Frankenstein and Great Expectations

Introduction

Frankenstein is considered one of the pivotal books employed in modern literature for its compelling and rousing story that spawns myriad renditions. It is a fascinating science fiction tale that was written by Mary Shelley in 1818 but was initially published anonymously.

It was much later that the author was identified and she took that opportunity to revise the book, incorporating a number of changes in 1831. Frankenstein’s kernel reveals Robert Walton, an explorer who is travelling towards the Arctic Ocean after departing from the northern coast of Russia.

Walton keeps an account of his journey by writing letters to his sister who lives in London. In his letters, he describes how one day he saw a hideous form take flight across the ice only to rescue Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the monster, from hypothermia and starvation. Frankenstein chronicles his life to Walton and that account forms the foundation of book as Walton relays them to his sister in epistolary form, where a story is told through letters.

The book seems to make use of previous writings like Paradise Lost– one of the books that the monster reads, Shakespeare and Don Quixote– for instance the Arabian lover and the sequence of the monster’s adoption. The author uses the book to satirize the concept of modern science and to reveal the converse perspective of experimentation.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is a story of a young orphan named Pip, who is the protagonist as well as the narrator of the story. The book accounts for Pip’s life since he was 7 years old until he is in his mid thirties. The book itemizes the focal points of Pip’s life, and identifies the lessons he learns from every encounter.

Pip lives with his sister who is married to the blacksmith Joe and one day while he’s at the graveyard engrossed in thought, he is confronted by an escaped convict who places demands on Pip and threatens to kill him if he does not follow the convict’s instructions. Pip though fearful treats the convict well by bringing him food and follows his instructions to the latter.

Pip is offered an opportunity to work for Miss Havisham, a spiteful woman who detests men since her bridegroom failed to show up on her wedding day. Miss Havisham has an adopted daughter named Estella whom she raises to break men’s hearts and be spiteful of all men.

Pip is attracted to Estella but the young girl treats pip cruelly with encouragement from her mother. Pip yearns to be a gentleman in order to impress Estella and his ambition materializes when an anonymous person wills Pip a fortune. Pip assumes Miss Havisham is the benefactor and moves to London where he learns the art of rich living and becomes a gentleman.

>Narrators

Frankenstein has three types of narrators due to the fact that the author uses different types of narrations to provide the reader with a multifaceted perspective. The first narrator is Robert Walton, who acts as a dispassionate party in order to give the reader an objective point of view to the narration. The author uses epistolary form, a device which is applied when Walton conveys the prevalent occurrences through the series of letter that he writes to his sister (Marilyn, 1994).

The second narrator is Victor Frankenstein who gives the reader a subjective view on his background. Victor narrates on his own childhood, upbringing, ventures and the unfortunate proceedings which culminated in his auspicious conception of the monster.

The third narrator is the monster and is introduced when the creature breaks off Victor’s narration. The monster gives an account of his existence before victor once more resumes continuing to illustrating what emerged from the creation of monster to the very end. The narrative is once again taken by Walton who provides an ending to the tale.

Walton’s letters are present at the introduction and the conclusion of the narrative reinforcing the theme of nurturing, and a framing device by the author relatively allows for a story to be told within a story. Walton therefore allows for a parallel view of both victor and the monster so as for readers to make their own moral observations and conclusions in reference to the monster and its creator.

Great Expectations conversely has only one narrator, the adult version of Pip who is the first-person narrator (Marilyn, 1994). Pip recounts the events of his younger life from memory and gives his account in his own voice which articulately identifies his emotions as a young boy. Pips recalls intimate details about the voice tones and parlances from his past including the deaf Aged Parent’s loud repetitions, the predictability of Jagger’s speech and the bucolic accent of Magwitch and Orlick.

Discussion: Frankenstein And Great Expectations

Through identifying and relating to the narrators in Frankenstein and Great Expectations, readers are able to objectively discern the key arguments in order to support or contradict the narrator’s perspective (Chesterton, 1988). One of the key arguments in Frankenstein is the unpredictability of experimental science which led to the creation of the monster.

Victor Frankenstein while at university devised a way to create a human being only to inadvertently create the monster (Marilyn, 1994). Victor believes that the application of science can bring new life but the current consequence is not laudable.

The third narrator who is the monster brings forth another dimension to the argument by conveying human emotions such as loneliness for lacking friend and destitution for being rejected and hated which leads to the destructive behavior seen in him (Hodges, 1983). Unlike Great Expectations the reader is presented with three view points, two of which are contradictory hence the reader is provides with an open ended understanding to as a basis to derive an opinion.

Great Expectations is a reflective book of Pip, the first person narrator who gives the reader an insight into his past that consequently builds up to his current stature (Dunn, 1978). The narrator gives account of his compassion to a convicted criminal and the mistreatment he received from those close to him while still young. Contrary to Frankenstein, this book identifies with the rewards that come from good deeds and compassion together with perseverance (Dunn, 1978).

In both tales there is eminence of the narrators’ struggle against the monsters spawned out of carelessly human ambition. People create monsters to satisfy their gluttonous ambitions, owing to the power they bestowed upon the monsters they become irrelevant in controlling or subduing the monsters; hence the monsters haunt them and destroy both the creators and the created in the process (Chesterton, 1988).

Frankenstein strives to tame the monster born out of his imagination, the massive creature created out of his scientific connotation and human skeletons; his experimentation brings forth what would not have entered his mind previously and this throws a challenge on the creator as he is awed by his creation (Behrendt, 1995). His creativity becomes his enemy for it renders him helpless in the face of what his imagination has spawned (Brennan, 1989).

Pip on the other hand faces another monster which is Estella. Notably, Estella is the monsters created by Miss Havisham as a tool through which she would destroy men; as Herbert observes; “Estella had been created to wreak revenge on all male sex” (Dickens, 1946). The monsters created in both tales harm themselves and their creators by becoming despicably uncontrollable (Brennan, 1989).

In myriad ways, Frankenstein illuminates narrators who ape the ideas and events of the author in diverse ways (Hodges, 1983). The knowledge of the author and her life experiences creates a stand point through which the tale can be reviewed. Frankenstein is a story written in relation to the major occurrences which mired the life of the author (Marilyn, 1994).

Mary Shelley lost her mother at a tender age after which her father remarried and his attention was diverted to the new wife. Like the monster created by Doctor Victor Frankenstein the author experienced the agonizing melancholy of lacking parental love, her own father just like Victor became distant when her mother died (Behrendt, 1995).

Even in the time when Mary was in dire need for money during her first pregnancy her father could not bail her out, he refused to have anything to do with her. This is seen clearly as illuminated in Frankenstein where the monster appeals for love and attention from its maker to no avail (Hodges, 1983). Though the monster avenges for its creators misdeeds, Mary does not avenge for whatever her father did to her, she only chose a distinct course of life distant form her father (Brennan, 1989).

When the two antagonizing narrators meet in Frankenstein where the monster confronts its creator victor on an icy glacier; it pours out it heart to the creator and blames him for its isolation and abandonment (Marilyn, 1994). Ironically, Frankenstein does not see the monster as his responsibility, he did not devote his time and resources to love it and care for it just as the parents do.

Even though Victor was well attuned to how the parents should love and care for their children and as evidenced on Frankenstein where he states that his parents expressed “The deep consciousness of what they owed towards the being to which they had given life.” (Dunn, 1978).

