrorism plus describe how the issue has evolved or been altered over its lifespan. The paper will also identify the cause theories associated with the topic and finally describe strategies for eliminating or reducing digital terrorism and digital crimes in the society setting.

Discussion

Evidence shows that the level of digital crimes and digital terrorism has increased in the past few decades. This has occurred due to the development of technology in the world market. Development of technology creates different impacts to the society, and one of the negative impacts is the development of digital crimes and digital terrorism. Several criminal and terrorism activities pose an impact to the society because criminals are able to violate some vital ways of conducting activities.


It is with no doubt that the law enforcement personnel that are preparing to come into the field of digital crimes and digital terrorism have to be trained on the upcoming technology. This is to prepare them understand the concept of crimes and terrorism that invades the society. Criminals have turned to technology use in committing crimes something that has been difficult for the law enforcement agencies track and arrest these criminals, (Volonino, et al., 2007).


The history of digital terrorism and digital crimes are relevant in the context of digital crime and digital terrorism simply because it helps experts understand how the topic developed and has been affecting people in the society. This will help in training law enforcement personnel in the current ways that criminals have been using in conducting their criminal activities. The topic is relevant to the experts because it will allow them to be one step ahead of the knowledge that criminals use when conducting their activities. Evidence shows that the current law enforcement system is falling because of the increase in digital crimes and digital terrorism activities. The future of digital terrorism and digital crime are taking another direction which if not evaluated effectively will have an impact to the society and the law enforcement system, (Hai-Cheng, et al., 2011).


It has been difficult for law enforcement personnel and laws to go with the ever changing technology that supports crimes and terrorism. By the time, they are done with the concept they are being trained something new develops which affects the already developed law and strategies of dealing with the situation. The topic is relevant in the field of law enforcement simply because it will help train and prepare enforcement personnel on how to respond on certain criminal activities and instances. The law enforcement personnel should have a rough idea on the history of digital terrorism and digital crimes so that they can manage to employ some learnt skills on how to deal with those criminal situations, (Volonino, et al., 2007).


Technology in the current world of globalization is changing every day and creates different impacts to the society. Departments that are slow learners are left behind because technology changes things as a new strategy is discovered. The issue of digitalization in criminal activities changes with the development of technology hence difficult for law enforcement agencies deal with these situations. Criminal activities develop with technology because criminals are always informed on the routes and strategies they want to use in their activities. Digital terrorism and digital crimes have in the past few decades changed as the technology change. It is something that poses a threat to the society and the government because criminals have become high tech people who are rare to trace then and put them under arrest. The work of government in the current situation is establishing a sound strategy that will always focus on dealing with digitalization system on criminal and terrorism, (Nelson, et al., 2010).


It is with no doubt that technology is ever changing and no signs are there that it is going to stop in the future. The only solution has been left to the law enforcement agencies are to accept the situation and learn from the past. The past may help in learning the present and the future using the past trends in crime and terrorism situations. This will help in the development of sound investigation practices that will help law enforcement agencies deal with criminals and terrorists who have been a problem to the society. Having in mind that digitalization of terrorism and crimes have evolved, it is the highest time for the law enforcement agencies to develop strategies on responding to the calls of these situations, (Volonino, et al., 2007).


A number of theories have been established and associated with development of digital crimes and digital terrorism. Lack of employment for educated people in the undeveloped countries has contributed to the increase in high level of digital crimes. These people are educated and instead of getting opportunity they end up in digitalized crime activities. Criminals who want social services use anybody information. The presence of telecommunication fraud has made it possible for criminals to hack and access information vital for their criminal activities. The approach has affected most people because hackers use their personal information to get money without their knowledge, (Hai-Cheng, et al., 2011).


