This paper analyzes whether and to what degree electronic media and interchanges help at present changing

Introduction

This paper analyzes whether and to what degree electronic media and interchanges help at present changing ideas of time and space, taking a gander at their part in how individuals experience transience, spatiality and portability. I contend that electronic media and communication have complex influence in moving originations of time and space, communicating the requirement for rethinking and re-conceptualizing the terms being referred to through the thought of “intervention” (Meyrowitz, 1986). By difficult existing applied methodologies to time and space, electronic media and communication have problematized the multi-layered criticalness of how individuals experience time and space, with worldly and spatial measurements of reality as of now being imperative, however in an alternate manner from the past (Campbell, Martin, & Fabos, 2011).

‘Time’, “space” and “Place” are probably the most utilized and abused terms within media and communication, and they have been characterized diversely and from distinctive hypothetical points of view, constituting rather amorphous watchwords in the field. In plotting the theoretical system of these terms, time is characterized as ‘characteristic time … conceptual time … alternately experiential (phenomenological) time’, with the last being considered as ‘my time: time as accomplished by me-or-anybody, my without further ado, my arranged being on the planet, me as a true somebody somewhere at some point now’ (Dominick, 2010). Space, thus, ‘is nebulous and elusive and not an element that can be straightforwardly depicted and investigated’. In connection to the frequently mixed idea of spot, ‘there is about constantly some related sense or idea of spot’ in a manner that’ it appears that space gives the setting to places however gets its significance from specific places’. In this sense, spot ‘is a solidification of quality … it is an item in which one can stay’, whilst ‘space … is given by the capacity to move’ (Campbell, Martin, & Fabos, 2011).

Time and space constitute characteristically connected components of physical reality. Time captivates space and space obliges time, as ‘we have the feeling of space in light of the fact that we can move and of time in light of the fact that, as natural creatures, we experience repetitive periods of pressure and simplicity (Dominick, 2010). From one viewpoint, space exists in time, changes through time and it is portrayed diversely at diverse transient focuses ever, while remove frequently includes time length. Then again, the sense and estimation of time are intensely indigent upon space and spatial separations (Dominick, 2010). Thus, time is connected with the spatial measurements of the world and the other way around, while these two structural parts of reality ‘exist together, intermesh, and characterize one another in individual experience. Space gets to be place when it procures typical significance and a cement definition, denoting the entire range of character and feeling of having a place. In this way, place is additionally connected with the ideas of time and space. These nearby connections and their essential vitality for the advancement of reality display the issue of the part of electronic media and interchanges in conceptualizing and encountering time, space, and Place (Graber & Dunaway, 2014).

Reviewing ‘time-space distanciation’ and ‘compression’: mediated time and space?

The critical heft of the writing in media and globalization studies fights that broad communications and interchanges and, all the more particularly, electronic media have adjusted the essentialness and nature of spatial and transient holes. The development of the Morse broadcast in the 1840s was the first medium that empowered interchanges between remote places in shorter times, accordingly decreasing the essentialness of space and time for remote correspondence and trade (Graber & Dunaway, 2014). The broadcast likewise made ready for the synchronization of nearby time and the foundation of time zones. These improvements prompted the creation of the first news offices in the first 50% of the nineteenth century, which realized an instantiation of interchanges around the globe (Graber & Dunaway, 2014). Instantiation of interchanges has been fortified much all the more by the TV media in the second a large portion of the twentieth century specifically and in addition by the undeniably across the board advanced correspondence advances of the most recent two decades (Potts, 2008).

The knowledge of time and space has huge ramifications for individuals’ physical versatility and feeling of character. In this way, the progressions in time and space affected by media advances have incited a warmed level headed discussion between scholars. ‘Time-space distanciation’ (McQuail, 2010) and ‘time-space packing’ (Graber & Dunaway, 2014) are two key theories in this level headed discussion.

Key to Giddens’ Theory on globalization is the idea of ” time-space distanciation’, specifically the procedure of a partition of time from space. This thought originates from, from one perspective, McQuail (2010) sociological feedback of Marx’ s contention that ‘even spatial separation lessens itself to time’ (p. 538) and, then again, the noteworthy impact on Giddens by McQuail (2010) tricky idea of the ‘worldwide town’ and its teleological precept that mechanical progression permits individuals to associate with one another as in vis-à-vis cooperation. Turown (2011) contends that innovative development has driven a universalization and liberalization of time and space, which he considers requirements for globalization during a time of postmodernity. He contends that globalizing measurements of cooperation make “extended” connections in the middle of “neighborhood” and “removed” media structures (pp. 63-65), with ‘neighborhood happenings’ being, case in point, ‘formed by occasions occurred numerous miles away and the other way around’ (p. 64). In non-electronic communication, oral, written work and print manifestations of correspondence were formed by nearby or between neighborhood settings, as transient and spatial compass of correspondence was constrained because of non-progressive mechanical and different improvements (e.g. postal administrations) and vicinity was an essential. Interestingly, electronic method for correspondence have empowered nearby settings to create correspondence practices and streams of trade with geologically remote and transiently removed connections. These practices and streams of trade separate time from space, encourage social collaborations that are disembodied from spatial and worldly settings, and create extended and distanciated correspondence examples and relationships.

RECONCEPTUALISING ‘TIME’ AND ‘SPACE’

Utilizing the samples of ‘web time’ and ‘electronic spaces’ , this area creates a chronicled examination of how media have affected conceptualizations of time and space, testing specifically a portion of the contentions of worldly synchronization and the inconsequentiality of space.

From ‘ time’ to ‘ internet time’
I might want to bring up the socially-developed nature of ideas of time and space. Time was theoretically developed through the creation of the timetable and, in the current world, by the universal institutionalization arrangement of Greenwich Mean Time. Likewise, time has been affected by verifiable changes in recognitions and encounters of social and land spaces, along these lines being socially needy and verifiably formed by different parameters deciding social request. As Durkheim (1965) comments, ‘it is the cadence of social life which is at the premise of the class of time’ (p. 488). In this sense, the deliberate investigation of time obliges its social and chronicled contextualization, and also an authentic empiricist point of view that records essentially for structural impacts on time by changes in the current social request.

The social skeleton in which time is organized in current times was initially molded by the creation of the mechanical clock, which built parameters for the estimation of time and its adjustment to human issues, and at last people’s adjustment to it. Later on, in the nineteenth century, the initially wired electronic medium, the broadcast, undermined the pith of the at one time pervasive origination of ‘continuous’ (in oral correspondence) and of deferred time (in script and printed correspondence), as it permitted communicators to succeed, shockingly and to a certain degree, time crevices and hindrances in interchanges. This beginning procedure towards moment worldwide correspondence extended after the approach, in the twentieth century, of remote electronic media ends in particular the radio and TV (Turow, 2011).

From ‘ space’ to ‘ electronic spaces’
According to Meyrowitz (1986), space is a vague and conflictingly characterized idea. In this paper, I view space as both a land and a financial measurement of presence. As respects the geological measurement, space is comprehensively viewed as a physical area however it is frequently connected with the idea of spot, as ‘space gives the connection to places yet gets its significance from specific places. In this admiration, representations of space are gotten basically from the knowledge of social and perceptual places that shape individual and aggregate characters. All things considered, space is joined to the thought of thought, awareness and experience (Wakefield, Loken & Hornik, 2010).

From a financial point of view, the generation of space is established in a free market system and in innovative and authoritative advancements that occurred in late hundreds of years. Space and spatial relations have been vigorously commodified and influenced by the structural states of business generation and utilization. Particularly amid the course of the most recent century’s business and innovative headway, it has been contended that spatial limits have been rebuilt and genuinely tested. Case in point, Turow, 2011 contends that ” all separations in time and space are contracting … everything gets lumped together into uniform distancelessness’ (p. 165). The spread of broad communications and interchanges has offered ascent to new “electronic spaces’, reducing spatial separations. The case of “electronic spaces’ can reveal insight into the part of electronic media in re-conceptualizing space and reshaping the routes in which space can be accomplished.

FROM ‘PLACELESSNESS’ TO ‘MEDIATED SPACE’

The above talks on the shift in the conceptualization and knowledge of space have created theorizations concerning the routes in which the idea of spot and its encounter have been just as changed, offering ascent to extract (unspecified) spaces or ‘non-places’, as talked about later in this segment.

No sense of place and place polygamy

As the idea of spot is socially built, multi-layered and dissimilarly contextualized, the writing has focused on its criticalness for the distinguishing proof and area of singularity on the planet. It is contended that ‘there are the same number of characters of spot as there are individuals’ and spot is viewed as significant for the introduction of individuals and the creation of ‘spot bound characters’  (Wakefield, Loken & Hornik, 2010). Spot is the methods through which individuals understand the world in which they live and act claims that places ‘are not reflection or ideas, however are straightforwardly accomplished phenomena of the existed world … imperative wellsprings of individual and mutual character … focuses of human presence’ further proclaims that “‘place’ spots man in such a route, to the point that it uncovers the outer obligations of his presence and in the meantime the profundities of his flexibility and reality” (p. 19). Subsequently, comprehending a spot requires finding as well as characterizing the ” self’ as an individual and social being with a past and a future, along these lines empowering arranging toward oneself into group and the advancement of particular shared personalities (Wimmer & Dominick, 2013).

Place and media and communications technologies
Right now, the paper represents the part of media in the asserted expanding homogeneity of spots during a time of post-advancement, where, ostensibly, ‘we are well on the way to discover prophetic inspirations of spaces in which not one or the other character, nor relations, nor history truly bode well’. According to Potts (2008), it appear that the media is concerned with the natural, mechanical and compositional consistency of physical areas today, rather than the differing or routine routes in which individuals encounter and find themselves into such physical areas, giving these physical areas more social and social-existential measurements (Wakefield, Loken & Hornik, 2010). Generally, I plan to take Moores’ proposition further, contending for an appraisal of the part of media in the presence of spot today through the investigation of individuals’ connections with media advances. These can be communications concerning not just the distinguishing proof of a physical area or space as spot additionally the routes in which the last is interceded and accomplished in commonplace life. Furthermore, the media and the formation of new electronic spaces, talked about prior in the paper, give more chances to the making of interceded spots where individuals can encounter and re-characterize their character components (e.g. virtual groups on the web) (Wimmer & Dominick, 2013).

CONCLUSION

This paper has noted the discriminating part of media in difficult truly noteworthy ideas of time and space, changing how individuals shape their personalities and broadening the extent of physical and mental versatility in today’s globalized world. The main segment examined discriminatingly two differentiating postulations, ‘time-space packing’ and ‘time-space distanciation’, highlighting the many-sided quality of time-space connections through an audit of hypothesis and research on intervention. Contending against the uncritical composition of compelling postulations in regards to the breakdown of transient separations and the end of spatial separations, I have supported a more direct view where time and space keep on mattering, here and there considerably all the more altogether, and where electronic media play a much more mind boggling part in intervening social phenomena, therefore rebuilding ideas and encounters of time and space. The second segment investigated the part of media and communication in the courses in which time and space have verifiably been liable to change, utilizing the chronicled cases of ” web time’ and ‘electronic spaces’ to problematize the contentions of transient synchronization and the unimportance of spatial separations. I agree with Joshua Meyrowitz that electronic medialead to a nearly total dissociation of physical place and socialplace.

References

Campbell, R., Martin, C. R., & Fabos, B. (2011). Media and culture: An introduction to mass             communication. Macmillan.