Great Expectations on the other hand does not have two opposing narrators rather it takes on a single sided perspective. One advantage Frankenstein has over Great Expectations is the three dimension point of view perpetuated by the narrators which gives the reader a chance to make an unbiased opinion of the narrators based on their personality, expression and argument (Behrendt, 1995).

Great Expectations and Frankenstein illumine into the narrators’ basic requirements of life, and the relationship between the creator and the created beings. Moreover, the tales delve into establishing the collective need for love, affection and acceptance from their homes and their society.

While Pip in Great Expectations aspires to win the love of Estella, the monster in Frankenstein yearns for love and acceptance from the society and its creator. Both the creators have selfish motives and are not willing to face up the repercussions accruing to the monsters of their creations (Chesterton, 1988).

The two epic tales bear a familiar resemblance where the narrators find themselves tethered in their own made confinement created by the monsters they devised for their own delight only to be thwarted in the end (Graham 1982). Explored are similar themes of love and despair, loss and depression, all those elements make human life real.

Nevertheless, the Frankenstein tale comes out as a gothic tale; work of creative imagination whilst in itself it tackles matter which affects human real life (Marilyn 1994). On the other hand Great Expectations is more real and people can identify with it because there is nothing bizarre about its plot and characterization as seen in Frankenstein (Graham, 1982).

Another argument strongly expressed in both books is the conquest of fear by the narrators (Dunn, 1978). Robert Walton is confronted by a frightful being, a monster whose mere sight petrifies the narrator. Walton however musters enough courage to allow him to chronicle the recount conveyed by the monster about its life, thoughts and experiences (Chesterton, 1988). The narrator Pip in Great Expectations is confronted by a similar kind of fear when he encounters an escaped convict in the graveyard at night.

The convict threatens the younger Pip with death if he reveals the convict’s alcove and even under tremendous dread, the narrator proceeds to cater for the felon bringing him food and water (Dickens, 1945). In both cases, it is evident that the narrators even under trepidation went ahead to perform what they felt was right which is indicative of courage, subjugation of fright and the confidence of the narrators in their actions.

Conclusion

Both tales provide a detailed perspective of the narrators’ thoughts, emotions and beliefs which provide the basis of their actions. Frankenstein presents a three dimensional view of the tale through the expressions of the three narrators. The narrator Walton gives readers an unbiased outlook of the circumstances surrounding the monster’s existence to allow readers to draw their own conclusions.

Great Expectations on the other hand has the narrator as Pip who gives an account of his childhood experiences that eventually lead to his current position. The narrators in both books reveal deep emotional undertones in their voices which helps the reader better understand and contemplate their surrounding and hence deeper understanding of the books.

Reference List

Behrendt, S. (1995) Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and the Woman Writer’s Fate. Hanover and London: University Press of New England.

Brennan, Matthew, C. (1989) The Landscape of Grief in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Studies in the Humanities, 13:1 Vol 23.

Chesterton, G. K. (1988) Appreciations and criticisms of the works of Charles. University of Toronto: London.

Dickens, C. (1946) Great Expectations.1861. Ed. Margaret Cardwell. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Dunn, Albert A. (1978) The Altered Endings of Great Expectations: Dickens Studies Newsletter 6:2

Graham, S. (1982) The Letters of Charles Dickens: The Pilgrim Edition. Oxford: Clarendon.

Hodges, D. (1983) Frankenstein and the Feminine Subversion of the Novel. Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 14(23).

Marilyn Butler. (1994) Frankenstein 1818, ed. Oxford University Press.

Sedimentary Rocks

Sedimentary rocks are from sediments collected from the streams and buried beneath in a process commonly referred to as geologic. This is due to geographical effects such as the tectonic forces controlling the progression of weathering. The process leaves a complicated record thus the different kind of sediments form the deposits. (Strahler, 13) The categories include Clastic, Chemical and Biogenic. Water and wind sorts some sediment to be almost of the same size thus commonly referred to as “well-sorted”.

Conversely, there are particles of different sizes especially those sorted by the ice and huge mass wasting with a reference of “even unsorted” or “poorly sorted”. Sediments take a variety of individual shapes from rounded, sphericity or angular. Well-sorted sediments are caused by prolonged erosion or weathering.

Sedimentary rocks can also form from the biogenic deposits such as the foraminifer formed from planktons cells that covers wide area of the ocean floor or the chemical deposits such as the salts formed from magnesium, potassium or sodium chloride found near salt lakes like Lake Bonneville in Utah. The volcanic sediments form clasts, which are originally volcanic. (National Atlas of United States)

Formation of sedimentary rocks

Deposits and burring of these types of sediments in a process known as “lithification” causes the formation of new rock known as the sediment rock. (U.S. Department of Interior Survey, 2010)

The rock depends on the material or type of sediments and the process. Formation of rock beds occurs from sedimentary particles, which lay in distinct strata. The composition of the sedimentary rocks overtime changes depending in the deposition process and mineral composition. This aspect is what makes the adjacent strata different from the preceding one.

The boundary between the layers referred to as the “bedding surface” thus the origin of the term “Rock Bed”. (Strahler, 13) The presence of the bedding surface enables the geologists to be in a position of telling the ages and is the indication that the rock was once sediments thus the term “Sedimentary Rock”. Various processes are involved in the formation process: “lithification”.

They include compaction a process that reduces the pore space in the sediments because of the weight of the superimposing layer. Secondly is the cementation process where substances dissolves in pores through which water precipitates to form matter that joins the layers strongly together. Lastly is the crystallization process where new crystalline minerals bond the old ones.

The classification of sedimentary rocks falls into the following categories. Siliciclastic rocks or clastic made of sand quatz commonly referred to as resistant minerals like Lithics and fledspar mixed with clay minerals, which form from withering of iron oxides such as feldspar: orthoclase or kaolinite. Chemical and Biogenic or biochemical rocks form from liquid solutions such as calcite that reacts with hydrochloric acid to exist as either micrite; muddy line or limestone. (U.S. Department of Interior Survey, 2010)

The clastic rocks is a composition of visible grains of quartz sand and clay grains mixed together while the chemical and biochemical forms from splitting of minerals that are in solution state. Silica is made of materials that do not dissolve in water and have silica as the main component transported either as sediments at the bottom of the water or suspension. This aspect makes the clay grains and visible sand grains to mix and deposit together.

On the other hand, the minerals that are in solution state easily dissolve in water. They deposit together without traces of silica. The geologists tend to specialize on the siliciclastic rocks because of the various groupings that others have hypothetically made discovery. (Strahler, 13) The mineral deposits that are in solution form separates from the solutions through precipitation from the water thus concentrating the salts.

This helps to classify them as chemical rocks while the biochemical rocks are as a result of plants and animals remains especially those involved with marine life, which draws them from the solutions for formation of the skeletons, which eventually die to form the sediments.

Other biochemical rocks include the coal and peat but forms in the presence of clastic rocks such as sandstones or shales. The integration of minerals to form sediments makes the classification difficult due to inconsistency involved. This means that researchers have an uphill task to come up with a straightforward way of classifying them.

Works Cited

National Atlas of the United States. “Distribution of Sedimentary Rocks.” 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2010 from

Strahler, Alan. H. “Introduction to physical geography” (Fifth Ed). 2009

U.S Department of the Interior survey. “U.S Geography Survey.” 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2010 from

Hobbes vs. Locke

In studying the influence of the social contract theory on the American nation historians and philosophers always mention the names of two philosophers, John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. The two philosophers had divergent viewpoints about people, freedom and politics.