Terrorists have adopted computerization as a way of conducting their activities. The approach has assisted terrorist’s conduct their digital activities were getting ways of smuggling immigrants into the place they want without being traced or arrested. They use this approach in conducting illegal activities, and this leads to the current increase of digital crimes and terrorism activities. The law enforcing agency department has to develop approaches in fighting this increase failure the society will be affected at length.
Terrorists have increasingly been using global networking as a tool to make their activities successful plus get ideas and plan for much complicated activities. High energy radio frequency and electromagnetic impulse are some of the systems which criminals use to get vital and relevance information for their criminal activities. It has gone to a point where the compromise emissions security systems in locating where the police are and make it easy for them to hide without being noticed and traced, (Garfinkel, 2012).


Digital terrorism and digital crimes will continue as far as technology is in place. Evidence shows that the more technology is developing the worse these situations are getting and poses dangers to the society. It has reach a point where hackers and terrorists have established ways of making their activities invisible but have the capacity to track police. The law enforcement agencies should come up with ways on how to reduce these activities. One of the approaches is by training police so that they can have knowledge on accessing everything that terrorists and criminal do when planning for attacks. Personnel need to have skills of tracking down those networks and databases which support criminal activities. This will include the knowledge of investigative techniques, processes, capacity to perform forensic analysis of electronic devices, and security issues, (Hai-Cheng, et al., 2011).


A system of collecting digital terrorism and digital crime data should be used in order to evaluate on the level of crimes that the personnel is supposed to fight. Data collected will assist in targeting areas which are believed to pose a threat to society. Law enforcement department should come up with strategies of preventing digital situations from terrorism and crime activities in all angles. It’s upon them to act like criminals, but their focus is on those who commit criminal activities. Although it is difficult to end the situation the law should ensure that sound strategies have been put in place in order to fight these situations and create an environment which is better for the society development, (Nelson, et al., 2010).



Reference:

Volonino, L., Anzaldua, R. & Godwin, J. (2007). CIS417: Computer forensics: Principles and practices. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall - Pearson.

Nelson, B. et al. (2010). Guide to computer forensics and investigations (4th ed.). Boston: Course Technology – Cengage Learning

Hai-Cheng, C., Der-Jiunn, D., & Han-Chieh, C. (2011). Potential cyberterrorism via a multimedia smart phone and the corresponding digital forensics. Multimedia Systems, 17(4), 341-349. doi:10.1007/s00530-010-0216-7

Garfinkel, S. (2012). "Forensic Feature Extraction". http://www.simson.net/clips/academic/2006.DFRWS.pdf, on June 15, 2013

Published in Information Technology

Announcing an Additional Employee Benefit

MEMO

TO: All Employees

FROM: Director of Human Resources

RE: Additional Employee Benefit

DATE: (Insert Date)

I am announcing an additional employee benefit package plan for new and current employees. I understand we have employees who provide care to the aging people in the age of 65 years and above. The company wants to make it clear that the employee will have enough time to take care of their relatives based on the company’s rules and regulations that define every employee’s duties and activities. My human resource office in the next few weeks will provide information and referral services for long term assisted living and elderly day care or nursing care.


In the mean time, I will list the names and address of those people who are willing for part timer or full timer as care givers. I suggest that every benefit named in this plan will help the company provide services to customers in an effective manner and at the same time allow employees have enough time for their activities. In the next one week, I will sponsor seminars on ways of dealing with elderly parents, which will cover, on how to use a nursing facility forms when needed.


My office has decided to develop a new policy which will allow employees to use their personal time off plus sick time so as to provide care to any family member. I want to make it clear that employees must notify supervisors in advance about their absence and must follow up and make up the time later in the month. The office has provided an opportunity for those who want extra time, but they will only be allowed to take unpaid leaves for a maximum of 15 months and they can resume their positions when they are through. The employee policy is scheduled to take effect in the next month.

Director of Human Resources

Published in Management
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 23:12

Combating Ageism in Society

Ageing is an unavoidable aspect of human life. People are born; they mature into vibrant adults before beginning to age gradually. Unfortunately, discrimination on the basis of age is a common social habit that is witnessed in different institutions such as the work place and society.  The practice of stereotyping and discriminating a person on the basis of his or her age is known as ageism. Ageism continues to flourish in the society as it is practiced based on a set of beliefs and norms.