Dominick, J. R. (2010). The dynamics of mass communication: Media in the digital age. Tata      McGraw-Hill Education.

Graber, D. A., & Dunaway, J. L. (2014). Mass media and American politics. CQ Press.

Meyrowitz, J. (1986). No sense of place: The impact of electronic media on social behavior.

McQuail, D. (2010). McQuail’s mass communication theory. Sage Publications.

Potts, J. (2008). Who’s afraid of technological determinism? Another look at medium       theory. The Fibreculture Culture Journal12.

Turow, J. (2011). Media today: an introduction to mass communication. Taylor & Francis.

Wakefield, M. A., Loken, B., & Hornik, R. C. (2010). Use of mass media campaigns to change    health behaviour. The Lancet376(9748), 1261-1271.

Wimmer, R., & Dominick, J. (2013). Mass media research. Cengage Learning.

Re-Viewing The Past

Re-Viewing The Past

Introduction

Movies and films have been a fundamental part of the entertainment industry, both in the United States and in other parts of the globe. Like other forms of literary works, they are primarily used in educating individuals, as well as entertaining them. Indeed, a large number of movies are inspired by the society within which the directors are living, in which case they are aimed at chronicling the events of the day or of the past. The directors may also incorporate some creative aspects where they inspire some ideals pertaining to how the society should be. In almost all movies that borrow from the past events, there will be some inaccuracies or misrepresentation of facts pertaining to the events presented. This is the case for the movies Black Robe, The crucible, The Patriot, The Alamo and Cold Mountain.

Question 1: Reasons for historical inaccuracies in the films

The authors in the varied movies give varied reasons or explanations for the historical inaccuracies that are incorporated in the films. First, a large number of these films would not be regarded as chronicling the history, rather they are a product of the imagination of the authors. This is the case for Cold Mountain, which, while it is set in the Civil War, the individuals taking part in it are simply imaginary. There was so little known about the main character Inman, in which case other details had to be made up probably with the inspiration of other soldiers (Primary Readings, 5).

In addition, authors have explained the historical inaccuracies by stating that the there is a thin line between the reality and the imaginary details. Indeed, this was the explanation given by Arthur Miller when he was confronted by critics on the deviations or historical inaccuracies in the film “The Crucibles”. The critics had expressed skepticism over the possibility that young Abigail Williams had an affair with the elderly John Proctor, to which Arthur had posed the question “What is real?” and gone ahead to explain that they do not know what the individuals were like at that time (Primary Readings, 2). In addition, even when the films seemed to properly represent the ideas derived from the diaries and accounts of the individuals who actually took part in those events, there was the possibility that the accounts was completely different from what was on the ground. Indeed, the case between missionaries and native Indians depicted the disparity in their manner of thinking. In Black Robe, Le Jeune, who was an actual missionary, underlined the torment that he underwent in the hands of an Indian shaman called Mestigoit. He used the phrase “open warfare” to describe the relationship with the “Sorcerer”, stating that he expected the later to murder him at any time (Primary Readings, 1). However, a closer examination of the accounts of Le Jeune reveals that the sorcerer’s intentions were comedic rather than homicidal (Primary Readings, 1). This disparity in their comprehension of events could have caused the inaccuracy in their accounts, which were then internalized in the films.

Question 2: Effect of Historical Inaccuracies on our Understanding of past events and historical figures

Needless to say, the misrepresentation of historical facts is undesirable in all respects. In this regard, the historical inaccuracies in the film were harmful to the comprehension of the past events and historical figures. This is especially the case for “The Patriot”. The film had varied historical inaccuracies including the colors of the uniforms that the British cavalry wore, the glorious display or exhibition of fireworks in the warfare at a time when such artillery was yet to be discovered, the predictable caricature of the British as either bungling dimwits or evil geniuses, as well as the incineration of an occupied church when no account of such an event can be traced in history (Primary Readings, 3). On the same note, it is worth noting that the 18th century Europeans were primarily concerned with the reconciliation of the violence that was brought about by war with the necessity of inspiring some social order. Nevertheless, the authors and directors went into great lengths to ensure that the fundamental aspects of the historical events were appropriately represented (Primary Readings, 3). This impressive representation of historical facts aided in the elimination of any harm that would have resulted from the inaccurate details given. It is noted that the misrepresentation of facts may have been a symbol of the dilemma that societies in the past had to grapple with regarding reconciling the peaceable virtues and the violence of war. Tomahawk in the film is used as a weapon to free the protagonist’s son, while also representing the savage nature of Martin.

Question 3: Do historical inaccuracies harm or help in the comprehension of the present groups or people?

On the same note, the misrepresentation of the historical facts in the movies seems to harm the comprehension of historical groups and people. This is especially with regard to the individuals or groups that would be considered as patriots or even villains. The movies “The Alamo” incorporate a number of inaccuracies pertaining to the war between the American settlers in Texas and the Mexican dictator. Of particular note is the motivation that the defenders had in remaining steady and not seeking an alternative even when they faced impossible odds. It is worth noting that there was no clarity as to the motivations, as some historians state that the defenders remained in the posts simply because they expected to be rescued at long last. However, the movies seem to underline the fact that the defenders were motivated by the thought of securing the republic or rather fighting for freedom. In this regard, the republic meant that individuals would have the capacity to live and talk even more freely, in which case it creates the impression that the defenders of Alamo were freedom fighters while the Mexican general Santa Anna, was a tyrannical ruler who resembled the Soviet Communism. This notion would have made sense at the time when the first version of “The Alamo” was released as the audience in the United States was already embroiled in the cold war that pitted the country and its allies against the communism (Primary Readings, 4). However, this analogy would make little or no sense, especially considering that Mexico had at that time outlawed slavery in which case they stood for the freedom of all human beings. Texas, on the other hand, had drafted a constitution that prohibited individuals from immigrating free blacks and even legalized slavery. This means that Texas was not actually standing for human liberty and freedom, which is contrary to the impression that is created in the film regarding the individuals in Texas and those of Mexico (Primary Readings, 4). In this case, it is harmful to the comprehension of the Texan and Mexican groups of people, as well as the things for which they stood.

References

Primary Readings, 1 Reviewing the past: Black Robe (p. 46-47)

Primary Readings, 2. Reviewing the past: The Crucible (p. 76-77)

Primary Readings, 3. Reviewing the past: The Patriot (p. 138-139)

Primary Readings, 4. Reviewing the past: The Alamo (p.316-317)

Primary Readings, 5. Reviewing the past: Cold Mountain (p.428-429)

Reviewing the Current Studies on Challenges in Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities (LDs)

Reviewing the Current Studies on Challenges in Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities (LDs)

Hajar aloqalaa

1.0 Topic of Focus

The topic of focus for this study is “reviewing the existing studies on challenges in teaching students with LDs.”

2.0 Problem Statements

Teachers of students with LD face numerous challenges when carrying out their assistive roles. The assistive roles carried out by the teachers for students with LDs include teaching the students how to use assistive technologies, learning strategies instruction and direct instructions. Although various studies have identified different challenges experienced by teachers in teaching students with LD, studies are rare that take a comprehensive approach to address the challenges experienced by the teachers. The existing studies mostly focus on particular challenges (Manrique & Moreira, 2014). In the same vein, studies are limited that take an all-inclusive approach to focus on the implications of the challenges. In this regard, there is a need to make a thorough analysis of the challenges faced by the teachers for students with LDs and the implications of those challenges, and this is the aim of the study.

3.0 Significance of Study Topic

The study is significant to the teachers of students with LD since it will provide them with a broad list of the challenges that they face in the teaching process and the impacts of these challenges on both the student and the teacher. Adequate understanding of the challenges and their consequences will enable the teachers to come up with strategies of addressing them. For instance, a teacher facing the problem of recognizing different LDs will know that this is a common problem that affects the ability to carry out the assistive role meritoriously. As such, the teacher will understand the need for taking remedial actions such as undertaking further training. Further, identifying the insinuations of the challenges will help the teachers realize the need for seeking the necessary support, in case of need, from school administration or government agencies to address the challenges. A comprehensive list of the challenges and implications will also be useful to school administrations and government institutions since it will provoke them to devise strategies of addressing the challenges. For instance, school administrations will understand the importance of implementing assistive technologies such as argumentative and alternative communication systems for students with LDs in schools that do not have them. Lastly, the study will provide a useful, comprehensive knowledge to the future scholars regarding the challenges experienced by the teachers of students with LD and their implications.

4.0 Current Research Findings

LD has only been recognized recently as a disability. Recent studies have found that LD is one of the critical factors that impair the ability of some students to achieve educational goals. The studies have shown that LD is a neurological disorder that affects the ability of an individual to organize received information and to express and remember it. The problem affects the ability of an individual to carry out basic functions such as reasoning, comprehension, writing and reading. Teachers of such students teach them how to resolve the problem through adopting strategies that enable them to handle tasks more efficiently (Strobel, 2008). However, various studies have shown that the teachers are, in some cases, unable to carry out the assistive role due to innumerable challenges that they face. Some recent studies have found that some teachers lack the positive attitude that is needed to support the inclusion of students with LDs (Manrique & Moreira, 2014). Some teachers lack adequate knowledge and skills to identify different learning disabilities in students and to understand the assistance that should be given. Numerous studies have found that the teachers experience the problem of lack of adequate assistive technologies and other necessary resources in schools needed to support the students with LDs to learn more effectively (Arslan, 2010). Inability to use the assistive technologies has also been found to be a significant problem (Fichten et al., 2009). Other studies have found that some teachers face the challenge of role ambiguity (Sachs & Schreuer, 2011). In some cases, teachers have expressed that they lack adequate support for training from school administration (Sachs & Schreuer, 2011). The studies have shown that challenges limit the ability of teachers to effectively help the students address their LDs. Also, the challenges affect the morale of the teachers (Alkahtani, 2013). In short, numerous studies have found different results with regard to the challenges faced by the teachers of students with LDs. It is essential to note that many scholars have carried out thorough and in-depth research by addressing specific challenges. However, they hardly take comprehensive approaches, as mentioned earlier.

5.0 Research Questions

The study seeks to address the following research questions:

  1. Are there adequate assistive technologies in schools for students with LDs?
  2. Do teachers for students with LDs have adequate skills to use the assistive technologies?
  3. How does attitude affect the ability for the teachers to support the students with LDs?
  4. Do the teachers for students with LD experience difficulties in identifying LDs
  5. What are the other challenges faced by teachers of students with LDs?

6.0 The purpose of the Review

The purpose of the review is to carry out an inclusive description and evaluation of the challenges faced by tutors in teaching students with LDs and to suggest the implications of the challenges. One of the challenges that the review focuses on is the lack of adequate assistive technologies in schools for students with LDs. Another challenge is lack of skills by teachers to use the assistive technologies. Thirdly, the review focuses on the inability by the teachers to identify LDs. In short, the review focuses on the challenges that are identified in the current studies.

7.0 Search Method

There are several steps that were undertaken to identify professional journal articles.  The first step was to come up with a list of key words and phrases to be used for search. I used the following words and phrases during the search: learning disabilities, challenges in teaching students with learning disabilities and challenges in using assistive technologies for students with learning disabilities. The second step was to access internet databases that publish scholarly resources, such as ProQuest, EBSCOhost, PubMed, ERIC and PsycINFO, through the CSUSB Pfau Library. The third step involved searching for scholarly sources from the databases using the keywords and phrases. The quest was refined to the search for peer-reviewed journal articles that are not older than fourteen years and that are related to the topic to study. Reading the study subject and abstracts helped to determine the most relevant sources. The journal articles were only included for review if they had the key contents of professional articles, including abstract, author(s), the credentials of the author(s) and list of references.