Whereas John Locke held the view that all individuals were born free with the capacity to make independent decisions either as individuals or collectively as a group in pursuit of liberty and preservation of life in peaceful coexistence with each other, Thomas Hobbes held the views that human beings were selfish, in constant war with each other and incapable of surviving without the input of a strong and absolute ruler who would protect there collective right to life (Hume 452-73).

The founding fathers of the American nation decision to reject the social contract theory as advocated by Hobbes was valid then as it is today, an examination of nations that have adopted Hobbes theory such as North Korea and Burma reveals that absolute leadership can have negative consequences on peoples civil liberties and rights.

The idea that an absolute leader will always make the best decisions for the good of the nation is not always right. The founding fathers faith in Locke’s values on the social contract is evident in the American government success in promoting peaceful co-existence of different cultures and people (Gaus 84-119).

The main concern of Locke when he advocated his social contract theory was the protection of civil liberties which were always going to be under threat if Hobbes theory was to be adopted by any republic. Locke viewed the “sovereignty” or monarch as a threat to civil societies and consequently could not be trusted with the task of protecting the interests of its citizens.

The governance system that was adopted by the framers of the American constitution that gave each arm of the government sufficient authority and powers to function as well as strong checks and balances between them was a sign of support of Locke’s ideas on politics, freedom and people, and would surely get widespread support today as it did in the 18th century.

I hold the opinion that the first statement holds some truth in it even though Locke’s ideals seemed to have been accepted during the formation of the American state, in today’s world the government is increasingly taking control of our daily lives from smoking in public places, to increased government involvement in our diet, health, trade, leisure among others it seems the Orwellian world is fast becoming a reality with increased government surveillance in whatever we do, in private or public.

Hobbes acknowledged certain essential attributes of the ‘sovereign’, in any social contract; one of which entailed people having no right to criticize the government for any decisions they make for the ‘good of the nation’, censorship and political correctness is now generally accepted as part of modern day reality (Mack 45-73). In ending, Hobbes held he view that the sovereign was steadfast and could be trusted to use his vast powers for the good of society.

Individual rights were subordinate or subservient to state power and could be removed at any time by the state for the overall good. It seems man is ready to endure appalling laws such as the Patriot Act or oppressive rule purely for the sake of avoiding living in a state of war.

John Locke’s social contract theory influence on America is unquestionable and the second statement clearly demonstrates that reality; the countries constitution and criminal justice system borrows heavily from Locke’s social contract theory.

Locke held the view that in the ‘state of nature’ man had the capacity to own land and property and therefore the government could not grant that right to man this meant that property rights existed before the formation of the ‘sovereignty’, Locke postulated that in the natural state man had the inalienable right to life and resources and man could translate shared resources into private property (Gaus 84-119).

These rights are independent of government and are not dependant on the existence of the same; Locke’s idea was that the government’s role on the issue of property rights both physical and abstract was that of a facilitator and not a competitor. It is thus encouraging to note that our founding fathers choose Locke’s ideas over Hobbes.

The Fifth Amendment is an embodiment of Lockean ideals which protect individual property rights, and the right for fair compensation should the state requires private property for public use. This right has also been protected by the federal courts which have recognized the importance of due process and property rights as enshrined in the American constitution.

Works Cited

Gaus, Gerald F. “On Justifying the Liberties of the Moderns.” Social Philosophy & Policy 25.1 (2007): 84-119.

Hume, David. “Of the Original Contract.” Essays Moral, Political, and Literary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963. 452-473.

Mack, Eric. “Scanlon as a Natural Rights Theorist.” Politics, Philosophy & Economics 6. February (2007): 45-73.

The Tragedy of the Commons

The Tragedy of the Commons is an article about population problem resolution. In the first part of the article, Hardin talks about solutions and their context in todays and yesterdays world. He puts the argument of technical and non technical solutions in different contexts and weighs their suitability in different circumstances. Bentham’s rule of “the greatest good for the greatest number” is also discussed in the first few paragraphs where Hardin explains the two reasons why it cannot be realized.

He gives the first reason as a mathematical one i.e. two variables cannot be increased at the same time and the second reason as a biological one that dictates that for any life to proceed there must be energy to sustain it; it is not sufficient to do that for the human race with growing population.

The writer then tries to explain the phenomenon of ‘tragedy in commons’ using a simple example of pastoralists sharing a vast pasture. There would be an increase in the number of cattle up to the point when the cattle will start putting too much pressure on the pasture, and then there would be tragedy because each extra head would mean more pressure on the pasture which would eventually lead to conflict and even extinction (McVay 9).

This system of selection, the writer explains, is used in many areas of our lives in instances where there are limited resources that are not restricted.

A natural means of selection then occurs in the form of overcrowding, queues and so on naturally regulating these struggles and it is put that there is no space (Hardin 15). Hardin then goes on to relate these arguments to pollution and conscience. He brings out the fact that conscience can be used as at tool of regulation but warns that this appeals very differently between different individuals.

Carefully looking at the article, Hardin tries to argue about the different means of self regulation. He focuses on general people regulation, pollution and even legislation. In my opinion Hardin simply wanted to bring out the different ways of regulation yet with a little touch of humor.

He explains that even if a population does not necessarily plan on regulating itself, it is still bound to do so naturally in an order he refers to as the commons (Lloyd 82).

He even refers to Charles Darwin as he explains these points although later in the article he drastically changes his views in a display of contrast in his writing. In his view, everything from politics to basic human processes like breeding can be regulated by as simple a process as appealing to the human conscience in the short term (Smith 428).

There is a lot of contradiction in Hardin’s article though; he goes ahead to warn that use of conscience may be appealing in the short term but may eventually be perceived differently by the people depending on their reflections and inner beliefs (Lack 29).The need for recognition and mutual agreement has also been brought out as necessary towards the end of the article.

In conclusion, Hardin writes that perhaps a simple answer to these population problems is the use of need for necessity and mutual agreement. While accepting that mutual agreement does not mean that everyone would be most comfortable with the resolution. It is perhaps the best way to deal with population problems.

The commons is only viable and agreeable in instances of very low populations with excess resources where competition and destruction is still many years away. The Commons system encourages wastage and irresponsibility even in small societies and should not be adopted in modern society.

Works cited

Hardin, Garret.“Journal of Heredity.” Science 50(1959):15-20

Lack, Dave The Natural Regulation of Animal Numbers. England :Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1954.

Lloyd, Willie. Two Lectures on the Checks to Population. England: Oxford University Press, 1833.

McVay,Salome.” Scientific American.” Science13 (1966):5-20

Smith, Arnie. The Wealth of Nations. New York:NEW LIB, 1937

African American Ethnic Group

African Americans are citizens of United States of America forming an African American ethnic minority group whose ancestral land is Africa. Perhaps one of the poignant questions to ask is on how these African descendants arrived in America. From the age period of 1620 to around 1865, there was massive slave trade taking place in Africa to the west especially in countries like France, Belgium and England. In the west, these captives intermarried themselves and with white people, hence siring the African American ethnic group.

As captives, the group faced serious challenges composing of racial discrimination, prejudice and segregation. The white Americans took them as tools and elements of hard labor with poor or no pay in return. Moreover, these African Americans had no right to do anything leave alone airing their own views or making their own decisions.