For instance, there is a common belief that the older a person becomes, the less productive they are at the workplace. A company that believes such a statement emphasizes on hiring young employees instead of those that are old. Ageism has traditionally been tied to discrimination against the aging population. However, a new breed of ageism that discriminates on the young generation has risen. Ageism to the young generation focuses on aspects of qualification and experienced in which a company may prefer to hire an older, qualified and experience personnel rather than a fresh graduate without experience. The practices of ageism are adverse, and it is the liability of the society as a whole to fight against the vice.

ALF


A research article. Researchers find three causes to ageism. 2012. http://www.alfa.org/News/3113/Researchers-Find-Three-Causes-to-Ageism

This ALFA article presents the findings that demonstrate the factors that furnace ageism in the American society.  Ageism is a stereotypical tendency that is entrenched in the mind of people at a tender age. With maturity, an individual already exposed to age discrimination tendency will practice the discriminations in different sectors. Ageism persists in the society as the younger generation feels that the older generation should step down so that they can access well paying jobs taken by the seniors. Ageism is also furnace by the perception that older people should not pretend to be younger than their actual age. The perception that old people are taking up vital resources such as health care also furnaces ageism ideologies.

Bof


Bofey Daniel. UK among Europe’s worst countries for ageism. The Observer. Sunday 30th October 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/30/ageism-european-social-survey

 Policy editor and observer author Daniel Boffer write the article on the prevalence of ageism in Europe. The author of the article indicates that the elderly populations are pitied rather envied by the younger generations.  There is a widespread perception that age brings weakness and unhappiness thus the tendency to pity the elderly as a weak and unhappy lot.


The level of respect for the elderly also diminishes with age. The article relies on the European social survey that revealed that most UK citizens have no friends above the age of 70. The study thus reveals a form of discrimination on the basis of age. The elderly in UK are mostly left to lead their solitary lives with their fellow old peers or alone. The article reveals how ageism is a vice that can be entrenched in the life of other members of a society hence the need to control it.


Dittmann Melissa. Fighting ageism. Vol. 34.5 (2003). Monitor feature

Dittmann writes a feature on ageism from a psychologist’s angle. The article presents that the American population is yet to fight the vice of ageism. Unfortunately, ageism has several negative consequences. Ageism shortens the lives of the old people due to the negative perceptions. Negative beliefs and attitudes also worsen the memory of the old people. Negativity also enhances the feeling of worthlessness that furnace the occurrence of depression. The article articulates why ageism should be perceived as a vice that requires immediate eradication. There is a need to change the negative perception of old people by minimizing exposure to age stereotyping.


Greengross Sally. Why ageism must be eradicated. BBC News. Tuesday 7th December 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4041713.stm

            Baroness Sally Greengross analyzes how ageism a waste of talent. The article pinpoints how people unconsciously discriminate against the aged hence complicating preventive measures. In the workplace, for instance, a manager must perform an act of kindness to an older person. However, rather than the act appearing as an act of kindness, it may appear as a sign of discrimination and pity. Treating the elderly population as different is patronizing and can harm their self esteem in the long run. Rather than treating the older generation differently, it is vital to integrate them at the work place, in decision making process and overall community activities.


The young generation may be energetic and vibrant. However, they need the expertise and experience that the older generation possesses thus the need to collaborate and work together.


Robert Butler. Combating ageism in America. Open society institute. 2006

            In this report, Robert Buttler presents the issue of ageism in American and why it is vital to combat the vice. The author argues that combating ageism is a matter of human rights and civil liberties. Ageism contributes to injuries, exploitation and mistreatment thus a violation of human rights. The authors also look at how culture and the media furnaces ageism in societies. The successful eradication of ageism requires that societies fight against the manifestation of the vice in institutions such as the workplace, nursing homes and health care facilities.


Laws and policies aimed at ensuring ageism does not persists should also be passed so as to eradicate the vice form the society. This article is vital in the discussion of the topic as it not only looks at the problem but also offer probable solutions.