8.0 Description and Evaluation

8.1 Challenges in Availability Assistive Technologies

Although previous studies have identified other challenges that are faced by the teachers for students with LDs, most of them have focused on issues related to the availability and use of assistive technologies. The critical technology needs of students with LDs include audio devises, video devises, computer software, presentation media (such as PowerPoint projectors) and handheld devices (such as digital phones) (Strobel et al., 2007). Fichten et al. (2009) explored the availability of assistive technologies for students with LDs in colleges and universities in Canada. The researchers collected data from 223 students with learning disabilities, 33 e-learning professionals, 28 professors and 58 disability service providers in the higher education institutions using online questionnaires. The questionnaires collected information related to the availability of the needed adaptive technologies such as course materials via the e-learning sites, PowerPoint projections for use during lectures and digital and audio facilities. In addition, the researchers collected information about the accessibility of learning/course management systems in the e-learning sites. All the groups of respondents indicated that there were no adequate assistive technologies. Although the study mostly focused on the impacts of the problem, the findings disclosed that higher learning institutions in Canada do not have adequate technologies to enable teachers carry out their assistive roles effectively.

A study conducted by Sachs and Schreuer (2011) in higher institutions in Israel found similar findings. Sachs and Schreuer (2011) collected primary data from 176 students with LDs to determine whether there were adequate assistive technologies for use in schools. However, the researchers focused more on the extent to which the students with LDs are included in the extra-curricular and social activities. Despite this, the study revealed that there are no enough assistive technologies for use by teachers to support the students with LDs. Another study carried out by Arslan (2010) found that students with LDs are provided with computers and other information systems in schools. Arslan (2010) collected data for the study from 22 students with LDs from different universities in Turkey. Although the study focused more on the technology needs of such students, it revealed that the universities had not implemented critical facilities such as argumentative and alternative communication systems. In short, the previous studies have shown that important technological facilities for use by teachers of students with LDs are not adequate in learning institutions.

8.2 The Challenge of Lack of Adequate Skills by the Teachers

The previous studies have shown that most teachers for students with LDs lack adequate skills to use assistive technologies. Alkahtani (2013) conducted a study to determine the level of skills and knowledge of teachers of students with LDs in using assistive technologies. The researcher carried out the study on 127 teachers from different schools using a self-reporting questionnaire and interviews. The sample included teachers in both public and private schools. The results derived from the study indicated that most teachers do not have knowledge and skills on how to use assistive technologies to teach learners with LDs. Alkahtani (2013) suggested that teachers should be provided with in-service and pre-service training in order to improve their knowledge and skills on assistive technologies and how to apply them in teaching the students with LDs.

Fichten et al. (2009) found similar results on their study carried out in higher institutions in Canada. However, the main theme of the study was to explore the availability of the assistive technologies in those institutions. Despite this, the results revealed that some of the lecturers did not have knowledge and skills on how to use the e-learning system. The disability service providers mentioned that most of the lectures and professions used the e-learning system poorly. For instance, most of the lecturers and professors were not efficient in distributing course materials in the required formats in the e-learning websites. The e-learning professionals stated that there were problems in accessing course materials via the e-learning sites. 35 percent of the professors, 36 percent of the e-learning professionals, 53 percent of the disability service providers and 67 percent of the students with LDs mentioned that at least one out of three problems that they encountered with the e-learning was not solved.  In short, the previous studies have shown that lack of adequate skills to use assistive technologies is one of the key challenges faced by teachers of students with LDs.

8.3 Attitudes of the Teachers and the Students

Positive attitude by teachers is essential since it determines the extent to which they support inclusion and provide support to the students with LDs.  However, some teachers have negative attitudes towards inclusion. Manrique & Moreira (2014) conducted a study on 65 mathematics teachers from different schools to determine their attitudes towards the inclusion of students with LDs in classroom. The researchers used the interview method to gather the views of the teachers. Although the study did not show the extent to which the teacher’s attitudes affected the level of support they gave to students with LDs, it revealed that more than half of the respondents have negative attitudes towards the inclusion. In the same vein, the attitudes of the students influence their ability to grasp the concepts taught in class. However, some studies shown that some students with LDs have negative attitudes that affect their ability to benefit fully from the support given. For instance, the study conducted by Arslan (2010) showed that some students with LDs avoided using the available assistive technologies in schools. This affected their ability to learn.

8.4 Identification of Learning Disabilities

Teachers, especially those with experience of less than one year, experience problems when trying to identify LDs in students. The problem is more prevalent on the teachers who do not receive pre-service training on how to identify the LDs. Teachers are usually rely on the Response-to-Intervention (RTI) model when identifying the LDs. However, experience is also needed in order to identify the LDs effectively. Recent studies have found that the RTI model has some flows that lead to problems when identifying the LDs. A review carried out by Scruggs and Mastropieri (2002) on the flows of using the RTI model indicated that the model leads to problems in the identification of LDs such as specificity, variability and over-identification.

8.5 Other Challenges

Busch et al. (2001) conducted a study that involved collecting the views of one teacher of students with LDs to determine her challenges and successes during the first year of service. The interviewee stated that she faced the challenge of role ambiguity during the first year. Precisely, she did not understand all her roles in assisting the students with LDs. Also, she stated that she encountered the problem of lack of adequate emotional support from the school administration and other teachers with more experience. In addition, she explained that she often experienced power struggle with the students.  As well, she experienced the problem of lack of adequate involvement by the parents of the students with LDs. Lastly, the interviewee faced difficulties in making learning programs for the students with LDs (Busch et al., 2001).

9.0 Findings and Implications

The previous studies have identified several challenges that are faced by the teachers of the students with LDs. The first challenge that most of the previous studies have identified is the lack of adequate assistive technologies such as audio devises, video devises, presentation media (such as PowerPoint projectors), handheld devices (such as digital phones) and argumentative and alternative communication systems in some schools to support the students with LDs. This is evident in the findings of the studies conducted by Fichten et al. (2009), Sachs and Schreuer (2011) and Arslan (2010). The findings have shown that such devices and systems are available in some schools, but the teachers fail to use them properly to support the students with LDs. A review of two studies conducted by Alkahtani (2013) and Fichten et al. (2009) has shown that some teachers experience the challenge of lack of adequate skills on how to use these devices in teaching.

The review of the study conducted by Manrique & Moreira (2014) indicated that the some teachers have negative attitudes towards the inclusion of the students with LDs in the general classroom. Similarly, the study conducted by Arslan (2010) indicated that some students have negative attitudes towards the use of assistive facilities. Although the attitude may not be perceived as a big challenge, it is likely to influence the level of support the students with LDs receive from the teachers. The fourth challenge identified by the study conducted by Scruggs and Mastropieri (2002) is the lack of adequate skills to identify LDs properly. The review of the study conducted by Busch et al. (2001) revealed several challenges that the teachers with experience of less than one year in dealing with students with LDs face. The challenges identified in the aforementioned study are role ambiguity, lack of adequate emotional support from the school administration and other teachers, power struggle with the students, lack of parental involvement and difficulties in making learning programs for the students with LDs. In short, the previous studies have made significant coverage of the challenges faced by the teachers of students with LDs. However, there is need for more current research that will identify whether changes have occurred recently. For instance, a more current research will identify whether schools have implemented more assistive technologies for the students with LDs.

There are several implications for the findings derived from the review. Firstly, identifying the challenges that the teachers of the students with LDs go through is essential in order to facilitate a higher retention rate for those teachers in schools. If not properly identified and addressed, the challenges can have negative impacts on morale. Ultimately, low morale can lead to issues such as high stress levels, high rate of absenteeism and high turnover rate of the teachers of students with LDs. Identifying these challenges is also away of communicating to other teachers of students with LDs that they do not face the problems alone. Doing so is important in order to alleviate the feelings of isolation that may have may have a negative impact on motivation to work. Secondly, identifying the challenges faced by the teachers of the students with LDs is important since the information can be used to design effective comprehensive strategies to address the problems. For instance, information about the lack of adequate skills by the teachers to operate the assistive technologies can be used in designing training programs that address the challenge. This can be very helpful in enhancing the teachers’ ability and capacity to provide effective support to the students. As well, the information can be used by school administrations and other government institutions in devising effective pre-service training programs for the teachers. For instance, information about how to cope with the expected challenges can be incorporated into the pre-service training programs.

10.0 Reflection and the Final Comments

The review process has been very educative to me. At the beginning, I identified several challenges in the current studies. However, I identified more challenges later during the review process. As a result, I eventually modified the research questions and the purpose of the study slightly in order to fix the new information. I also identified more journal articles with relevant information and added them for the review. The thorough review of the current research enabled me to easily summarize the findings. Also, the implications of the research study became clearer after the review. Despite this, some of the relevant studies reviewed are older than five years, as mentioned earlier. This is the main weakness of the review. The weakness was caused by the difficulty in finding more recent studies focusing on the some issues. Future reviews need to try to focus on more recent studies in order to accommodate the changes that may have occurred. Despite this, the results of the review are very useful for the teachers, school administrations and government institutions, as explained in the study implications. However, the challenges examined can only be useful if they are properly addressed.

References

Alkahtani, K. D. F. (2013). Teachers’ Knowledge and Challenges in Use of Assistive

Technology for Students with Special Educational Needs. Journal of Studies in Education, 3(2), 65-86

Arslan, I. (2010). Assistive technologies for students with disabilities: a survey of access and

Use in Turkish universities. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 9(2), 40-45

Busch, T. W., Pederson, K., Espin, C. A. & Weissenburger, J. W. (2001). Teaching Students

with Learning Disabilities Perceptions of a First-Year Teacher. J Spec Educ, 35(2) 92-99

Fichten, C. S., Ferraro, V., Asuncion, J. V., Chwojka, C., Barile, M., Nguyen M. N. & Wolforth,

  1. (2009). Disabilities and e-Learning Problems and Solutions: An Exploratory Study. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (4), 241–256

Manrique, L.A., & Moreira, E. G. (2014). Challenges in Inclusive Mathematics Education:

Representations by Professionals Who Teach Mathematics to Students with Disabilities. Creative Education, 5, 470-483

Strobel, W., Arthanat, S., Bauer, S. & Flagg, J. (2008). Universal design for learning: Critical      need areas for people with learning disabilities. Assistive Technology Outcomes and   Benefits 4(1), 81-98

Sachs, D. & Schreuer, N. (2011). Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Higher Education:

Teacher’s experiences. Disability Studies Quarterly, 31(2), 14-38

Scruggs, S. E. & Mastropieri, M. A. (2002). On Babies and Bathwater: Addressing the Problems

of Identification of Learning Disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly August, 25(3) 155-168

Reviewing Korean Landscape Painting

Name:

Institution:

Course:

Tutor:

Date:

Reviewing Korean Landscape Painting

Since historical times, art has played an important role in the lives f populations. Through art, populations were able to express themselves as el as preserve their culture. This was vital for future populations because it was used to revolutionize their general wellbeing. In this regard, most of the populations basically improved on the artistic features that previous populations had developed. Put differently, the respective artistic works acted as a basement upon which future populations further developed and shaped the culture, beliefs and so forth. Art was also instrumental for providing entertainment to the respective population. The relative artistic works were undoubtedly pleasant to the eye and signified different facets of the society. Unlike other society that specialized in diverse forms of art, the Koreans are popular for landscape painting. The Korean landscape paintings were very diverse and besides reflecting their religious perceptions and political significance, they portrayed different cultural practices and how these were important in helping them to cope with wide ranging problems and challenges.