The dual labor market hit them hard as most of them were not educated and even if the white Americans allowed them to go to school, education was expensive for them. In addition to that, the white Americans did not allow black American children to sit in the same class with their white counterparts. Redlining became common in those days (Kolchin, 1994, pp.78-83).

The American history denotes that, even if the labor market became decentralized, African American ethnic minority group had little knowledge on the operation of these markets. Low level of knowledge meant derailment of African Americans from acquiring high stake office jobs perceived to belong to white Americans only. The only place for work available for the African American minorities was hard labor jobs like digging and other manual activities (Beijborn, 1996, Para.5-7).

The environmental setup of the black people in America did not allow them to question the deeds of the white man and the inequalities they met. In unison, the African Americans struggled in vain to meet their liberties albeit a myriad of obstacles. In return, the white Americans fought mercilessly to deny them civil right liberties.

For example, they had no right to neither vote nor choose a leader of their own. Segregation became dominant right from education to food to clothing and accommodation. In the south of America, segregation laws applied strongly eliminating black Americans from schooling in white schools. The white Americans barred African Americans from achieving federal rights like employment rights as a form of discriminating them (Magar, 2009, Para.2-8).

Another issue of concern was affirmative action, which violated the rights of women. Sexual harassment to black women was common, leading to race ethnic clashes. Race ethnic sex generated racism imperfectly. Consequently, racism took precedent so strong to quicken liberation front then civil war escalated.

In fact, for every three white Americans killed, about fifty African Americans died as well. To prove these facts, during the electoral process of 1867, a gang called Ku Klux Klan terrorized, maimed, and massacred black Americas with authority from the elite white Americans.

There was prejudice and segregation to any African American who dared to vote or take formal education. However, not all white Americans were happy with the ongoing discriminations, prejudices and racism attacks. A quite high percentage of white Americans supported the move while others rejected it vehemently and hence subjected themselves to attacks.

African American prejudice, discrimination and segregation exist even up to today in America. To end these vices, African Americans formed civil rights movements to liberate them and assign them freedom. Through liberation, mass murder and execution of civil rights kingpins like martin Luther King and others, the war became almost a success. However, even up to today the prejudices and discriminations including still hold is an American society (Hooker, 1999, Para. 6, 8-9).

In conclusion, the civil rights act of 1964 rescued African Americans from incessant segregations in employment bureaus, political, economic arena including involvements in doing business hence, stabilizing their economic standards. The climax of their liberation and perhaps the greatest achievement of black and white supremacy in United States of America is the election of Barack Obama as the as the first black president.

Reference List

Beijbom, U. (1996.) A Review of Swedish Emigration to America. European Emigration. Retrieved January 27, 2010, from

Hooker, R. (1999). African-Americans in the American Revolution. Retrieved January 27, 2010, from

Kolchin, P. (1994). American Slavery: 1619-1877. New York: Hill and Wang.

Magar, P. (2009). Racism against African Americans. Buzzle.com.

Retrieved January 27, 2010, from

Engineering design communication strategy

A number of organizations are increasingly using virtual teams to improve teamwork in situations when the employees are set apart by geographical constraints.

The far-flung teams are particularly used because of their ability to reduce relocation, transport, and other business related costs. This practice especially involves organizations that need to develop their global presence, outsource their operations, or need some influential skills from personnel in other places. Similar fundamental principles direct virtual teams as in traditional teams.

However, instead of the team members communicating face-to-face with one another, they depend on special communication devices supported by the modern technological advancement. Because of more limited communication channels, the success and efficiency of the far-flung teams depends on their ability to follow three rules for their guidance.

The first rule is about exploiting diversity of the various team members. Virtual team members should be chosen on the strength of their differences. Although they may be speaking the same language, the languages of their various disciplines may not be the same. This is because every subgroup may have a different style of working and giving solutions to problems. The clash of perspectives that may arise because every team member has his or her own area of expertise should be used to produce productive results rather than disagreements.

The team leader should encourage as much conversation as possible from the participants in order to root out their varied traits. Other team members must not disregard the opinion of any member. To help overcome differences in communication styles, every member should engage in inclusive conversations that remind the other participants about his or her personality traits. The teams should take advantage of their diversity for their benefit.

The second rule appertains to the use of appropriate technology to simulate reality. A number of technologies exist that are poor in processing and communicating information, for example, the use of E-mail and videoconferences. Participating in a teleconference is less problematic as it enhances the collaborative effect.

Team members can rely on virtual workspaces to post their work and check the progress of their counterparts before the start of teleconferences. Any other disagreements that arise should be handled in direct conversation. The workspaces should be accessible to everyone at any time as it is the place where the group is reminded of its key decisions, rationales, and commitments.

The use of threaded discussions is the best way of holding virtual conversations. These discussions are to be organized by topic to give the participants ease of locating every thread. To encourage participation, the conversations should be run in this order: a bit of news, a provocative question, and a self-propelling ending. Every participant ought to adhere to the set protocols governing the online conversations, for example, how quick to post a reply. Summaries of heated discussions should be posted regularly.

The third rule appertains to ways of holding the team together. Since members in a virtual team are separated by distance, every effort should be made to keep them together.

The team leader should engage the individual members in phone conversations as regularly as possible. Before the team starts to engage in serious work, it should adopt a common language conversant to everyone. The team leaders should create coherence when bringing the diverse backgrounds of the members together by allowing them to adopt beneficial elements from one another.

The creation of sub teams increases the interaction of the members. Proper arrangements should be made with the members’ home offices to avoid causing any inconveniences. The team leader should recognize commonalities within the group members that can assist in establishing their loyalty to the group.

Changes brought about by the appearance of the printed book

The discoveries of the Renaissance brought major changes to the lives of people throughout the civilized world, and especially in Europe.

Inventions such as the telescope, the compass, the printing press and many other discoveries during this period initiated a time of change that would build the foundation for scientific discovery and in the process, transform human lives. Among these inventions, a major technological advancement can be attributed to the development of the printing press after a German named Johannes Gutenberg developed a movable printing device in 1436 (Rubin, para.3).

Before this discovery, manuscripts had to be laboriously copied by hand, a process that was taxing, expensive and time consuming. Yet, with the coming of the printing press, the spread of ideas through the written word was no longer confined by geographical constraints. The discovery of the printing press paved the way for a major transformation to the way of life of people since it allowed knowledge to be shared around on an unprecedented scale.

The invention of the printing press made it possible for the Bible to be translated into many languages, thus promoting regionalism. Prior to the Renaissance, Latin was the common language that was used to pass information from one source to the other. One effect of this dominance of Latin was that only highly educated people, who could understand the language, had the privilege of reading books.

Thus, a huge gap separated those who were able to read and those who could not. The invention of the printing press brought a solution to this problem as various translations of the Bible were made in numerous local languages so that, for the first time, literate people were able to read the Bible in their own language without necessarily having to know Latin. Less educated people from various regions in Europe were now able to read the Bible as much as the educated elite.

Therefore, the translation of the Bible promoted regionalism in Europe as the common folk and the educated elite were united in a common religious interest. The change that began in those early days has survived and grown in today’s world as more and more copies of the Bible are produced in many of the world’s languages.