Published in Physiology

 Executive Summary

American Express Company was founded in 1850, and it is one of the Dow Jones Industrial Average thirty components.   It was started in Buffalo, New York, as an express mail business later became a joint stock corporation that resulted from the merger of the express companies.   This company is the best known for dealing with credit cards, traveller’s cheques, and charge cards businesses.  American Express cards accounts for approximately 24% of the total credit cards transactions in America. 


It is one of the 20 most admired companies in the World and for years it enjoyed monopoly on the movement of express shipments throughout the New York State.   By arranging affiliations with other express companies, American Express extended its reach nationwide.  This company has, therefore, grown steadily through acquisitions, a series of mergers, and later its focus on their premium cards and processes services.  The American Express company currently operates in the four segments, which include U.S. Card Services, Global Commercial Services, Global Network & Merchant Services, and International Card Services.  It is focused on generating alternative global based revenues in areas such as mobile and online payments, and fee based services.   Various products and services are globally sold to diverse groups of customers, including small businesses, consumers; middle sized companies, and large corporations.  The channels through, which these services and products are sold, include direct mail, in-house and third party sales, direct response advertising, and online applications.  Indeed, it is a global services company that provides customers with efficient access to services and products.

 


Situation Analysis

 The primary focus of the American Express Company is business results and return on investment.  Therefore, it takes a center stage and pioneers research on how it can effectively deliver   the best training for its global leaders and the population.  Perhaps, many global companies struggle to offer training to their employees; however, they do little to support their ultimate investment decisions.  However, American Express being a 64$ billion global organization with global employees exceeding 65, 000 has put effective measures for the delivery of leadership training program, using the results to inform its training strategies, and to maximize on the return on investment.  


A large number of companies cannot quantify business impact, ultimate maximum return on investment, and the behavior change.  In addition to this, challenge of creating a maximum return on investment for leadership program and the results become even more elusive.  American express as an organization in the service industry is needed to inspire its employees to be more motivated and engaged.  The company is, therefore, determined to achieve this by increasing the capability of leadership.  By, equipping its leaders with the skills and knowledge to truly engage all employees, American Express will realize its talent strategy.  The Situational Leadership II© program launched by the American Express company has the ability to target specific leadership tasks and competences, while remaining flexible enough to translate across the diverse leadership population.  It, therefore, provides a situation whereby leaders can access or rather generate direct reports for diagnosing and generation of unique action plans.

 


Corporate and Swot Analysis

 Strengths

1. Global Reach and Presence

American express has a well established global market and operates in many countries and more so at home; the U.S whereby it is so far one of the leading company in credit card businesses.   The total number of American Express credit cards in circulation is about 50.6 million. The transaction volume of the American Express cards also stands at an approximate figure of $131.1 (CreditCards.com, 2013).


2. Diversity

Over the years, the American Express Company has added different services and products.  This diversity has given this company a potential to spread its financial risks over different channels; from business cards, to city specific rewards and airline cards, and a credit card that caters for all needs.  This company also has a unique arrangement from other credit card organizations because it has their own payment system and also issue credit cards directly to their customers.  This is convenient to the customers because if they have the American cards, they automatically know who issued them, the payment system that they utilize, and everything else that pertain to the cards.  Therefore, from an organizational point of view, this company has a complete horizontal scale across payments giving them diverse opportunities for their business to grow and drive innovation in the market place.


3. Innovation

American express has a study series of history in innovation.  In fact, many of the financial products that are taken for granted today were pioneered by American Express Company. It has also found ways of improving the delivery of its services.   It has generated rewards cards that are affiliated with specific stores, and these are commonly known as travel cards.  Pertaining to marketing, American Express Corporation has been famously known for inventive advertising.  It has since used highly visible personalities such as Tiger Wood and Jerry Seinfield since 1990s, AS American Express spokesmen a situation that has long played a role in sustain the recognition of American Express.  Ultimately, this corporation takes a holistic view of positioning of its brand and today’s advertising campaigns reflects the innovative business solutions and range of products of American Express Corporation and its unique ability  to provides customers with privileges and unique experiences.