Essentially, landscape painting portrays the general scenery of the world in its natural form. This is done from the point view of the artist and therefore different artistic works depict varied features. It is widely agreed that most artists place great emphasis on the beauty of the object or aesthetic value of the environment. For this reason, most artists try to capture the most fleeting moment of that artistic work in both space and time. In essence, they generally co-create what has been initially created by the God. Although most nature paintings contain some manmade facets, the natural aspects are given more consideration by the artists. Other elements that are depicted in such paintings include flora, fauna, light and darkness. Color in this regard is usually not very important because even without it, artists are able to exhibit their skill and knowledge.

Historical evidence ascertains that in Korea, landscape painting was more popular than the figure painting or other forms of historical painting that characterized the western art. This is attributable to various factors that influenced the general wellbeing of the populations in different ways. To begin with, Wong indicates that the Koreans placed great emphasis on landscape painting because they considered the land as well as nature to be sacred (45). In this regard, the Koreans considered nature to be important for nurturing human life. Not only did it provide human with food, but it also provided populations with water and medicine. For this reason, they considered it to be essential for human survival. Undoubtedly, nature in this regard played a leading ole in enhancing human survival. Expressing it through art was therefore considered an important way of appreciating it.

Then, the Koreans associated nature with spiritual and religious beliefs and practices. According to Ch’oe, the Koreans considered nature to be akin to supernatural powers (33). They closely associated it with the Higher Power because f its characteristic diversity and might. Historical evidence indicates that similar perceptions were also shared by Japanese and Chinese populations. Nature in this regard was considered to be integral to human survival and therefore needed o e treated with utmost respect. From an artistic standpoint, transferring natural features to two dimensional surfaces was considered not only challenging but also noble. Thus artists derived immense satisfaction from developing landscape painting. To a great extent, this can be used to explain why landscape paining gained prominence amongst the Koreans.

Korean also associated their art with important philosophical ideas and practices. In his research, Newlands indicates that neo-Confucianism and Confucianism that was adopted from China greatly influenced the Korean landscape painting (51). This philosophy postulated that humans were responsible for developing humility and intellect. From the point of view of art, this implies that figurative painting was basically secondary and id not need to be pursued at the expense of nature painting. Likewise, the physical body of humans as well as historical occurrences was also considered to be secondary and therefore was not held in high regard.

Reportedly, landscape painting was considered by the populations to be a way of exploring and expressing intellect that was beyond human understanding. The respective intellect was perceived to be divine and more complex to the extent that it could not be understood by humanity. Politically, this was important in enhancing harmonic living. Political leaders placed great emphasis on humility and took immense measures to further the welfare of the populations. In addition, they took practical measures to improve their intellect in a bid to enhance their performance. Thus though art, they were able to enhance the holistic wellbeing of the populations without compromising important religious as well as cultural values. Furthermore, populations took this opportunity to improve their wellbeing as well as secure their future. In essence art in this regard played an important role in enhancing sustainable living.

Landscape painting was also employed by the rulers to assert their political power. In this regard, Newlands indicates that moat of the elites and political leaders held landscape paintings in high regard (61). Thus after a period of time, power was closely associated with art. Individuals that had the respective paintings were considered to e both powerful and influential. The political leaders thus used themto assert their positions in the society. Although the respective artistic works were available to different facets of the population, certain iconic art such as that of the Buddha were in most cases owned by individuals with higher social ranks.

Landscape painting was also very important within the Buddhist religion in different ways. According to Kim, Buddhism was a religious philosophy that was held in high regard by the Koreans (330). This was because it provided humans with guidance with respect to how they can live in harmony and eternally. Besides making figurative sculptors, the Koreans also adopted landscape painting in their religious life. Landscape paintings were used for decorating religious and worship areas. The Buddha paintings were in most cases contextualized within a natural setting. This is because of the divine importance that they attached to the Buddha. Artistically, placing the painting of the Buddha in a natural setting was a noble undertaking.

The landscape paintings also depicted the historical Korean cave that was at the center stage of relative worship (Ruskin 44). Furthermore, nature paintings in worship were important in stimulating meditation that is an important aspect of worship. This is because it reminded the individuals about the importance of divinity in worship. Its mere presence was instrumental in enhancing and encouraging assumption of important values and virtues.

According to Ch’oe, the inherent tranquility in the landscape painting was important in enhancing the psychological health of the populations (51). In particular, they trigger a feeling of calm and relaxation of the body, soul and spirit. When translated to human actions, this implies that landscape painting fosters harmonic co existence. Individuals that are at peace with their bodies and souls are unlikely to engage in disruptive behavior. To a great extend, this enabled the Korean population to address their emotional problems. Through art, they were able to express their distressing feelings without compromising the quality of their lives. Art from this point of view enabled them to participate in more rewarding activities at all times. In other words, they succeeded in preventing conflicts as well as their escalation.

As it has come out from the study, landscape painting that was practiced by the Korans was politically, economically, socially and culturally rewarding. Notably, the respective populations associated it with religion and considered it to e sacred. This perpetuated its exploration especially considering that most artists considered its pursuit a noble idea. Landscape paining was apparent in Buddhism as the relative art woks were employed in worship and placed at places of worship. In this regard, they encouraged meditation that was an important facet of Buddhist worship. This art also enabled the politicians to assert their political status. As aforementioned, thy enhanced objective governance as leaders associated it them with intellect and humility.  Psychologically, their tranquil nature encouraged harmonic co existence. This was also useful in eliminating conflict and preventing their escalation. In essence, landscape painting played an important role in enhancing the productivity and holistic wellbeing of the Korean society.

Works Cited

Ch’oe Wan-su. Korean True-View Landscape: Paintings by Chông Sôn (1676–1759). London: Saffron Books, 2005. Print.

Kim, Kumja Paik. “Chong Son (1676–1759): His Life and Career.” Artibus Asiae 52 (1992), pp. 329–41. Print.

Newlands, Anne. Canadian Art, From its beginnings. Firefly Books Ltd., 2000.

Ruskin, John. Modern Painters, Vol. 3 Of Many Things. “Of the novelty of landscape.” Adamant Publishing, 2000. Print.

Wong Wucius. The Tao of Chinese painting, Principles & Method. Hong Kong: Everbest Printing,1991. Print.

Reviewing and Improving Small Business Performance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewing and Improving Small Business Performance

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Analysis of Zenith Healthcare Limited

An analysis of any business organization is very important in ensuring the growth of a business organization. In the analysis, the business can pick the strengths and build on them and at the same time, it can identify the weaknesses and rectify where possible (Thibault, Wilcock, & Kanetkar, 2002). In this case, the Zenith Health Care Limited is analyzed using the SWOT analysis technique. This company has strengths, which should be upheld. Sales of this company have been increasing during its time of existence. Furthermore, the company has the staff that is competent that can enable it delivers quality products in the field of healthcare. In addition, the experience of the workers as well as the owner of the company is what the company can capitalize on.

Despite the strengths, the company has weaknesses that it should work on. The company lacks a well-structured plan, something that makes it lack a good stand in conducting its businesses successfully. A plan is vital to any company’s success in business and can help in the routine evaluation if its objectives and goals. According to Grossi, Royakkers & Dignum (2007), An organizational structure shows interrelationships as well as performance. Lack of the structure results in confusions among the workers and their departments. The company’s costs are so high, which marginalizes the profits. The company has to work hard in trying to increase its profits by minimizing its input costs.

However, Zenith Health Care has opportunities that it can explore. As an already established business in the market industry, it can capitalize more since the upcoming newer businesses in the same field will take a lot of time and resources to enhance their establishments. Grossi, Aldewereld, Vázquez-Salceda & Dignum (2006) ascertained that any new business has to take time to acquire a good share of the market compared to the already existing one.

How the current Zenith Health Care performance can be maintained and strengthened

The current performance of the Zenith Health Care can be maintained and even strengthen by doing numerous things that are constructive. The company’s management  should formulate a way of performing regular evaluations of both the systems and the outcomes and inputs. Any problem that can be noted should be put on the surface and rectified at once. The staff and customers should be encouraged to give their opinions about the company and its products. Such views should be put into consideration by adopting, using views into practice and rectifying what is wrong. Thibault, Wilcock, & Kanetkar (2002) said that for a company to grow and develop, it should involve the input from all the stakeholders.

More so, the employees of the company can be trained in performing tasks that can enhance the company’s quality production.  Also, the company should assign tasks to its employees in relevance to the skills that employees have. Those employees whose skills aren’t required or lack efficiency in their work should be laid off. More so, the company should adopt new technology into its practice so as to keep pace with the current business world.

Appropriate Actions to Overcome the Weaknesses

This company should have a good organizational structure to enhance good communication from the management  to the junior staff and amongst the existing departments. It can be good if the company can adopt a flat structure. A flat structure enhances good communication (Grossi, Royakkers & Dignum, 2007).  Furthermore, the employees should be motivated to increase their levels of performance, which is often reflected in the outputs of the business entity. Motivation of employees occurs through training, rewarding and recognizing them in addition to giving them responsibilities. In order to reduce the costs of the company’s operations, Zenith Health Care should lay off staffs who aren’t efficient in their work and retain those who are efficient. According to Schneider (2009), companies which lay off workers in order to increase its efficiency and achieve better results compared to those that have employees that are inefficient. The company’s debts should be paid in time as well.

New Areas in Which the Business Could be Expanded

The company can improve its manufacturing capacity by increasing its manufacturing equipment and machines. Furthermore, Zenith Health Care can increase its branadopting strategies, which can attract more customers. Also, it can expand its areas of technology by having a department dealing with technology all the way from communication, to manufacturing among others.

Assessment of Existing Business Objectives and Plans and to Incorporate Appropriate Changes

In any business, the major aim is to receive adequate profits. Such can only be achieved through the proper serving of customers by delivering quality products and services. He (2006) ascertained that appropriate changes can only be realized by correcting the issues affecting the business. Planning is key to ensuring that the organization moves in the desired direction. The company should have regular evaluations using the SWOT analysis technique. Such a thing can lead to the assessment of not only the internal, but also the external factors affecting the business. He & King (2008) said that for any business organization of which Zenith Health Care is no exception, there should a strategy of goals, objectives and programs in a well-defined plan. All these should then be implemented appropriately. This company should ensure that it attracts customers and please its employees at the same time in achieving good performance for growth and development. The company should also motivate its workers, adopt a good organizational structure and increase its profit margins.