Besides this, the translation of the Bible also brought about major reformations in the Christian religion. Before the discovery of printing, church officials were the only ones who had the mandate to read the Bible in Latin, and teach their own interpretations to their congregations. Yet, once the Bible could be mass printed in the common languages of the time, people had the opportunity to read the Bible for themselves and make their own judgments.

This revolution in religious practice led to the Protestant movement as people discovered the errors taught by church officials, who had previously held a monopoly on biblical truth. This change is evident in today’s world since the different religious affiliations that were created then are still present, and different sects are still cropping up after individuals read the varied translations of the Bible.

There is little doubt that the discovery of the printing press also initiated and made major changes in the scientific field. The ancient Greeks, who are thought to have developed the scientific method, may have found it too complex and inconvenient to spread scientific information among themselves and to the entire public.

Scientific textbooks were certainly almost non-existent at the time. Yet, once the printing press was developed, scientific information could be spread quickly and accurately from one region to the other. Scientists who were carrying out research in the same area of study in various European countries gained, particularly because they could now share and publish their findings.

In this way, scientists were able to share accurate information with their counterparts, thereby, increasing their knowledge and expertise in various fields of study. It is clear that the rise of the printed word led to the Scientific Revolution of the Enlightenment in the seventeenth century.

These developments radically changed how Europeans, and later the rest of the world, viewed life on our planet. Currently, scientists have continued this practice of sharing information through the printed page with their counterparts in various parts of the world as they publish research and build upon the knowledge base of the past.

The printing of so many books created a need for a large market to ensure that all the books produced were purchased to cover the costs of printing. The authors of various publications were faced with the daunting task of producing books that could attract a large audience. A number of publishers started to embrace the notion of capitalism to ensure that they would succeed in selling the publications.

Therefore, the widespread printing of books generated the need for a market for them, even despite the fact that the initial runs were not so large. In these circumstances, where there was an increased need for books, consumerism and commercialism started to take root. People’s thirst for knowledge increased as they strove to be at per with the cultural, religious and technological developments that were taking place.

The practice of exchanging goods and services for monetary gain had always been a way of life for human beings. Now, the advent of capitalism allowed Europe’s economy to prosper as avenues of trade were opened up by the invention of the printing press and the spread of the printed word. This practice has survived into today’s world as authors and publishers take great pains, through advertising, book-movie tie-ins, and celebrity endorsements, to ensure that the books they produce attract a large number of readers as possible.

Cosmographiae Introductio

A German named Martin Waldseemuller authored Cosmographiae Introductio, a book that was intended to accompany the map of the world, the Universalis Cosmographia (Teele, para. 2; “About this item,” para.1). It is believed to have been published on April 25, 1507. The book records the first appearance of the name “Amerigo” or “America.”

The book and the map, together with the Geography authored in 1513 by Ptolemy, received so much public admiration that several copies were made around that time. Although some people attribute the work to Mathias Ringman, a number of scholars agree that Waldseemuller authored the book.

In support of the name he gave to the New World, Waldseemuller states in the book that he sees no valid reason to prevent the calling of that part of the world Amerigo, after the Italian navigator and merchant Amerigo Vespucci, whom he believed was the first to “discover” that part of the world.

Waldseemuller honored Vespucci by putting his name on the 1507 map on account of the explorer’s great ability, as opposed to Europe and Asia, which got their names from females. A thousand copies of the map were printed from wood engravings measuring 18 ? 24.5 inches.

Out of these copies, only one is currently available thanks to a preservation method accredited to the cartographer, Johannes Schomer. The map is made up of twelve sections created by the Ptolemaic coniform projection with meridians that are curved to illustrate the whole surface of our planet.

Works Cited

“About this item.” Exploring the Early Americas. Library of Congress. 10 Aug. 2009. Web. 26 Jan. 2010. http://www.myloc.gov/Exhibitions/EarlyAmericas/AftermathoftheEncounter/DocumentingNewKnowledge/MappingtheWorld/ExhibitObjects/CosmographiaeIntroductio.aspx

Rubin, Julian. “The invention of the Movable Type.” Following the Path of Discovery.
Nov. 2009. Web. 26 Jan. 2010. http://www.juliantrubin.com/bigten/gutenbergmovable.html

Teele, Elinor. “The Naming of America by John W. Hessler.” California Literary Review. 9 April 2008. Web. 26 Jan 2010. www.google.co.ke/imgres?imgurl=http:// calitreview.com/images/Universalis_Cosmographia.gif&imgrefurl=http://calitreview.com/539&h=279&w=500&sz=140&tbnid=fiiY4Wx_BcKOdM:&tbnh=73&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3DCosmographiae%2BIntroductio&usg=__l0fmfEtZjUVtFvu354K74-VQVeo=&ei=8GdeS9DrJMmUtgfU0NyMCA&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=4&ct=image&ved=0CBQQ9QEwAw

Pox Americana Book Review

Pox Americana is a book by Elizabeth Fenn where she writes about small pox, its effects and spread across the North American continent. Small Pox was a very dangerous disease at that time. She describes small pox as the deadliest disease to have attacked the world. In her book, she writes about how she came face to face with the disease in the 1770s and 1780s.

Fenn uses the book to explain and even play an informatory role by explaining to people just what small pox was and its effects. Fenn believed that small pox was indeed the deadliest disease in the entire world.

She argues that the small pox outbreak affected America and humanity so badly that it could have actually changed or shaped history. The mortality rates were particularly high among Native Americans and Indians because they did not have prior experience with the disease and therefore lacked natural immunity. European invaders on the other hand are reported in the book to have got off more easily because they had prior exposure and some had lifetime immunity.

Fenn generally props up small pox as the deadliest disease in the world not even mentioning cancer and other known and more common killer diseases. In her book, Fenn explicitly looks at small pox, its effects and how its spread across America between 1775 and 1782.

Pox Americana as written by Fenn seeks to make it known to the reader the deadly impact small pox had on America. It affected thousands of Americans, Indians and even the invading Europeans in a way that left a stream of deaths that cannot be forgotten. Fenn details the characteristics of the deadly disease (small pox) in terms of outbreaks, infectiousness and severity.

Ms Fenn stresses how serious small pox was by pointing out that from the fourteen nineties to seventeen seventies as many as 23 small pox epidemics hit the North American continent. This was obviously a disturbing revelation. It was not until much later that the masters learned to quarantine the infected persons and prevent them from spreading the then deadly disease.

It was later discovered that cutting the skin and rubbing in matter obtained from the Variola virus, from persons who showed mild symptoms, could actually boost immunity to the destructive virus. This went a long way in curbing the then common deaths and gave some hope to the ailing that they could recover. Before this revelation, all the sick were abandoned by their relatives for fear of infection because they under the impression that their sick could never get better.

There are a couple of thoughts that Fenn brings out that are highly contested. One of the most heavily contested thoughts is that she describes small pox as the most dangerous or deadliest disease in the world. Critics argue that there are many other diseases in the world that affect people even more commonly than small pox which were not mentioned in the book. More common diseases like cancer, common cold and malaria were not mentioned as she talked about her supposed ‘deadliest disease’ in the world in pox Americana.

It has also been argued that the numbers given in the book about how many people actually died were not confirmed anywhere. All the facts used by Fenn were not referenced or proven. Even Fenn herself was very frank about her methods terming them as speculative. The figures and charts used to show the mortality were therefore widely believed to be inaccurate and exaggerated.

