Case Study: Harley-Davidson

Business outlets are inculcating technological changes into their systems to reach their partners and consumers. Wal-Mart, a cargo and food handling company, after getting difficulties in handling large volumes of data adopted the Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID). This device is more sensitive than the bar-code systems, as it can sense hidden items.

However, implementing RFID has some challenges, which organizations are facing. In this discussion, I will compare and contrast the issues that faced Wal-Mart to those which Harley-Davidson, a motorcycle manufacturing company, may face when implementing RFID.

The first comparable challenge is the high installation cost. When Wal-Mart tried to install the RFID, the suppliers opposed the move citing the high cost of obtaining tag readers and other machineries like computer systems to run the program effectively. Similarly, Harley-Davidson Company had problems with its suppliers who dealt in variety of products and with many companies.

To elaborate further, fixing of RFID tag on all products of low prices is expensive in the end. Consequently, the prices of these products like motor vehicle spare parts will increase, thus, lowering sales. Therefore, the technology is beneficial when used on products of high prices.

The next issue is the lack of global data standardization. Unlike bar-codes, the general operation of RFID is at high frequencies, which varies worldwide. Most of these companies opt for RFID of low frequency to minimize on expenses. Each frequency has its own standards of operation, and within the standards, there are numerous versions and different options per version.

This feature will prompt these companies to implement several RFID standards. The lack of a universal standard may make Harley-Davidson experience customers’ rebellion, as there will be lack of trust in their service provision.

On the contrary, as Harley-Davidson standardized all its purchasing procedures to minimize the cost of operations on its suppliers, Wal-Mart did not streamline their purchasing procedures.

Notably, Harley-Davidson will not face the issue of data management since it had adjusted its communication systems; for example, the launches of websites to ensure suppliers get changes in product information at anytime. Further, the portals aided real time communication between the company and the suppliers. RFID requires well-developed information management tools to ensure proper data capture.

The issue of civil liberty and privacy is a barrier to the implementation of this new tracking technology. Since this device can track a product from a given distance, a buyer’s privacy is at risk. Some customers may be unaware of the attachment of RFID on their goods. This act can result to a legal issue in a court of law.

In the case of Harley-Davidson using the product, scenarios of motorcycle theft instances will also be under control. This will also apply to Wal-Mart. In addition, employees’ acceptance at the motorcycle company will also be a thorny issue that may need due attention. The employees could also rebel to the new technology owing to the loss of jobs.

These companies should outline the range of RFID operation so that all their stakeholders are contented with the technological changes. For instance, the devices embedded on cloths should not be used for tracking purposes. The companies should also allow their suppliers to create their own internal RFID that can directly link them to the management of the companies. It is evident that the RFID technology is revolutionizing the world, with its application in the military, healthcare, and other scientific fields.

Libertarianism and utilitarianism

Libertarianism and utilitarianism are contrary to each other. In utilitarianism, people believe that an action that produces happiness is what one should go for. Utilitarian’s do not care whether what they are doing distracts another person’s rights. Conversely, in libertarianism, a person’s action for happiness should not violate another person’s rights. Libertarians values actions that promote fairness and justice in the society unlike, the utilitarian actions that in some cases violates fairness and justice.

Libertarianism and the Government

In libertarianism, the libertarians’ perceives the government as the one that threaten peoples’ rights. They rank the government as the greatest threat to human rights. In addition, the libertarians do not agree with the idea of governments to pass moral laws.

It is not good for the government to dictate the life of an individual. They also disagree with the governments’ tax process meant for re-distributing purposes. According to the libertarians, taxing an individual to help another person is a way of forcing a person to work for another person.

Libertarians advocate for individuals to stand alone in the society. However, they require the government to develop rules that protect individual property, protect an individual from theft, fraud, coercion, and breaching of contracts. A person who breaks societal rules is against his or her own right of standing alone and is subject to face charges.

In implementing these rules, the government would be playing an important role of protecting rights of a peaceful person from criminals, and foreign aggressions. When the government violates these rights it is playing a criminal role and therefore, there is no need for a government.

The libertarians advocate for the society to be at liberty in which individuals do not operate under rules that force them to do certain actions. In conclusion, libertarians advocate for a society that the government has limited control or a society where the government does not exist.

Workers Participation

Libertarianism promotes workers participation in various activities that are of their concern at workplaces. Workers can enhance their participation when they have freedom at workplace. Freedom allows the managers and workers to make decisions at the workplace together. It is also by allowing freedom at workplace that the employers can provide safe working environments.