4. Brand Loyalty

American Express Corporation has a large consumer base.  There is an overwhelming majority of people who continue to use the services of this corporation as their financial facility.  In fact, the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, ranked American Express as the top most company in customer satisfaction.


5. Travel Services Operations

American Express Corporation is able to appeal to customers who are constantly in the move, through a variety of travel cards.  By rewarding points and giving offers to the customers, it is able to ensure that American Cards are popularly used all over the world.

 


Weaknesses

1. Financial Credit Crisis

Credit businesses depend on the credit market and the confidence of the consumer. Therefore, if the spending of the customer is low, profits will also go down.   With the increasing economic crisis that are witnessed in the U.S. and other countries, holders of credit cards may fail to frequently use their cards to make transactions. Therefore, leading to poor financial performance of the American Express Corporation since credit card business is a major part of the operations of this organization.


2. Size

American Express as one of the largest Credit Cards Company in the world receives a big attention from the press.  Therefore, credit crunch hurt the image of this corporation even if the economic crisis times have passed, due to the great deal of attention that it receives from the media as a large company.


Opportunities

1. Limit Risk

Taking steps of limiting risks, for example, through diversification, could help American Express Corporation to better its strength.


2. Stability

Despite economic challenges that exist, American Express has relatively remained financially stable compared to some of its counterparts. I, therefore, mean a projected tremendous growth when the economy begins to recover.


3. Expansion to China

Cooperation of American Express and China UnionPay indicates an expansion in the business operations of the American Express.  This new cooperation between the two companies will explore new areas in China and the outside markets.

 


Treats

Macro Effects

The operations of American Express Corporation may be adversely affected if the US economy experiences a downfall.


Regulations

 The regulations in the business world seem to increase every moment. New acts governing business operations and the taxes levied are proposed and implemented regularly. This may tighten the operations of the long established business corporations such as American Express, making it less profitable in the future.

 


Environment of Country Selected

            American Express Corporation is a business that majorly operates in the developed countries of the world.   Business operations in developed countries are demanding.  There are several acts that have been implemented by the government to regulate the operation of multinational organizations.  In fact, some of the countries promote the use of the local products and services as a means of making the home industries sustain a good growth. Such event, therefore, discourage corporations such as the American Express from the international markets. Business operation in the United States is also challenging due to the competitive market and the adverse economic situation, which may finally make an organization to experience poor growth. In fact, government acts pertaining to business operations in the United States may sometimes dictates unfavorable actions for corporations, for instance by specifying how to treat the employees irrespective of the underlying financial challenges.


Goals and Objectives

The ultimate goal of the American Express Corporation is to achieve excellent returns on   investment through generation of adequate profits from its operations.  The objective, therefore, is to provide adequate training for the corporate leaders and employees through Situational Leadership program so as to increases their capabilities.


 Strategies and Tactics

American Express will realize its talent strategy through leadership and employees training on the effective methods of business operations.  This corporation will have to learn from other leading corporations on the effective methods to conduct business operations and sustain growth even during the tough economic times.

 


Control and Evaluations

             Corporate culture is an important factor in the successful development of a firm.  It cares for the resources of a company and helps in the personal development of the management and employees.  Effective leadership should be implemented in an organization in order to sustain the growth effective growth.


References

CreditCards.com, (2013). Credit Cards Statistics Retrieved from, http://www.creditcards.com/crd-industry-facts-personal-debt-statistics-1276.php On June 19, 2013.

Sitemaker, (2012). Human Resource Competency Study. Retrieved From, http://www.sitemaker.umich.edu/hrcs/executive_summary On June 19, 2013.

MindTools, (2013). Swot Analysis. Retrieved From, http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05.htm  On June 19, 2013.

Slideshare, (2012). Cross Cultural Management. Retrieved From, http://www.slideshare.net/guest34faa6/cross-cultural-management On June 19, 2013.

Reuters, (2012). American Express Corporation. Retrieved From, http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyProfile?symbol=AXP.N on June 19, 2013.