Ms Fenn’s sources were mainly journal entries, testimonies; media report photos, some history records and mortality rate charts. These sources were however not properly backed up and Ms Fenn does not state anywhere in her text that they are indeed accurate

Ms Fenn first had her attention drawn to small pox when she was researching on an undergraduate essay on Indians in the Hudson Bay fur trade. It is then that she discovered the recurrence of small pox. The Horseman on the Roof by Jean Giono, is what inspired her to want to know more about small pox.

Ms Fenn then decided to try and revisit the small pox outbreaks and the grave effects they had on the North American population. She was to later learn that these epidemics occurred during the time of the American Revolution. Memories of small pox encounters were therefore more blurred because all this happened during a very defining moment in history; the American Revolution. However unnoticed these epidemics seemed, Ms Fenn found out that indeed these epidemics might have actually influenced history.

The small pox strategy during Washington’s invasion of Canada was abandoned when it emerged that it would have had a damaging effect on black slaves who had been nurtured by Britons to fight colonists. The blacks had no immunity because they did not have previous exposure and would have been devastated by the disease. If small pox had been used in that strife, then history would have been very different now because the entire black unit would have probably been wiped out in an unimaginable disaster.

It has been tricky to make any solid inferences on whether the American Revolution would have turned out any differently than it did because most of what small pox is seen to have stopped continually appears to have been inevitable anyway. It was however still quite a story to tell because Ms Fenn brings out some otherwise unappreciated facts about the nations founding fathers; they used humane methods to hold the armies together.

During the war for independence for instance, George Washington decided to have new army recruits inoculated. This is seen by Fenn to have been a very important and humane decision because it probably saved thousands of soldiers and the public population who were inevitably in contact with the soldiers on the move. The virus however eventually caught up with the war and Fenn writes, “It executed an even more stunning maneuver and outflanked the war itself.” (Fenn, 2001)

Ms Fenns story becomes even more compelling when she makes us realize that that was not the first time small pox had haunted us yet it still wreaked havoc each time it did. The readers, who include politicians and leaders, would therefore be a little more prepared to deal with another outbreak be it to civilians or in military action.

She reveals very important information on how the masters learned how to deal with small pox using tissue from patients showing mild symptoms. It is this very method that eventually developed and used to completely stamp out small pox years later.With regard to this subject, it can be safely concluded that Fenn brought out an aspect of history that would have otherwise never seen the light of day.

The 1775 to 1782 epidemic is yet another strong point by Fenn. She devotes about half of her text to the diseases’ trail of death all the way from Mexico, Canada, and Hudson Bay region up to Alaska. This kind of trace entailed a strong zest for knowledge, discovery and as Fenn Puts it “studying events elsewhere on the continent which highlights the geographic and demographic gaps in our historical canon.” (Fenn, 2001).

This kind of dedication and hard work is what really shows just how much this kind of contribution is important to society and other scholarly disciplines like History, Social Ethics and Medicine. Ms Fenn clearly understands that interdisciplinary research is the future of the world and goes ahead to pioneer in that respect. Historians, Medics, Politicians and philanthropists a like refer to her text for research and reflection purposes to date.

Ms Fenn also presents focus on the disease all through the lands, who spread it and how they spread it. Fenn reckons that the use of new weaponry including horses and other techniques introduced by Europeans could have enhanced the spread of small pox. Indians would carry the virus from their Great Plains residence, for instance, and spread it all over the places they travelled while trading, fighting or just horse riding.

Residents of the Great Plains are expressed to have done most of the spreading bit in the 1775 to 1782 epidemic. She does not however put blame on them but rather blames the increased interaction between the natives, Europeans and other traders. Colonization and missionary work further increased interaction between foreigners and the natives who had very limited or no knowledge at all of small pox.

Ms Fenn observed the diseases’ route right into the pacific North West while trying to establish the original ‘culprits’ who brought the disease to North America. Russian fur traders and Spanish explorers had visited and interacted with the native North Americans but at that time there were no reported cases of small pox; it is therefore unlikely that they brought in the disease.

Fenn also rules out the thought that mariners might have conspired to release variola to ‘finish’ the people after they had left. She fails to detect any signs of epidemics in their native ports and concludes that they could not possibly be the source of small pox. Establishing who might have brought or probably developed small pox was evidently a hard task. Fenn used all kind of methods to narrow down the list of ‘culprits’ although she did not for sure credibly establish who transmitted it to North America.

Although widely believed to be inspired by public awareness on killer diseases like breast cancer and AIDS, researchers would have easily been inspired be Pox Americana to research more on epidemics that rocked the world in the past.

Diseases introduced by invaders or native diseases have wiped out almost all the non-indigenous populations. European invaders introduced fatal viruses while visiting missionaries in Africa, for example, were badly hit by tropical diseases like malaria. Military camps were more adversely affected by small pox because they were very crowded and offered easy means of transmitting the highly communicable disease.

In the book, Fenn does not imply a bed of roses for the native North Americans when invaders from Europe came in, but instead focuses on the bigger picture and doesn’t even mention how British commanders attempted to start biological wars by trying to intentionally spread small pox. This would have been a very interesting and important subject especially at this time in history. Biological warfare is still controversial to date and this would have been a definite topic for fierce debate.

It is not clear in her text if there is any connection between the small pox outbreaks in the north and those experienced in the south and other parts of the American continent .She also does not touch on any trends in the outbreaks or infection rates in her text. It would then seem that maybe these outbursts had no relationship whatsoever or maybe she did not have enough knowledge and resources to trace the disease trends in order to report on this particular subject.

From the text as presented by Fenn, it surely can be concluded that small pox must have taken some part in how the American Revolution turned out. All these occurrences and the epidemic outbreaks that broke out before, during and after wars must have a changed something in history which would have definitely been otherwise written in the event that these outbreaks were absent.

Events such as deaths from small pox that wiped out entire wars even after the end of the wars must have had a significant impact on civilization and today’s world. The ethics and morals displayed by the military leaders also brought out rich history in the text. Fenn therefore did a great job in not only reminding her readers of how much small pox terrorized the world but also sensitized researchers and historians on past and present epidemics.

References

Fenn, A. Elizabeth. (2001). Pox Americana. the Great Small Pox Epidemic of 1775- 82.NY: Hill and Wang.

Difference Between Analytical and Synthetic Cubism

Introduction

In the early 20th century, the art culture in France took a dynamic turn from conventional art to adopt a contemporary form of art known as cubism. Initially, cubism was not widely accepted but pioneer cubists such as Pablo Picasso and George Braque played a pivotal role in perpetuating the new form of art to the mainstream. There are two distinct types of cubism; analytical and synthetic, the main difference between them being in the composition.

The basic principle of cubism is the degeneration of an image, which is then re-assembled into an abstract image to articulate several viewpoints. The aim of cubism is to use a single image to depict different ideas hence allowing one single image to portray different perceptions. Cubism heavily relies on randomness thus the artwork generally lacks depth but is greatly enriched in expression.

A significant influence to early cubism is Paul Cezanne (1839-1906); Cezanne was the first artist to paint with hints of cubism after he abandoned the application of depth in all of his paintings. He was of the view that paintings should embrace a two dimensions scope in order to show the difference between art and real objects (Becker 1).