Socialism and capitalism

Employers promote socialism by involving workers in decision-making process. In libertarian socialism, the factors of production gains control of the public, but respects private property. It also advocates for social organizations not to use coercive forms while handling workers, thus promoting workers relation. Socialism also extends to the market by promoting the owning of economic systems by the public in a market. When the public owns the economic systems, the society can control unfair competitions amongst the producers.

Libertarianism is against state capitalism since in state capitalism the government has the control over different states economic activities. They view it as a way that the state uses to get profit from citizens. State capitalism is monopoly in nature denying citizens a free market.

Free market allows people to practice their freedom of consulting prices where supply and demand determines the price. Conversely, state capitalism does not give suppliers and buyers freedom to choose price. Free market reduces coercion forms in the market. In conclusion, unlike utilitarianism, libertarianism ensures that there is respect of individuals’ rights and promotion of freedom of choice.

Marketing Trends

Marketing plays a pivotal role in sale and profit maximization. However, the marketing strategy should resonate with the audience if success is to be achieved. The Avengers set a new box office record by earning over $700 million in sales during its opening weekend.

Critics and marketing specialists attribute this success to strategic marketing, effective branding, aggressive advertisement and promotional techniques. This paper will review the marketing trends used by Marvel to ensure the success of The Avengers.

According to Jones, The Avengers movie tickets sold through Fandango broke previous records with more than 68,000 tickets sold in the fastest-selling hour (1). Similarly, the author states that the movie also set a new record for mobile sale (Jones 1). On Sunday, mobile sales amounted to 42% of the overall ticket sales. Jones attributes this success to the use of mobile and internet marketing trends, which are the primary choices used to buy tickets by most weekend moviegoers (1).

Similarly, Faw states that the success of the movie sales was based on the five-year promotional plan that started in 2008 (1). According to the author, Marvel has actively promoted the movie through comic books, character merchandise (toys and action figures), TV and print advertisements, and strategic partnerships with shops such as Wal-Mart, Aeropostale, and toys R Us among others (Faw 1).

These marketing trends helped Marvel to promote the movie and raise the targeted audience’s anticipation leading to the record breaking ticket sales during its opening weekend (Faw 1).

On the same note, Woodrooffe suggests that the five-year plan, millions of dollars in global marketing and carefully selected celebrities led to the success of The Avengers movie (1). The author states that the combination of actors made the movie appealing to many different people (Woodrooffe 1).

In her article, Woodrooffe states that each actor in the movie has numerous fans, therefore creating a marketing mix fits for multiple demographics (1). She also discusses the gaming and mobile applications that have been used to spread the word across millions of internet gamers and mobile application users (Woodrooffe 1).

In regard to reviews, Maltin asserts that the movie is among the greatest blockbusters yet. He attributes this to the fact that it is witty, distinctive and enthusiastic (1). The movie critic further states that the movie is a combination of intelligently orchestrated scripting, imagination and spectacular special effects.

Comments posted on Maltin’s blog page agree on the fact that the movie is a great showcase of what being a superhero is all about. People who have watched the movie state that it is humorous, action-packed and simply awesome. This movie makes people feel connected to a cause and value the strength of teamwork.

Conclusively, this paper set out to analyze the marketing trends used by Marvel to promote their blockbuster movie The Avengers. To this end, various blogs have been discussed in regard to the authors’ views on the marketing strategy used to promote the movie.

Strategic alliances, internet and mobile marketing have emerged as the core marketing trends used to promote this movie. Considering that effective marketing strategies determine the success rate of any product, using the aforementioned marketing trends will ensure that marketers get the best result from their marketing efforts. This is especially so in today’s marketing environment, which is highly technological and competitive.

Works Cited

Faw, Larissa. “Marvel’s Five-Year Plan for The Avengers To Rescue The Movies.” Forbeswoman. Forbes Mag., 30 Apr. 2012. Web. 18 Sept. 2012.

Jones, Jennifer. “The Avengers Sets Fandango Record.” The social marketing blog. Studiopress, 9 May 2012. Web. 18 Sept. 2012.

Maltin, Leonard. “The Avengers—movie review.” Indiewire. n.p., 4 May 2012. Web. 18 Sept. 2012.

Woodroffe, Sophie. “Marketing Lessons from Marvel’s The Avengers.” cmo. n.p., 5 May 2012. Web. 18 Sept. 2012.

“Closing of America” and “New Competitors” analysis

Globalization is a very serious issue that has been discussed for several years. Some think that it is bad for developed countries, but some think globalization can have positive effects for developed countries. Richard Florida claims that globalization is inevitable, so it cannot be bad or good. Moreover, Florida thinks globalization is quite positive for development of the human society. However, he also thinks that it can be negative for the USA.