 Plunkett, J., (2008). The Almanac of American Employers.  Plunkett Research, Ltd.

Published in Management

Job Position_______________

Age________________

Gender_______________

No of years in your job position (please tick your age)

  • Below 1 year ( )
  • 1-5 years ( )
  • 5-10 years ( )
  • 10-15 years ( )
  • Above 15 years ( )

Data Section

Is your health facility engaged in any activities that relate to the development of electronic health records? Describe these activities if any and the nature of your employee’s involvement?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What are the costs of maintaining and implementing electronic health records in your organization?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What are some of consumer’s challenges relating to the implementation and development of electronic health records that your organization has identified? What are some of these challenges?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Does the electronic health record system function in accordance with your practice expectations? Is the software imposing any new limitations on the organization? Does EHR provide some features that you feel are not needed or you will never use in your practice?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What are some of the EHR system initiatives would your organization like information about? Give examples

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What are the major legal barriers of implementing EHR in your organization? How does your organization deal with these barriers?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Is there any software start up costs or maintenance costs that affects your organization? How have these costs affected the implementation of electronic health record system in your organization?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Implementation of electronic health record system requires skills and qualifications. Does your organization have the required skill required? What are some of the challenges in respect to skills have your organization encountered and how does the company handle them?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Who helps you implement the technology in your organization? Does the vendor help you train employees on how to operate the system?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Does your organization encounter patient privacy issues? How has the implementation of electronic health record system affected privacy issues of your customers?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Published in Management

Memo

This memo demonstrates the details for the proposal of course project

Although most health care facilities are moving from the world of paper health record system to electronic health record system, there are some challenges that have prevented this thing to be fully implemented. Based on results from different studies, implementing electronic health records may be rewarding and at the same time challenging in respect to the approach used to develop the ideas. Most healthcare facilities are changing their health records from a paper system to electronic systems.


I have decided to focus on some of the major challenges that affect the implementation of electronic health records in healthcare facilities. By researching on the implementation of electronic health record system to replace the paper health record system, I will be able to evaluate some of the key challenges that hinder the implementation of EHR in the health care setting. There are several reasons why I am interested in covering this topic. One of the reasons is not that I am in the health care setting but due to the problems that I have seen nurses encounter when serving patients. Small health care facilities are the affected areas of health care because they lack several things that are needed in the implementation of this healthcare system.


Audience

My audience is the healthcare industry which will focus on the management departments. Due to the increased need of quality and effective health services, most health care facilities are interested in the implementation of EHR system and abolish the old system of paper health record approach. Although technology in the health industry has brought some advancement, there are some challenges and problems that develop in the process of implementing these technologies.


Topics of Interest

In order to cover this study fully, below are some of the topics that will be investigated.

Impacts of new technology in the health care setting

Benefits and detriments of electronic health record system in healthcare facilities.

Software maintenance costs and starts up costs of the system.

Legal barriers of implementing electronic health record system in nursing facilities.

Privacy and hardware limitations required in the implementation process.

Qualifications or knowledge required in implementing the system and experts required to handle electronic health record system in the place of implementation.


Limitations

There are some challenges in developing this project based on finding results that explain the findings. Poor networking in most rural health care facilities has been a problem in the implementation of EHR. I will develop a study that will inform me one some of the key areas that have prevented in the implementation of EHR in healthcare. The focus is to evaluate on those issues that affect how technology is integrated in the health setting and how the management in the healthcare industry are responding into these challenges.


Research Methods

Apart from the internet research, I will read on healthcare journals. I will also conduct some interviews where I will engage some top and bottom management of several healthcare facilities.



Work Schedule

Week Activity
June 16 – June22

Selection of project topic plus conducting a preliminary research

Develop  and submit a research proposal

Come up with a checklist of activities

June 23 – June 6 Literature review of EHR and its challenges
June 13 – July 20 Develop interviews with selected health care management
July 21 – July 27

Summarize data collected from the sources

Develop a rough draft

July 28 – Aug 3

Revise rough draft

Counter checklist and timeline

Aug 4 – Aug 10

Come up with the final draft and develop cover page, TOC, etc.