In line with this ideology, Cezanne abandoned the conventional three dimension perspective approach and removed special features and perspective elements from his work. In order to accentuate his paintings and still underscore his two dimension approach, Cezanne opted for abstract work and the tonal variation of color. This approach is prominent in most cubist paintings.

Comparison between analytical and synthetic cubism

Analytical cubism focuses more on breaking down an image into its many forms and viewpoints in order to “analyze” the image in all the possible angles and context, to the illusion of a three dimension appearance (Honour & Fleming 121). Synthetic cubism on the other hand focuses more on the imitation of an image usually using bright colors or collage hence the artwork is more often two dimension.

A typical Cubist painting depicts real or natural objects from variable viewpoints, showing many parts of the subject at the same time (Becker 1). Such paintings can be viewed from different angles and this is achieved by reconstructing an image into a composition of geometric shapes planes and colors. The end result is the illusion of reconfiguration of space, where all sides of an object can be viewed on a two dimension plane (Hunter et al 19).

History and composition

Analytical cubism was the first form of cubism to be developed in the early 20th century and that was between 1905 and 1912. Analytical cubism aimed to reduce natural forms into geometric subjects with altered viewpoints and spatial cues. This form of cubism did not rely much on color and usually dark colors like grey and blue were used (Honour & Fleming 122). Rather than color, analytical cubism tried to portray natural forms in geometric shapes like spheres, cubes and cylinders.

Synthetic cubism was the latter of the two types of cubism and was developed between 1912 and 1920(Hunter et al 66). In comparison with analytical cubism, synthetic cubism was more detail oriented and focused more on texture and color (Becker 1). In addition, synthetic cubism also ushered in collage elements as an integral part of subject matter.

Subjects and content

Subjects such as ‘The Mandolin’, 1910, ‘Landscape with bridge’, 1909, ‘The Portuguese’, 1911, ‘violin and Jug’, 1910, ‘Ma Jolie’, 1911, and ‘Ambrose Voilard’, 1910 oil on canvas paintings, were analytical cubism paintings. As can be observed, these forms of art were more focused on pensiveness than portrayal, only giving subtle clues to the real forms involved.

Analytical cubism was meant to portray the deep ideology the artist possessed in reference to the real world (Honour & Fleming 119). Modifications to analytical cubism led cubist to introduce a more vibrant and colorful variety of cubism that was expressed in art works such as ‘Still Life with Chair Cane’, 1912, and ‘Guitar, Sheet Music and Glass’, 1912 (Becker 2).

The introduction of collage elements can be seen for example in Picasso’s ‘Still Life with Chair Cane’, which incorporates oil cloth that was printed to look like chair caning pasted onto an oval canvas and the use of rope to frame the painting. Synthetic cubism was used mainly to show the creativity and imagination of an artist and the artist’s effort to imitate a given form (Hunter et al 72).

Cubism as a modern movement

The introduction of cubism came at a time when there was an exponential growth in progress through out the globe. It was during this period that several inventions had emerged and were still emerging in regard to technological development. However, the most significant invention to the artists was the introduction of photography.

It was evident that the technological revolution was ushering in a new era of modernization (Becker 1). Cubism was an effort by artists to deviate from the tried and tested traditions of Western art which were being challenged, for they were viewed as old fashioned and rigid.

Conventional forms of representation were questioned as artists demanded to be in tune with the growing modernization with the introduction of a new form of artistic expression. In addition, photography was taking over most of the artistic fields that involved real images like portraits and so artists needed to conceptualize a new form of art that would uphold the appreciation for artistic expressions.

Artists needed a form of art to challenge photography, and they did this by exploiting the perspective of photography (Hunter et al 49). Conventional pictures and photographs were limited in terms of perspective for they could only give one viewpoint which artists viewed as deficient in composition.

Another challenge artist faced was on how to express modern trends using the conventional forms of art which they felt had no correlation. Consequently, the challenges were overcome by Picasso and Braque in 1905, when they introduced cubism as a form of art.

Cubism can therefore be viewed as a modern movement because it was founded amidst the need to deviate from conventional western forms of art (Honour & Fleming 122). Moreover, cubism was essentially intended to express modern images such as the emerging technology at the time.

Conclusion

Though both forms of cubism are popular, it is dependant on an observer to decide which form of cubism they have preference over. Analytical cubism tends to have less use of color and places more focus on shape, giving the paintings a more intricate appearance. Synthetic cubism on the other hand is heavily dependant on color rather than shape and thus such paintings are usually bright and simpler when compared to analytical cubism.

The force behind the emergence of this work of art was the need for a newer form of art since conventional forms were being phased out with the emergence of new technology. Picasso and Braque can generally be attributed to have founded this form of art; however, it is evident that there was extensive influence from Cezanne’s work that led to the emergence of cubism.

Works Cited

Becker, Robert. Art Movements in Art History: Analytical and Synthetic Cubism. Art World, Apr 2002.Retrieved on 27Jan 2010, from: http://www.the-art-world.com/history/cubism5.htm

Honour, Hugh. A world history of art (6th Edition). New York: Laurence King Publishing, 2002. Print.

Hunter, Sam, Wheeler, Daniel & Jacobus, John. Modern Art. (3rd Edition). New York: Prentice Hall, 2004. Print.

Concepts of Organizational Theory and Behavior

The success of any business unit or organization primarily relies on the nature of work force, and management systems it adopts. It is important for all managers to note that, currently the economic world is undergoing very many transformations not only monetary wise, but also in terms of work patterns and employees’ behavior.

In this regard, it is important for organizations’ management teams to adopt measures, which will ensure organizations maintain competent workers. This is primarily possible through adoption of policies that will ensure an organization takes care of its workers needs as they arise; hence, avoid unrests that may arise in workplaces.

It is important to note here that, adoption of policies only cannot help a management team succeed, but rather these management teams must coin their understanding of an organization’s assets, resources, and tools in management practices for them to succeed. This paper will discuss concepts of employee reinforcement, evolution of job design, main differences between job stress and burnout as they relate to organizational theory and behavior.

Job Reinforcement

It is never an easy task for organizations to meet all its employees needs; psychologically human needs are unending, hence making it impossible for organization to satisfy their employees’ needs. Although this is the case, an organization can adopt a variety of mechanisms, which will ensure its employees remain motivated and goal oriented. It is important to note here that, monetary remuneration contributes very little to job satisfaction.

This is to say; although external motivators have a role to play when it comes to employees’ motivation, their contribution to performance is little. This therefore calls for adoption management mechanisms that will ensure employees always remain intrinsically motivated towards work (Moorhead and Griffin pp. 103-109).

Generally, reinforcements are stimulus that makes individuals to act or behave in a certain ways, hence strengthening the re-occurrence or repetition of a certain acts. Many organizations have adopted a variety of reinforcement strategies, but there exist great variations in terms their effects as concerns work output.

Reinforcement can be in form of a positive or a negative incentive; depending on the behavior exhibited by individuals. The four basic forms of reinforcement are positive and negative reinforcement, extinction and punishment (Villere and Hartman pp. 27-26).

Positive reinforcement involves the use of pleasing incentives as means of appreciating good deeds. Positive reinforcement can be in form of monetary rewards or appraisals, which will encourage repetition of specific behaviors. Managers use this reinforcement measure for two reasons. Firstly, they use it as a way of appreciating good performance, and secondly, as a way of showing what kind of behavior an organization desires from its employees.