An Action Plan to Implement the Changes

Zenith Health Care Limited should do the following to implement the changes:

  • Formulate a substantial business plan
  • Motivate employees
  • Train the staff to increase their work efficiency.
  • Develop and implement marketing strategies
  • Enhance communication among the company individuals and other stakeholders
  • Increase profits and reduce the costs of operations
  • Lay off inefficient workers

Impact of the Proposed Changes in the Business and Its Personnel

Formulation of a substantial business plan will have a positive impact on the functions of Zenith Health Care. The plan will guide the implementation of strategies and evaluation procedures. The business will grow well while the employees will keep improving in relation to the plan. More so, training the staff will increase their efficiency in their routine activities. Similarly, workers will work harder because of motivation, something that will result in the production of quality products and an increase in the customer preference for the products of Zenith Health Care. Should the company formulate a suitable organizational structure, and then communication will be enhanced, which will lead to increased company production. Development of marketing strategies will help the company attract more customers, which will in turn see a rise in the profits, hence organizational growth. As a result, workers will be rewarded by an increase in salary as well as promotions. Laying off inefficient workers will see the company save some costs that would have otherwise been wasted in paying unproductive staff.

A Plan to manage the changes

Any business company should have a plan for many new changes that it implements so as to achieve organizational goals and objectives. Should the changes fail to get the right implementation, the company will be in chaos. According to He & King (2008), companies should have good management teams when implementing changes.  The company should enforce procedures through its stakeholders that ensures the changes are upheld. Similarly, all stakeholders should be notified about the changes as well as their role to enforce them. The management should monitor the changes using a plan that is well formulated so that should there be changes of any kind, there will be an early identification. On the same line, difficulties encountered in the implementation should be well tackled. Lastly, the management should involve the employees in the implementation of the changes. According to Schneider (2009), employees who aren’t involved in change implementation end up antagonizing the change implementation efforts, hence paralyzing the realization of the organizational desired changes.

 

Monitoring Improvements in the Performance of the Business

It is vital for the organization to monitor its activities among other things so that should there be improvements, and then they can be realized (He, 2006). After coming up with the changes, they should be implemented, for the organization to realize its goals. However, the change improvements should be noted to ascertain if there are actual improvements. That can only be realized if the company can formulate ways of monitoring for the improvements. Such can only be done through evaluations performed in many ways. Aldewereld, Vázquez-Salceda & Dignum (2006) asserted that monitoring can be done by comparing the previous state of the organization’s performance to the current one with a comparison to the desired goals according to the drawn plans. The improvements should be monitored over some stipulated time.

References

Grossi, D., Aldewereld, H., Vázquez-Salceda, J., & Dignum, F. (2006). Ontological aspects of the implementation of norms in agent-based electronic institutions. Computational & Mathematical Organization Theory, 12 (2-3), 251-275.

Grossi, D., Royakkers, L., & Dignum, F. (2007). Organizational structure and responsibility. Artificial Intelligence and Law, 15 (3), 223-249.

He, J. (2006). Rethinking User Participation in Information Systems Development: A Knowledge Perspective (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh).

He, J., & King, W. R. (2008). The role of user participation in information systems development: implications from a meta-analysis. Journal of Management Information Systems, 25 (1), 301-331.

Schneider, F. B. (2009). Accountability for perfection. IEEE Security & Privacy, 7 (2), 0003-4.

Thibault, M., Wilcock, A., & Kanetkar, V. (2002). An exploratory study of factors influencing sales performance of small and medium-sized enterprises. Proceedings of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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Review Questions from Chapter 1

Review Questions from Chapter 1

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Institution

Question 1

The term information technology encompasses the use of software and hardware technologies in the processing and storage of information. Besides, it also encompasses the use of communication technology, which comprises of voice and data networks, for the transmission of information. The hardware entails the central processing unit (CPU) and its entire support equipments; the support equipments include input and output devices, communications and storage devices. On the other hand, software entails all computer programs together with manuals, which support them. These programs constitute instructions, which direct the computer system (Brown et al, 2012).

Question 2

There are various ways, which depict how the use of information technology has become pervasive. Businesses are now using information systems in connecting frontline workers with the back-office production and accounting systems, and competing with companies that utilize internet only in serving customers online. Besides, travelers are capable of accessing swift wireless networks in flights and also public transport. This has helped travelers to become productive. In addition, the use of information technology has enabled teams to work together without meeting face to face due to the use of video conferencing (Brown et al, 2012). Furthermore, learners are capable of searching resources via the internet compared to the use of card catalogues in libraries.

Question 3

Portable devices such as the notebook computers and light-weight laptops aid employs to work more effectively and efficiently as they can be carried on business trips and into meetings. Besides, they can be utilized at home in connecting office systems remotely. Other handheld devices such as the iPad and the iPhone are portable and have web-browsing options, which aid employees in performing their work more effectively and efficiently. Despite the increase in effectiveness and efficiency due to information technology, competition may impede productivity.

Question 4

When team members are working at different locations, they can utilize enterprise systems. The enterprise systems help in sharing data with team members that are dispersed or to team members working in different business divisions in real time (Brown et al, 2012). Besides, social media applications such as cogenerated information tools, profile sharing software, and information messaging tools can also be used to support sharing of information among team members that are distant from each other. For example, the IBM has utilized such tools as Beehive, ThinkPlace and SmallBlue to help employees in sharing information as they work in different locations.

Question 5

Some businesses have focused on the use of the internet in competing with other businesses based on low cost. Through the use of the internet, these businesses are capable of making order cycle shorter than the required time, automating business transactions and making decision making easier due to easy access of data (Brown et al, 2012). This lowers the cost of production allowing the businesses to compete effectively with others. Furthermore, some businesses use the internet to compete with others through product differentiation. The internet is capable of providing a business with a differentiated service since rather than accessing the physical stores of a business, a customer is able to order for a service or commodity online. This helps a business to have a strong competing advantage.

Question 6

Although most businesses choose to have have high levels of information technology dependence, others will definitely choose to have low levels of information technology dependence. Such businesses are those that depend greatly on person-to-person communications in operating their businesses; the utilization of information technology is primarily for back-office support. An example of such a business is a security firm. The firm has to respond in person to certain security details rather than relying on entirely on information technology.

Question 7

There are three kinds of IT resources that need to be well managed; these entail the technology infrastructure, human resources and business/IT relationships. Technology infrastructure comprises of computer, software and the networks, which aid an entity in conducting business and sharing of information amid organizational divisions and business partners (Brown et al, 2012). Human resources entail IT managers and professionals that have the required interpersonal, business and technological skills for designing and managing other IT resources. On the other hand, business/IT relationship refers to established associations amid business and IT workers in ensuring that other IT resources become aligned with business requirements.

Question 8

There are fresh IT manager roles that have emerged; some examples of such roles encompasses the identification of fresh technologies that businesses need to invest in and identifying how to tailor the fresh IT solutions in improving the manner in which a certain organization does business. These are required today in order to help in coming up with new technologies that aim at a continued improvement to a business.

Question 9

An IT manager may have a reporting association with a chief information officer (CIO) as well with a senior business manager in order to keep the business’ IT resources with the objectives and goals of the business (Brown et al, 2012). A reporting association is exceedingly vital in order to relay any IT resources change and problems, and how such problems can become resolved.

References

Brown, DeHayes, Hoffer, Martin & Perkins, C.W. (2012). Managing Information Technology. New York: Prentice Hall.

Development of the UK Corporate Governance Code

Department of Accounting and Finance

 

 

 

 

 

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING 2 (AAF005-2)

 

 

 

 

Development of the UK Corporate Governance Code

 

by

 

Student Name & Number

An assignment submitted in partial fulfilment of the assessment for the Financial Accounting 2 unit

Date of submission

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.0       INTRODUCTION.. 1

2.0 THE REVOLUTION OF THE CORPORATE GOVERNANCE IN THE UK SINCE 1992  2

2.1 The Cadbury Review.. 2

2.2 The Greenbury Report (1995) 3

2.3 The Hampel Report (1998) 4

2.4 The Combined Code (1998) 5

2.5 Turnbull Report (1999) 5

2.6 The Myners Report (2001) 6

2.7 The Higgs (2003) 6

2.8 The Smith Report (2003) 7

2.9 The Combined Code (2003) 8

2.10 Revised Turnbull Guidance. 8

2.11 The Combined Code (2006) 9

2.12 The Combined Code on Corporate Governance 2008. 9

2.13 The Walker Review (2009) 10

2.14 Audit Firm Governance Code (2010) 10

2.15 Stewardship Code for Institutional Investors (2010) 11

2.16 AIC Code of Corporate Governance. 11

2.17 UK Corporate Governance Code (2010) (The “Governance Code”) 11

3.0 CASE STUDIES. 12

3.1 Associated British Foods Plc. 12

3.2 Barclays Bank. 14

4.0 CONCLUSION, COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. 15

REFERENCES. 19

 

 

  • INTRODUCTION

The UK has a highly liquid listed company sector with dispersed ownership and a system of corporate governance that has developed significantly over the last two decades. Prior to 1992, the corporate governance of UK companies was regulated by customs and practice. According to Mullerat and Brennan (2010, p. 51), company law together with some stock requirements laid down only basic rules concerning boards of directors, financial reporting and audit. The Cadbury review was established in 1991 in response to a series of financial scandals. The Cadbury Report which was released in 1992 began the process of greater codification of corporate governance norms and as Mallin (2007, p. 22) points out, the report was the first to set out recommendations regarding structure of boards of directors and company’s accounting systems in the UK.

Following on from the Cadbury Report, there have been a number of subsequent reviews to the corporate code made by committees led by Sir Richard Greenbury (1995), Sir Ronnie Hampel (1998), Nigel Turnbull (1999), Sir Derek Higgs and Sir Robert Smith (2003), and Sir David Walker (2009) (Bain & Barker, 2010, p. 267; Blowfield & Murray, 2008, p. 216; Brown & Snyder, 2012, p. 299).  The reviews covered various aspects of corporate governance including executive remuneration, internal control, non-executive directors and audit committees. The recommendations made in all these reviews are incorporated in the UK Corporate Governance Code 2010. The standards laid out in this code are not legally enforceable and thus, it is a voluntary code for the directors of UK companies. However, companies with a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) are required to apply the code on a ‘comply and explain’ basis. According to Mallin (2007, p. 22), the code has relevance to most companies and organisations irrespective of their size and whether they are quoted or not and in many instances, the code has been a source of deterrence to financial irregularities. This report reviews the development of the UK corporate development code from 1992, explaining its effectiveness as a source of deterrence to financial irregularities.

2.0 THE REVOLUTION OF THE CORPORATE GOVERNANCE IN THE UK SINCE 1992

2.1 The Cadbury Review

As noted earlier, the review on corporate governance practice in UK was initially sparked by the prevalence of financial scandals and corporate collapses as in the cases of Coloroll and Polly Peck (Solomon, 2007, p. 152). As well, the move was driven by lack of credibility in the contents of financial reports of most UK companies. In response, the LSE, the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC), and the body of accountancy profession set up a committee on the Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance chaired by Sir Adrian Cadbury in 1991. The Cadbury committee issued its report in December 1992 (Mallin, 2007, p. 22). The recommendations of this review covered various areas such as boards’ operations, effective procedure for the establishment board committees, and composition and operations of the key committees (Cadbury Report, 1992, p. 38). It also reviewed the importance of independent non-executive directors in a company’s board as well the efficient reporting and control mechanisms of a business. Listed companies in the LSE are required to comply with the code (Davidson, 2010, p. 57).

If a company cannot comply with any particular aspect of the code, it is required to be in a position to explain why it is unable to do so (Frederikslust & Ang, 2008, p. 347). This particular provides shareholders and potential investors with useful information on the instances where a company has or has not complied with the code. Where it fails to comply, investors are able to decide whether the failure is justified. Despite the Cadbury recommendations, there was continued discontent regarding director’s remuneration fees and their defective and inconsistent disclosure of vital information in companies’ annual reports.  This led to the set up of Greenbury review.