Create visuals for the presentation

Aug 11 – Aug 17

Submission of  the final draft 

Practice oral presentation

Actual oral presentation



Reference:

Jha AK, Ferris TG, Donelan K, et al. How common are electronic health records in the United States? Health Aff (Millwood)2006;25:w496–507. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.25.w496.

Published in Management
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 22:53

Management

The economy is the most vital aspect that is facing management today. The current economic point of the economy calls for companies to undertake their business within tight financial constraints. The issues of economic constraints can be seen in various reports of job closing and cutbacks of various manufacturing plants and stores faced by companies. The global economy seems to be heading towards recession. In the United States, the economic standing has undergone significant and drastic changes in the last one year as a result of factors like natural disasters, war with Iraq and North Korea and unethical practices among various financial institutions. The American global activity has slowed, and there have been an increase of downside risks.


There is also the issue of global rebalancing that calls for the demand of a sustainable global growth which has become stagnant. The main problem that has caused the weakening of balance sheets and weak growth among governments, households, and financial institutions are negatively affecting every person in the nation. The loss of momentum in growth and worsening of balance sheets, there will be the threatening of fiscal sustainability, and there will be no policies that focus on salvaging recovery. The world economic position is faced with various complex challenges such as the financial markets turmoil and the European debt risk. These global issues do have an impact to the United States because it will be difficult to do businesses with nations facing economic challenges. The Global Economic Prospects shows that these challenges are likely to continue in the coming years (The World Bank, 2013).


When all these factors are combined they make businesses undergo a major financial burden in their effort to maintain the daily operations of their businesses. Therefore, businesses are expected to have in place sufficient plans that will assist them to survive in this critical economic and financial times. This is through having the right actions that will enable them to revive in times of economic falls. The management is the main department that has to undertake these strategies and come up with innovative ways of operating with the least cost. The survival of companies is determined by the ability to survive through the economic storm until when the economy improves (Griffin, 2012).


Currently, many organizations are identifying ways of operating within the limited financial resources. This involves the identification of the main problems causing increased financial expenditure and coming up with ways of operating at low costs in the production of goods and marketing services and products. This effort can be seen in Starbucks Corporation. Starbucks has managed to change its employee scheduling system so has to use a few number of employees having to work for long duration at the coffee shops. The program was developed with the effort of reducing the cost of labor and at the same time to improve sales by enhancing the familiarity among the corporation’s employees and customers. A smaller number of employees are best able to provide a more caring and inviting atmosphere than in the past where there were many employees.


Therefore, many customers are likely to come to the coffee shops to purchase the various coffee products offered by Starbucks. The economic challenges are the main concerns for managers, and they need to have the knowledge in operations management and use their experience in running the businesses effectively for the benefit of organizations. Managers have to offer their capability and services that are beneficial in maintaining, managing and running a company (Callan, & Thomas, 2009, p 89).


Reference

Callan, S and Thomas J (2009) Environmental Economics and Management Theory, policy and applications, p 89

The world bank (2013) Global Economic Prospects. Retrieved from
http://web.worldbank.org/wbsite/external/extdec/extdecprospects/extgblprospects/0,,menupk:615470~pagepk:64218926~pipk:64218953~thesitepk:612501,00.html

On June 2, 2013

Griffin R (2012) Management. Cengage learning, p 176

Published in Management

 

The management of diversity serves as the most critical issue in today’s executive leadership. While there are numerous issues of significance in today’s executive leadership, the management of diversity is highly prominent.


This issue centers on the consideration of the distinct needs of employees, variation in values, ethical beliefs, and religion. The modern executive leader must have adequate skills to manage this kind of diversity. This is considerably challenging especially when the values of employees clash with the organizational culture. Balancing between the two perspectives is not always straightforward for the executive leader. This essay zeros in on the management of diversity as the most significant concern facing the modern executive leadership.