Positive reinforcement is one of the main strategies that organizations use to ensure its employees always remain productive. On the other hand, this strategy is an important tool for discouraging some unwanted behavior such as absenteeism or lateness. For example, in a chemical industry, for managements to reduce accidents occurring daily, they can use buffets as incentives on top of employees’ monthly salary.

Although this method works, it is important for managers to study and understand reasons behind repetition of certain behaviors. This is because; in most cases, workers may repeat some behaviors because they know there are rewards. Verbal forms of positive reinforcement include the use of words such work “well done’, “.congratulation”, ‘keep up the good work” (Moorhead and Griffin pp.149-156).

Contrary to positive reinforcement, negative reinforcements are never desirable; hence, individuals always avoid negative them. Negative reinforcement is the act of escaping negative incentives.

It is important to understand here that, negative reinforcements are means of encouraging certain behaviors considered desirable, by application of incentives that discourage undesired behavior. This mode of reinforcement works on the principle that; once individuals experience negative conditions of specific reinforcement measures they are likely to change their behaviors.

For example, an employer can use this mechanism when employees’ quality of work goes down by explaining to them that customers are dissatisfied with their quality of work, hence the organization’s reputation is at stake. This like a case can make an employee to fill insecure; hence, they will avoid laziness and strive to ensure their work meets required standards. Although a good strategy, it is important for managers to include other mechanisms of ensuring this method works.

In addition to negative and positive reinforcement, punishment is another common method that managers use to ensure workers stay put and goal oriented. Managers use punishment when employees exhibit certain unwanted behaviors. Generally, punishment is the use of unpleasant outcomes to ensure employees follow set standards.

For example, in situations of poor work performance, managers can use suspensions as a means of reprimanding or warning employees. Although a good way of showing the degree of a mistake, in most business scenarios it never achieves desired outcomes.

The last form of reinforcement is extinction; which operates on the principle that removal of certain positive stimulus can help to eliminate undesired behaviors. Common examples used by organizations include benefit withdraws, bonuses, and other positive verbal incentives such praises. This strategy in most cases works best as compared to punishment, because employees will always feel guilty when managements appraise their fellow employees (Marcic and Daft pp. pp. 461-462).

Evolution of Job Design

Although incentives play a central role of ensuring workers remain in focus as pertains achievement of organizational goals, there is need to organize duties to fit employees’ competencies. This is because correct allocation of such duties is not only motivating, but also ensures there is job satisfaction among employees.

Job design is the endeavor to make required changes in working conditions aimed at making work more pleasant and motivating. Noting the current changes in employees’ working patterns, it is important for managements to consider varied factors that influence the motivational level of employees. Job design has undergone many transformations from the traditional approaches where talent and social motives had little significance (Moorhead and Griffin pp.164-174).

The earliest structure of job design was Taylor’s scientific management method, which emphasized adoption of mechanisms of making work more pleasant. In addition, scientific management emphasized the use of trainings to reduce the number of employees who could perform certain duties. Some aspects of this method for example specialization find wide application in current job scenarios, although the approach is a little bit different.

For example, in the past managers could achieve job specialization through using repetition of duties, which presently has taken a different approach where talent and competence plays a role in specialization. Another common form of specialization that has undergone many transformations is job rotation.

This form of job specialization helps managers to reduce stress and boredom associated with one station. In addition, when job rotation occurs in managerial position it helps managers to learn new management tricks, hence innovation.

Other forms of job design techniques that organizations have adopted currently include job enlargement and enrichment. Job enlargement involves provision of a variety of activities to employees; a strategy important for expanding employees potentials while reducing monotony and boredom. This strategy is very motivating because it helps employees build self-esteem and worthiness, which translates to increased revenues.

In addition to provision of a variety of working activities, currently many organizations have adopted other management policies that have granted employees more freedom in terms of task performance and control. In the past managers could always follow keenly on how employees perform their duties, but presently many organizations accord employees’ personal freedoms, which has contributed greatly to increased responsibility among employees.

Another common current approach to job design is the job characteristics theory. This theory uses five main characteristics: skill variety, feedback, task significance, autonomy, and task identity. Task variety involves the nature of skills that a specific job requires; autonomy determines specific levels of freedoms a job gives an individual, and feedback is concerned with a job’s reaction mechanisms on performance levels.

On the other hand, task identity is concerned with the level of a job’s tangible outcome, which depends on commencement and ending of a task, whereas, task significance is primarily concerned with effects that a job has on the overall running of an organization, individual lives and immediate surrounding environments.

Considering the nature of these design strategies, it is important for managers to combine them for organization to realize maximized outcomes from employees’ efforts (Moorhead and Griffin pp. 173- 192).

Job Stress and Burnout

Owing to the fact that everything done in business follows set time schedules, sometimes there are likelihoods of work overloads and strain. It is important to note that, most activities engaged in during normal working schedules needs a lot of physical coordination, minutiae, concentration, speed and time hence, compounding all this facts makes work tedious and strenuous leading to stress.

In addition to stress associated with real work, sometimes balancing between job duties, other employees’ demands, and social life is another major cause of stress to employees.

This is because at one point an organization has goals it wants its employees to fulfill, while on the other hand social life has its demands that individuals must fulfill. In this regard, stress is an adaptive mechanism used by individuals in reaction to pressing psychological and natural demands. Two main differences connected to stress are hardiness and hopefulness.

Primarily, the former is concerned with individuals’ ability to manage stress, where by this group of individuals have the ability to deal with stress, hence always goal oriented and focused. Optimism is characteristic in individuals who see an opportunity in everything, to this group of individuals the positive aspects of life matter more that negative discouragements, hence are too always focused and goal oriented (Moorhead and Griffin pp. 221-237).

Although optimism and hardiness are common adaptive mechanisms used by individuals to cope up with stress, sometimes due to many other job factors for example role demands, ambiguity, conflict can cause exhaustion, leading to a condition called burnout. Burnout is a consequence of build up stress, resulting from excessive demands to perform and deliver results.

Burnout primarily results when organizational demands makes individuals to forego their social demands, hence dedicate most of their time to these demands. Because of this, most individuals in the end get fatigued, strained and aggravated, hence causing a feeling of helplessness.

Although both stress and burnout are manageable, burnout has more adverse effects on individuals than stress. This is because it is easy to notice an individual suffering from burnout than normal stress, owing to the fact that burnout has more withdrawal symptoms.

In addition, although the two are related, they have clear differences in that, stress results from excessive work demands where as burnout in most cases results because individuals feel their jobs are of no significance to them. To most individuals, their lives are more crucial, hence the need to respect life demands; whose suppression leads to burnout.

Another common difference is that, although individuals can sustain stress by embracing adaptive mechanisms, burnout is never adaptive, hence inmost cases it results to resignation and loss of job interest.

On the other hand, it is important to note that primarily burnout is a motivational predicament, a characteristic differentiating it from stress, because stress’s main cause is work overload and not lack of motivation.

In conclusion, for organizations to be successful in all their endeavors there is need of adopting measures that will balance organizational and employees’ demands.

Works Cited

Villere, Maurice and Hartman, Sandra. Reinforcement theory: a practical tool. Leadership Development journal, 12(2) (1991): pp.27-33. Print.

Moorhead, Gregory and Griffin, Ricky. Organizational behavior: managing people. 6th ed. London: Houghton and Mifflin Company, 2000. Print.

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