2.2 The Greenbury Report (1995)

A committee which was chaired by Sir Richard Greenbury came up with comprehensive recommendations in 1995 regarding disclosure and director’s remuneration packages. Greenbury Report recommendations generally focussed on increasing accountability of directors and to enhance their performances. First, the report suggested that a company’s remuneration committee need to be composed of independent non-executive directors “who would report fully to the shareholders each year about the company’s executive remuneration policy including full disclosure of the elements in the remuneration of individual directors” (Greenbury Report, 1995, p. 3) Secondly, the report proposed the  adoption of the performance measures that will effectively link rewards to the individual performance of directors. The purpose of this was to enhance greater congruence between the wishes of shareholders and the interests of directors. According to Vinten (2001, p. 4), the disclosure of director’s remuneration has become quite significant in UK company accounts since the release of the Greenbury Report. As the Greenbury committee published its report, another committee chaired by Sir Ronnie Hampel was set up to look at how such voluntary codes were being implemented.

2.3 The Hampel Report (1998)

The Hampel committee reported in 1998. The report found that a number of companies did not implement the recommendations of the Cadbury Report for various reasons. Further, there had been numerous concerns regarding the extent to which companies should give consideration to the interests of various stakeholders such as shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers, providers of credit and the local community. The report emphasized on the importance of good governance in ensuring that the interests of stakeholders are fully incorporated in organizational operations. The report stated that “directors are responsible for relations with the various stakeholders and are accountable to shareholders” (Hampel Report, 1998, p. 6). The report also called for companies to embrace the recommendations laid out in the report to prevent malpractices and frauds. At the same time that Hampel committee was reporting, an initiative of the LSE whose purpose was to consolidate the Cadbury, Greenbury and Hampel Reports, referred to as the combined code, was published.

2.4 The Combined Code of 1998

The combined code released in 1998 combined together the recommendations provided in the three earlier reports. The report incorporates all the issues covered in the earlier reports including remuneration, audit, stakeholder relations and disclosure among others. According to Great Britain H.M. Treasury (2010, p. 39), the report details are appended to the Listing Rules of LSE. The report reinforces the ‘comply and explain’ principle of reporting which was first mentioned by the Cadbury Report. It added weight to the requirement of the report for any deviation from the code, especially for LSE listed companies. The Turnbull report, which was published in 1999 guides directors on how to carry out an adequate review of companies’ financial statements before they are incorporated in annual report.

2.5 Turnbull Report (1999)

This report was issued by a review Committee chaired by Nigel Turnbull, which was established by the Institute of Chattered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). This report provides guidance on how the Combined Code can be implemented to make companies’ internal control systems to be efficient (Short, 1999, p. 57; Spira, 2001, p. 739). It emphasized the role of directors in ensuring that companies have strong and sound internal control systems and in ensuring that all controls are working as they should (Sikka, 2008, p. 998). Importantly, the report suggested that directors should asses companies’ internal control systems and report on their status in annual reports. It suggests that  organizations are subject to new risks from external environment and also from the decisions made by directors in relation to their strategies and procedures.  (Zaman, 2001, p. 5). In the managing of the risks, the report proposes that Directors should asses the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the internal control system and make relevant changes in order to manage internal and external risks effectively.Thus, the Turnbull Report outlined the existing procedures in earlier reports and then made recommendations for improving internal control systems.

2.6 The Myners Report (2001)

This report was published in 2001 and it focuses more on trustees’ regal requirements, the relationship between trustees and investors and promotes greater involvement of investors (Davies, 2002, p. 14). The report suggested that shareholders should be more active in taking actions against leadership of companies with less than satisfactory performances (Myners Report, 2001). Since the report was released, a lot of investors in various companies in the UK have shown an increase in their willingness to react against irregularities or underperformances (Davies, 2002, p. 14).

2.7 The Higgs Review of 2003

The Higgs review which was chaired by Derek Higgs, focused on the importance of non-executive directors in company’s board. This report was published in 2003 and it gave support for the recommendations of the Combined Code (1998) with a few additional adjustments (Hand et al, 2004, p. 230). It dealt with the role and effectiveness of non-executive directors and suggested that half of company’s board should be comprised of independent non-executive directors. Further, the reprt suggested that non-executive directors should be paid at a rate commensurate with additional responsibility (Higgs Report, 2003, p. 1). Thus, the Higgs review helped to inform the Combined code, though it opposed some of the recommendations made in it. While the Higgs Committee was sitting, the UK Government asked the FRC to consider the particular role of audit committees within the governance framework and the relationship that they should have with the company’s external auditor. In the case of Maxwell’s Companies a decade earlier, the company had received a clear or ‘unqualified’ audit in the financial year before its collapse and it was clear that the audit committee had failed despite the fact that the chair of audit committee was a chattered accountant. This informed the appointment of a committee by FRC to review the role of the audit committee within the overall board structure, led by Sir Robert Smith.

2.8 The Smith Report of 2003

The Smith Report in 2003 focused on the role of audit committee. The report stated that “while all directors have a duty to act in the interests of the company, the audit committee has a particular role acting independently from the executive to ensure that the interests of shareholders are properly protected in relation to financial reporting and internal control” (FRC, 2003, p. 7). The report suggested that a strong audit committee is the key to effective internal control system but proposed tat, it should not monitor itself. Thus, Smith report gave a high-level overview of the responsibilities of audit committee.

2.9 The Combined Code of 2003

In light of the reports of Myners, Higgs and Smith, the 1998 Combined Code was revised to take account of various the recommendations and published in July 2003 (Solomon, 2007, p. 96). It thus incorporated the combined views of these earlier reports. One difference of the Combined Code from the previous one is that it states there should be no sole reliance on particular individuals while the previous code stated that non-executive directors should not sit in all board committees (Tomasic, 2011, p. 7). On top of this, the revised Code clarified the further emphasized the responsibilities of a company’s chairman and the senior independent director (SID). It also proposed a “formal and rigorous annual evaluation” of companies’ boards and the committees as well as evaluation of individual directors’ performances (Tomasic, 2011, p. 7).

2.10 Revised Turnbull Guidance

A revised version of the Turnbull Report (1999) was issued in 2005 with a few changes. The report encourages directors to review their application of guidance regularly and to be more keen while review financial statements. The report suggested that, it would be useful to assure investors that internal control system is effective and both internal and external risks are well managed. On the basis of this report, directors of listed companies are required to inform shareholders on the status of the internal control system in the annual report and disclose and explain any ‘significant failings or weaknesses’ in the system, which they have or have not dealt with (Oxelheim & Wihlborg, 2008, p. 5).

2.11 The Combined Code of 2006

This is an updated version of the combined code issued in 2003 and has three major changes. The first change was meant to the chairman of board of directors to serve on the remuneration committee but not to be its chairman (FRC, 2006, p. 14; Pass, 2006, p. 467).  Secondly, the Code provides for a ‘vote withheld’ option on proxy appointment and gives shareholders power to withhold their votes during any resolution. The other addition is a recommendation for (Handley-Schachler, Juleff & Paton, 2007, p. 623).

2.12 The Combined Code on Corporate Governance 2008

The Combined Code was revised again in 2008 following the findings of a review document that was issued by the FRC (Pass, 2008, p. 291). The Code builds on the previous codes and remains a well crafted document and contains the main principles of good governance. The months preceding the issue of this revised Code had seen a significant increase in business failures. As well, there had been increased exposure of possible shortcomings in the governance arrangements within certain companies. According to the Institute of Directors Staff (2010, p. 63), this was a result of failures in the application of the Code’s principles, not with the principles themselves. Minor changes were made to this Code which allowed board chairman to be a member of audit committee but not to be its chairman (FRC, 2008, p. 3).

2.13 The Walker Review (2009)

Following the 2008 financial crisis and the collapse of Northern Rock Company, a committee led by Sir David Walker was established to examine the trend of corporate governance of UK banks and other financial institutions. The Walker report, issued in 2009 made recommendations for all companies (Brown, 2009, p. 92; Ross & Crossan, 2012, p. 112; Chapman, 2012, p. 78). The Report noted that the crisis was partly sparked by the lack of a ‘challenge’ step in board decision making. This was followed by a review by the FRC, resulting into a new Code- the UK Corporate Governance Code (FRC, 2010, p. 1; Walker Review, 2009, p. 2; FRC, 2012).

 2.14 Audit Firm Governance Code (2010)

In January 2010, the Audit Firm Governance Code was issued which sets a benchmark for good governance of audits firms that audit companies listed in the LSE. It is a voluntary code which firms which are not listed in the LSE may adopt in part or in full (The Stationery Office, 2011, p. 63). The Code operates on the ‘comply or explain’ basis and proposes that the governance structure of audit firms should be comprised of independent non-executives.

2.15 Stewardship Code for Institutional Investors (2010)

In a review of the Combined Code in 2009, the FRC found that there were numerous concerns regarding the effectiveness and quality of engagement between directors of listed firms and investors (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2011, p. 128). Subsequently, the FRC released a voluntary stewardship code in July 2010 comprising of seven principles which encourage to get more involved in corporate change through the use votes.

2.16 AIC Code of Corporate Governance

In October 2010, the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) issued a revised Code of the Corporate Governance Code and an updated corporate governance guide for listed corporations (Smith, 2010). The contents of the Code reflect the principles of the Governance Code and consequently, it was endorsed by FRC as an alternative Code for investment firms.

2.17 UK Corporate Governance Code (2010) (The “Governance Code”)

The UK Corporate Governance Code (2010) forms the primary source of corporate standards in the UK (Smith, 2010). It was issued in June 2010 by the FRC resulting from minor amendments to the Combined Code. Some of the changes contained in the Governance Code reflect the recommendations made in the Walker Report (Smith, 2010). The report applies to all companies listed in the LSE and is effective from 29 June 2010.

3.0 CASE STUDIES 

3.1 Associated British Foods Plc

Associated British Foods Plc governance practices demonstrate how effective the UK Corporate Code is in serving its intended purpose. The board of directors for Associated British Foods Plc is composed of 8 members comprising of the chairman, Charles Sinclair, two executive and five non-executive directors (Associated British Foods Plc, 2011). Prior to the resignation of Galen Weston as a non-executive director in December 2011, all the other non-executive directors were fully independent of both the management and activities the would interfere with exercise of independent judgement (Associated British Foods Plc, 2011). Following his relationship with Wittington Investments Limited, Galen Weston was not regarded as an independent non-executive director and according to Associated British Foods Plc (2011), Weston had not been publicly appointed. Thus, the company’s board was compliant with the relevant Code provisions related to appointment of non-executive directors except on one point: it did not comply with section B .3.2 the Governance Code’s which requires the appointment of all non-executive directors to be made public (FRC, 2010, p. 15). The company’s board explained that the reason for lack of formal appointment was due to the Galen’s relationship with Wittington Investments Limited. However, Galen Weston’s resignation in December 2011 increased the board’s compliance with the standards of the Governance Code.

According to Associated British Foods Plc (2011), the chairman of the company’s board, Charles Sinclair is also the chairman of the Remuneration Committee. This contravenes section D. 2.1 of the UK Corporate Governance Code which stipulates that the chairman of the board should not chair the remuneration committee (FRC, 2010, 23). However, the board of Associated British Foods Plc gives explanation that Charles Sinclair is best suited to chair both the company and the remuneration committee due to his experience.