Diversity

In the modern workplace, diversity is an outstanding feature. In essence, diversity has numerous dimensions. Among the most notable aspects of diversity is the issue of generational differences. Executive leadership in the 21st Century must address the different challenges associated with generational diversity (Bilimoria, 2012). These challenges include approaches to tasks, attitudes, and the use of technology among others.


While the younger generations are extremely keen on the integration of computer technology in the workplace, the older generation is seemingly reluctant to such frameworks. This puts into perspective the challenge of diversity management in the modern executive leadership. The executive leader must adopt appropriate leadership strategies for mitigating generational conflicts.


The critical issue of diversity management in executive leadership can also be assessed from the perspective of teamwork. For any executive leader, it is considerably challenging to establish an effective framework for creating teams in the workplace. Due to diversity issues, some individuals might oppose the idea of collaborating with others in the accomplishment of tasks. Some employees have strong preference for individualism while others are supportive of teamwork. The executive leader must implement appropriate leadership strategies for handling such diversity challenges (Chin, 2010).


Another notable dimension of diversity involves ethical beliefs or values. Different individuals are characterized by different ethical beliefs. The variations in the ethical values must be taken into account in the modern executive leadership practices. The diversity in ethical values can significantly hamper the capacity of executive leaders to successfully implement their respective plans.
For instance, the ethical values of an employee might not necessarily match with the organizational culture. This affects the overall levels of operational efficiency in the organization. The management of diversity is thus a critical issue for executive leadership with regard to the ethical values of different people.

 


Diversity is also exemplified by the different attitudes and perceptions of people. Variation in attitudes is a notable source of conflicts in the modern workplace or organizational setup. The mitigation of such disputes is strongly influenced by the tactics used by the executive leader. For any executive leader in the 21st Century, diversity management is thus a critical aspect (Acar, 2010). The issue of inclusion also plays a massive role in exemplifying the challenge of diversity in the modern frameworks for executive leadership. This challenge mainly occurs when the leader must address all aspects of diversity while including or excluding employees in organizational teams.


In view of the extensive levels of diversity in the 21st Century, the attainment of balance in the inclusion framework is a complex aspect for executive leaders. The challenge of diversity management also applies to the issue of decision making. Decision making is a pertinent role of executive leadership in the 21st Century. However, the different perspectives on diversity can easily mar the efficiency of decision making among executive leaders. For instance, it is a massive challenge for the executive leader to make a decision that conforms to the expectations of all followers (Kearney, 2009). Based on such perspectives, diversity management is the most significant concern facing the modern executive leadership.


Potential Resolution to the Issue

Transformational leadership serves as an excellent platform for resolving the issue of diversity management in executive leadership. Through transformational leadership, executive leaders can easily develop applicable strategies for coping with diversity (Bilimoria, 2012). For instance, this leadership approach accentuates on the significance of developing excellent ties with followers.


Such a strategy would be crucial towards managing the different diversity issues among employees (Chin, 2010). Additionally, this strategy would enable the leader to influence the employees positively. For instance, the executive leader can influence the employees to emphasize on organizational culture as opposed to personal values and ethical beliefs.


Conclusion

Despite the extensive challenges facing executive leaders, diversity is immensely significant. The top leaders in modern settings must deal with the numerous challenges associated with the management of diversity. Diversity can hamper teamwork and also act as hindrance to the implementation of organizational culture. In the 21st Century, diversity in executive leadership is also exemplified by generational differences among employees.


In order to resolve this issue, executive leaders must consider diversity as a positive aspect. Additionally, transformational leadership provides an excellent framework for dealing with the numerous challenges occasioned by the critical issue of diversity management among executive leaders.   


References

Acar, E. I. (2010). Analyzing the effects of diversity perceptions and shared leadership,    International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21(10)

Bilimoria, D. (2012). Inclusive leadership, Leadership Excellence, 29(3)

Chin, J. L. (2010). Diversity and leadership in a changing world, American Psychologist    65(3)

Kearney, E. (2009). Managing diversity and enhancing team outcomes: The promise of     transformational leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(1)

Published in Management
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