The cases of Galen Weston and Charles Sinclair show that the board of Associated British Foods Plc is compliant with the UK Corporate Governance Code. It is compliant with most of the principles laid out in the Code and where it does not, it provides a suitable explanation for non-compliance. Thus, the board implements the ‘comply or explain’ approach laid down in the Governance Code (FRC, 2010, p. 7). The resignation of Galen Weston shows that Associated British Foods Plc‘s board is ready to comply as much as possible with the provisions of the code. Charles Sinclair’s case shows that the ‘comply or explain’ approach provides flexibility for a company’s board and gives a chance for the board to make informed appointments and to maintain robust governance.

3.2 Barclays Bank

Similar to Associated British Foods Plc, the Barclays bank is compliant with the principles laid out in the UK Corporate Governance Code. The board is currently composed of the chairman, two executive directors and ten non-executive directors (Barclays, 2011). The size of board has reduced from 18 directors in 2007. According to Barclays (2011), the purpose of the reduction in board size is to allow constructive group discussion and enable all directors to contribute effectively.

This step enhances compliance with section B.1 of the Governance Code which states that “the board should be of sufficient size that the requirements of the business can be met and that changes to the board’s composition and that of its committees can be managed without undue disruption, and should not be so large as to be unwieldy” (FRC, 2010, p. 12).

Section B.6 of the Code states that a company’s board should conduct evaluation of its overall performance, the performance of individual directors and that of board’s committees (FRC, 2010, p. 16). According to Barclays (2011), the board of Barclays Bank conducts an annual review which helps to increase the board’s effectiveness. Further, section D.1 of the Governance Code suggests that the director’s remuneration should reflect company’s performance in the long-term and should be structured in a way that it effectively links rewards to individual and corporate performance (FRC, 2010, p. 12). In regard of this principle, the CEO of Barclays Bank, Bob Diamond has not received his two years bonus as a result of the recent financial problems facing the company. Generally, the corporate governance practices of Barclays Bank are highly compliant with the principles laid down in the Governance Code. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the Governance Code in serving its purpose. However, in light of the above cases and the continued financial irregularities in UK, there is need for improvement of the Code in the future.

4.0 CONCLUSION, COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The development of the UK Corporate Governance Code can be traced back to the early 1990s after the issue of a Cadbury report. The revolution was sparked by the rise in financial irregularities and corporate collapses of UK companies. Continued dissatisfaction over irregularities and perceived lack of willingness by corporations respond to poor performance, among other reasons elicited the need for more reviews of corporate governance in UK companies leading to more revisions to the code. Numerous reviews to the Code resulted into the UK Corporate Governance Code, which is effective from 29 June 2010. Compliance with the provisions of the code is voluntary. However, Compliance with the code is a must for UK companies which are listed in the LSE, but on a ‘comply or explain’ basis

As demonstrated in the case of Associated British Foods Plc, the UK’s approach to corporate governance since the issue of the Cadbury report in 1992 has been characterised by avoidance of prescriptive rules. Brennan and Solomon (2008, p. 895) explains that different organizations require different governance approaches depending on business activities, size, ownership structure and operating environment.  Thus, as one solution may not be optimal for all organizations in all circumstances. For this reason, the Governance Code has no statutory force but the companies which are listed to the LSE are required to comply with the code. Where they fail to do so, they are required to produce reasons for non-compliance.

As noted in the case of Associated British Foods Plc, under the “comply or explain” regime, organizations have no statutory obligation to all of the recommendations laid down in the Code. The Code states that “this ‘comply or explain’ approach is the trademark of corporate governance in the UK” (FRC, 2010, p. 4). This component was has been in operation since the issue of the Cadbury report in first in 1992 and it forms the foundation of the Code’s flexibility (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2011, p. 128). However, this does not mean that the code encourages poor corporate governance. To minimise irregularities, the disclosure obligation gives shareholders ability to monitor the extent to which organizations are compliant, review the reasons advanced by directors for non-compliance with any part of the code and if they feel dissatisfied, express their concerns during annual general meetings through their voting behaviour. The ‘comply or explain’ provision thus gives an allowance for an organisation to adopt optimal corporate governance practices as demonstrated in the case of Associated British Foods Plc board chairman, Sir Charles Sinclair. Time will tell if there will be need to introduce statutory compliance but, as illustrated in the case of Associated British Foods Plc, the Code’s is more effective when it is voluntary in nature.

However, there is one concern regarding the power of appointment and removal and performance evaluation vested on companies’ boards. From time to time, shareholders are dissatisfied with boards’ performance and call for particular directors to be removed (Brennan & Solomon, 2008, p. 895). However, this is not a straightforward thing and requires close attention to details. In the UK, according to Brennan and Solomon (2008, p. 895), there are requirements to give notice of such intentions, allowing the company time to develop strategies to thwart such a move. In practice, as illustrated in the case of Associated British Foods Plc, the appointment and removal of directors is much a decision of the incumbent board and the wishes of institutional investors are accommodated within that framework.

Certainly, there is a feeling that investors should play a bigger role in this area and few company boards would act against the desires of such organisation. As far as private shareholders are concerned, their powers to influence corporate behaviour are limited, and to be effective, this would require a level of concerted action that is beyond the will of most investors. This can be achieved, for instance, through additional provisions in the Governance Code that increase the power of investors’ and shareholders’ vote in the appointment and removal of directors.

As demonstrated in the case of Barclays Bank, company boards are responsible for evaluation of their performances, their committees and the performances of individual directors. Certainly, with the increased financial irregularities in the UK, there is a possibility of a biased evaluation. It is thus advisable for such evaluation to be conducted by a third party who will give an independent view, free from bias.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

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Blowfield, M & Murray, A 2008, Corporate Responsibility: A Critical Introduction, Oxford University Press, New York.

Brennan, N M & Solomon, J 2008, ‘Corporate governance, accountability and mechanisms of accountability: An overview’ Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 21, No. 7, pp. 885-906.

Brown, K B & Snyder, D V 2012, General Reports of the XVIIIth Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, Springer, Massachusetts.

Brown, R 2009, ‘Revisiting the expectations gaps after 15 years’, Journal of Applied Accounting Research, Vol. 10, Issue: 2, pp. 92 – 95.

Cadbury Report 1992, ‘Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance,’ accessed 5th March 2012 from, http://www.ecgi.org/codes/documents/cadbury.pdf

Chapman, R J 2012, Simple Tools and Techniques for Enterprise Risk Management, John Wiley and Sons, London.

Davidson, A 2010, How the City Really Works: The Definitive Guide to Money and Investing in London’s Square Mile, Kogan Page Publishers, London.

Davies, H 2002, ‘Corporate governance and the development of global capital markets’, Balance Sheet, Vol. 10, Issue: 3, pp. 14 – 18.

FRC 2003, ‘Guidance on Audit Committees (The Smith Guidance),’ accessed 5th March 2012 from http://www.frc.org.uk/documents/pagemanager/frc/Smith%20Report%202005.pdf

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REVIEW: SHARED DECISION MAKING IN

REVIEW: SHARED DECISION MAKING IN HEALTHCARE

Name:

Course:

Professor:

Institution:

City and State:

Date:

 

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction. 3
  2. Background. 3
  3. What types of information are more suitable for patients, in a decision support system?. 4
  4. How a decision support system could be made to be more patient-friendly?. 6

Development of international standards. 7

Improving the participation of the patients. 7

Shared decision-making process with computerized decision systems. 8

  1. What decision-making systems already exist for patients to select the treatment, in particular breast cancer? 10
  2. Conclusion. 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

As suggested by Floyd (2008) decision support systems have become prevalent in the healthcare sector ands they an important role in the location of patient information and adherence to the evidence-based guidelines. Even more importantly, the health care sector has embraced the informed-consumerist model in the provision of quality care top the patients. The process of shared-decision making (SDM) is developed around the principles of self-determination and relational autonomy whereby both the patients and the physicians develop mutual dependencies to achieve at the most suitable solution. SDM is the crux of the patient-centred care as it establishes an environment where patients’ views are valued and patients’ passivity in the decision-making process are reduced. The process has been associated with positive patient outcomes, reduced decisional conflict, and increased congruence between patient preferences and clinical options selected. This literature review discusses some of the ways which the decision-making system can be improved, the type of information that they should provide to the patients and their usage among the breast cancer patients.

Background

In the past few decades healthcare industry has experienced a revolution. In the way care is administered to the patients. In this regard, the health-care industry has embraced the ‘patient-centred’ concept which entails share-decision making. The proponents of this system insist that patients have a right to information that would be used to treatment them, as well make a choice about the available treatment options. The importance of this concept in the healthcare industry is supported by a recent study conducted by Floyd (2011). In the study, Floyd (2008) concluded that majority of the Americans would like the healthcare providers should engage the patients in healthy consultations.

Indeed, the emerging literature is challenging the paternalistic role of the physicians as agents and sole decision-makers. The need for the shared-decision making process is based on ethics, and suggests that patients have a right to be informed about the risks and benefits of treatments. As Loh et al. (2007) observed, share-decision making process can be applied in preventive, screening, diagnostic, treatment, clinical trials and palliative contexts. Loh et al. (2007) further observes that involving the patient in the decision-making process has numerous advantages one of which that the affected patients are more likely to be compliant with the treatment plan. The strategy has also been recommended as it has a potential of reducing unnecessary health care costs.

Conclusion

The available literature supports the use of decision aid and computer applications in facilitating patients to choose best treatment options. However, the adoption process is still low due to lack of interests from the patients and time constraints. These challenges can be overcome by adoption of dialogue boxes and integration of DAs in routine patient practice. To promote health choices, medical practitioners and administrators should consider of providing DAs in multiple formats and to assess their effectiveness, a mixed research method should be used. Evidence-based information can be used to empower patients especially those with chronic and acute conditions.

References

Anik, G., France, L., Roland, G., Pierre, G., Francois, R., Brian, H., Michel, C., and Michel, L. 2011. Developing and user-testing decisions boxes to facilitate shared decision-making in primary care- a study protocol. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision-Making, 11, 17

Charles, C., 2010. Implementing shared decision making and treatment decision aids: A cautionary tale. Psicooncologia, 27, 243–55

Kesselheim, A.S. et al., 2011. Clinical decision support systems could be modified to reduce ‘alert fatigue’ while still minimizing the risk of litigation. Health Affairs; 30(12), 2310-2317.

Köpke S, Kasper J, Mühlhauser I, Nübling, M., and Heesen, C.,2009. Patient education program to enhance decision autonomy in multiple sclerosis relapse management: A randomized-controlled trial. Multiple Sclerosis, 15, 96–104.

Koppel, R. et al., 2008. Workarounds to barcode medication administration systems: their occurrences, causes, and threats to patient safety. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 15, 408-423.

Legare, F., Ratte, S., Gravel, K., and Graham, I.D.,2008. Barriers and facilitators to implementing shareddecision-making in clinical practice: update of a systematic review of health professionals’perceptions. Patient Education & Counselling, 73, 526 – 535.

Oliver, H., Heidemarie, K., Krones, T. and Nobert, D., 2011. Acceptance of shared decision-making with reference to an electronic library of decision aids and its association to decision-making in patients: an evaluation study. Implementation Science, 6(70), 1-9

Pearson et al., 2009. Do computerize clinical decision support systems for prescribing change practice>? A systematic review of the literature, 9(154), 1-14

Protheroe, J., Bowe,r P., and Chew-Graham, C., 2007.The use of mixed methodology in evaluating complex interventions: identifying patient factors that moderate the effects of a decision aid. Fam Pract, 24(6), 594-600

Strauss, S., Glaziou, P., Richardson, W.S., and Haynes, R.B., 2010. Evidence-based Medicine: how to practice and teach it. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone

Review Questions From Chapter 1

Review Questions From Chapter 1

Question 1

The term information technology encompasses the use of software and hardware technologies in the processing and storage of information. Besides, it also encompasses the use of communication technology, which comprises of voice and data networks, for the transmission of information. The hardware entails the central processing unit (CPU) and its entire support equipments; the support equipments include input and output devices, communications and storage devices. On the other hand, software entails all computer programs together with manuals, which support them. These programs constitute instructions, which direct the computer system (Brown et al, 2012).

Question 2

There are various ways, which depict how the use of information technology has become pervasive. Businesses are now using information systems in connecting frontline workers with the back-office production and accounting systems, and competing with companies that utilize internet only in serving customers online. Besides, travelers are capable of accessing swift wireless networks in flights and also public transport. This has helped travelers to become productive. In addition, the use of information technology has enabled teams to work together without meeting face to face due to the use of video conferencing (Brown et al, 2012). Furthermore, learners are capable of searching resources via the internet compared to the use of card catalogues in libraries.

Question 3

Portable devices such as the notebook computers and light-weight laptops aid employs to work more effectively and efficiently as they can be carried on business trips and into meetings. Besides, they can be utilized at home in connecting office systems remotely. Other handheld devices such as the iPad and the iPhone are portable and have web-browsing options, which aid employees in performing their work more effectively and efficiently. Despite the increase in effectiveness and efficiency due to information technology, competition may impede productivity.

Question 4

When team members are working at different locations, they can utilize enterprise systems. The enterprise systems help in sharing data with team members that are dispersed or to team members working in different business divisions in real time (Brown et al, 2012). Besides, social media applications such as cogenerated information tools, profile sharing software, and information messaging tools can also be used to support sharing of information among team members that are distant from each other. For example, the IBM has utilized such tools as Beehive, ThinkPlace and SmallBlue to help employees in sharing information as they work in different locations.

Question 5

Some businesses have focused on the use of the internet in competing with other businesses based on low cost. Through the use of the internet, these businesses are capable of making order cycle shorter than the required time, automating business transactions and making decision making easier due to easy access of data (Brown et al, 2012). This lowers the cost of production allowing the businesses to compete effectively with others. Furthermore, some businesses use the internet to compete with others through product differentiation. The internet is capable of providing a business with a differentiated service since rather than accessing the physical stores of a business, a customer is able to order for a service or commodity online. This helps a business to have a strong competing advantage.

Question 6

Although most businesses choose to have have high levels of information technology dependence, others will definitely choose to have low levels of information technology dependence. Such businesses are those that depend greatly on person-to-person communications in operating their businesses; the utilization of information technology is primarily for back-office support. An example of such a business is a security firm. The firm has to respond in person to certain security details rather than relying on entirely on information technology.

Question 7

There are three kinds of IT resources that need to be well managed; these entail the technology infrastructure, human resources and business/IT relationships. Technology infrastructure comprises of computer, software and the networks, which aid an entity in conducting business and sharing of information amid organizational divisions and business partners (Brown et al, 2012). Human resources entail IT managers and professionals that have the required interpersonal, business and technological skills for designing and managing other IT resources. On the other hand, business/IT relationship refers to established associations amid business and IT workers in ensuring that other IT resources become aligned with business requirements.

Question 8

There are fresh IT manager roles that have emerged; some examples of such roles encompasses the identification of fresh technologies that businesses need to invest in and identifying how to tailor the fresh IT solutions in improving the manner in which a certain organization does business. These are required today in order to help in coming up with new technologies that aim at a continued improvement to a business.

Question 9

An IT manager may have a reporting association with a chief information officer (CIO) as well with a senior business manager in order to keep the business’ IT resources with the objectives and goals of the business (Brown et al, 2012). A reporting association is exceedingly vital in order to relay any IT resources change and problems, and how such problems can become resolved.

References

Brown, DeHayes, Hoffer, Martin & Perkins, C.W. (2012). Managing Information Technology. New York: Prentice Hall.

Review of Tygiel Jules’ Ronald Reagan and Triumph of American Conservatism

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Review of Tygiel Jules’ Ronald Reagan and Triumph of American Conservatism

Introduction

In order to relay the expected message to the audiences, most writers tend to employ various styles in their pieces of work. Writing styles not only enhance the clarity of the message but also contribute significantly to the development of the plot. These usually differ across disciplines and while most historical accounts adopt narration that is largely passive, several other disciplines rely heavily on an active voice. Regardless of the styles, the ability to deliver the message accordingly is usually at the center stage of the goals and objectives of the authors. It is against this background that this paper provides an explicit review of Tygiel Jules’ Ronald Reagan and Triumph of American Conservatism. In detail, it evaluates particular aspects pertaining to the author, the content of the book and a personal opinion regarding book in general.

The Author

The book was written by Tygiel Jules and published in 2007. Tygiel was born in Brooklyn on the 9th of March in 1949. He is a holder of a Bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and a master’s degree in History from UCLA. Career wise, Tygiel taught at the universities of Virginia and Tenessee and later at San Fransisco State University. He basically taught American history but also explored relative disciplines such as the US labor and the great depression. According to Dreifort, he can be considered a great historian who was very passionate about this field of specification (Dreifort 46). Apart from the edition under review, Timmermann cites that he has also written The Great Los Angeles Swindle: Oil, Stocks and Scandal in the roaring Twenties that was published by Oxford University Press (Timmermann 1). Besides this, he has also edited a host of books addressing race issues and baseball.  Examples according to Ehrman and Flamm include Extra Bases: Reflections on Jackie Robbinson, Past Time: Baseball and History and Race and Baseball History (Ehrman & Flamm 77).

His popularity in the literary cycles can be attributed to his writing style. In this regard, Dreifort indicates that “the employment of humor made him to be renowned by a diverse audience in both historical and literary field” (Dreifort 49). Generally, it can be ascertained that the author made a significant contribution to the current historical field. Also worth mentioning is the fact that he was a great public speaker who was often invited for talks in different media houses. Indeed, Tygiel was a credible author who certainly made immense contributions to the literary sphere.

The Book

Ronald Reagan and the Triumph of American Conservation provides a vivid biography of President Reagan. Tyegel explicitly explores the contributions, shortcomings and the entire legacy of President Reagan. According to this account, Reagan’s life had humble beginnings in Hollywood. By stating that “In some winter evenings, he would find his father lying drunk in front of their house in Dixon, Illinois”, Tygiel underscores the fact that the president faced normal life’s challenges (Tygiel 56). It is this inner strength that made him to rise above all odds and become one of the most renowned people in American history. Tygiel indicates that his first career as a contractor did not deter his political ambitions. This shows that he was a persistent person who had confidence in the societal value system. Certainly, “Reagan discovered a parable that would uncannily presage his own rise” (Tygiel 101).

As a president, he was a great orator “who gathered the right words to change the minds of the Americans” (Tygiel 78). Being a respectful leader of a great nation, he took the initiative to address the economic, social and political wars that could have undermined the welfare of the American population. According to the author, he enjoyed public approval because of his ability to satisfy the public. Of particular reference was his risking of the political career in a bit to reinforce important principles. A classic example in this regard can be cited as the 1980 incident in which some of his close advisers told him to scare moderate voters away by pretending to be benign towards the communist Soviet Union. Since this was not his actual position he reiterated “Americans have a right to know my position because they gave me the presidency and therefore mandate that I fulfill all my campaign promises” (Tygiel 102). Notably, the author affirms that this boldness was an indication of strong leadership that was intrinsic of the President’s character.

Tygiel also contends that besides being bold, Reagan had a modest character that also enabled him to provide ideal leadership. Furthermore, the inborn persistence enabled him to face life’s challenges with so much ease that he baffled not only the public but also his successors. For instance Tygiel cites that the courage to joke about the near shooting that took his life, the farewell letter regarding his Alzheimer disease that was incredibly breathtaking, the Watergate scandal, his optimism that revived American courage even after loosing the Vietnam war and his ability to deal effectively with the failures and frustrations that stemmed from the excesses of his big government were clear indications of his courage , strong faith and persistence that the American population needed the most (Tygiel 130). Generally, the author provides a precise account of the shortcomings and attributes of President Reagan.

Personal Opinion

From an individual point of view, I find the book to be not only compelling but also very insightful. Reagan’s biography is provided in a comprehensive manner that allows readers from diverse backgrounds to understand and appreciate his contribution to the welfare of American. The exploration of his attributes is particularly important to upcoming generations that require guidance and inspiration to address emergent challenges. For instance, it can not be disputed that the youth in particular require attributes such as persistence, boldness and courage to address the current problems that are complex in nature. Likewise, current leaders can benefit significantly from Reagan’s biography that provides typical examples of challenges that political leaders and likely to encounter. Despite being historical, this book can be considered to be inspirational in nature.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this book pertains to the exploration of Reagan’s shortcomings. In this regard, the author indicated that leaders are also human and have weaknesses. This also provides useful insights to the audience with respect to how to deal with the weaknesses accordingly. It implies that as much as leaders are likely to have some shortcomings, it is important to lay great emphasis on the virtues. Only then can they be able to address the diverse societal challenges and problems in an effective manner. Another important lesson that political leaders can derive form this biography is the need to exercise individuality and rationality. These are some of the vital virtues that the society is currently lacking.

With regard to structure and style, Ronald Reagan and the Triumph of American conservation can be considered to meet the fundamental standards and can therefore be effectively employed in research. The incidences that are referred to in the text are cited accordingly using credible primary and secondary sources. At this point, it is certain the author did not have a vested interest to sway the public perceptions in a particular direction.

Conclusion

From the preceding analysis, it can be ascertained that different authors tend to employ varied styles if writing. However, the ultimate aim is to pass on important information to the respective audiences. Tygiel was a great historian who loved base ball and edited a host of books. Besides the edition under review, he also wrote another historical account. The employment of humor in his style of writing enabled him to permeate the literary cycles beyond history. In his Ronald Reagan and the Triumph of American Conservation, he presents Reagan’s life in light of his attributes and shortcomings. The book is not only historical but can also be considered to be inspirational. As such, the young generation can benefit immensely by deriving viable values and virtues. Political leaders can also deduce important lessons from Reagan’s experience and employ them in leadership. Most importantly, the book is a vital historical resource that can be employed in academic research. It is in this consideration that this paper concludes by maintaining that writing styles are imperative in accrediting the quality of authorship.

Work cited

Dreifort, John. E. Baseball History from Outside the Lines: A Reader. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 2001

Ehrman, John & Flamm, Michael, W. Debating the Reagan Presidency. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009

Timmermann, Bob. Ronald Reagan and Triumph of American Conservatism by Jules Tygiel. Retrieved on Jull 19th 2010 from: http://allthepresidentsbooks.com/2010/02/24/ronald-reagan/

Tygiel, Jules. Ronald Reagan and the Triumph of American Conservatism. New York: Longman, 2007.