Florida’s ideas in “New Competitors”

In his work “New Competitors”, Florida analyzes the nature of the so-called creative class. The analysis is very specific and comprehensive. The article provides particular data in a very clear form (tables and diagrams are used). The author also notes that he has been working on the issue for many years. He has researched the creative class in many countries.

The major conclusion made by the author is that the creative class of the USA is very strong, but there are signs of some degradation. The author notes that the USA is not the only attractive region for creative people (scientists, researchers, inventors, etc.). The USA has to compete with European countries, Japan, Canada, Australia, etc. It is necessary to note that the article is very specific and the conclusions made are credible.

Notably, the work adds important ideas concerning globalization. The author analyzes the issue from a different angle. He does not simply focus on industries and economies, but analyzes the core issue. It is clear that the USA may soon lose its leading position unless it improves policies concerning the creative class. It is clear that the winner will be the country where the creative class will develop freely.

Florida’s ideas in “Closing of America”

In his work “Closing of America”, the author focuses on the situation in the USA. Florida notes that the USA has become the super power as this country has been attractive for many creative people from all over the world. The USA used to be a country of lots of opportunities.

However, the author notes that now the USA is at risk. The country is not that attractive for foreigners as the country has become less open. Moreover, the author notes that young creative Americans go to other countries because they feel their talents are not needed in the USA.

The author provides specific data and makes conclusions that are based on particular results of many surveys held. The data are given in a very comprehensive way (in diagrams and tables). The data given make the author’s conclusions credible.

Again, the author focuses on the most important issues. He explains how the USA could become such a powerful country. He also analyzes the impact of globalization. Florida’s article adds a lot to the issue. The author notes that the USA has changed policies concerning the creative class and this will have negative impact. It becomes clear that unless something changes, the USA can lose its leading position and other countries can become superpowers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is possible to note that the articles add a lot to issues concerning globalization. It is clear that globalization cannot be good or bad. It is just another stage of development for the human society. It is also clear that countries with a strong creative class will become more powerful. The articles contain data which show that the USA loses its creative force which can lead to degradation of the American economy.

Personality and Motivation

The concept of motivation emerged after a thorough scholarly investigation about the forces that drove people to perform particular actions. Intrinsic motivation is the implementation of an assignment because of inbuilt contentment from the action rather than some other results.

Ryan and Deci (2000, p.56) show how intrinsic motivation correlates to the natural inclination of individuals towards knowledge and adaptation. They also show how people express it only under specifiable conditions. Extrinsic motivation is whenever an activity is performed to achieve some separable outcomes (Ryan, & Deci, 2000, p.60).

In extrinsic motivation, extrinsic rewards are provided, which are thought to be the motivating factor, an example of which is the remuneration or presents for work done. Intrinsic rewards include personal satisfaction in carrying and completion of a task. Ryan and Deci (2000, p.58) point out how extrinsic rewards such as threats and deadlines interferes with intrinsic inspiration.

It has long been known that those who set goals end up being more successful at a given task compared to those without any goals. Many personalities exist, and so do the methods of classifying them. An example is a classification by Marston (1979, p.36) who grouped people based on their active and passive trends depending on their view of the environment.

Any dominant personality influences a person’s goal setting. Each personality tends to set different goals. People who are driven and supremely determined know what they want to attain. They end up setting exceedingly high goals. Some personalities involve working on a task as a whole. This category ends up setting remarkably low goals, which change often. An example of this personality is the ‘High I’ personality according to Marston (1979, p.37).

There exist a positive correlation between power and leadership. Even though a person can exert power without being a leader, it is hard to be a leader without power. In an organization, the achievement of individual, team, and organizational goals requires that leaders exercise their powers. Leadership therefore may be effectively defined as the practice of using power as a bridge to getting social influence.

Leaders should be able to control their supporters to achieve a better performance. This requires them to be endowed with power. There is a notable relationship between power and leadership in that “leaders at a higher level in an organization rate themselves as more powerful at work compared to those at a lower organizational hierarchy” (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 1982, p.445). They also view themselves as better leaders, as they are able to exercise more powers on their employees and workers in general.

Difficult personality types provide a challenge in the interaction and coexistence of different people. Examples of difficult personality types include aggressors and egoists. Aggressors tend to be hostile and intimidating towards other people. They can be a challenge to deal with. Bullies are a superb example of aggressors (Smokowski, & Kopasz, 2005, p.27) who can be dealt with by psychological counseling after establishing those at risk of the personality.

Egoists pretend to know much about a subject. They feel superior to others based on their facts on a particular matter. A way of dealing with egoists is by appreciating their knowledge and satisfying their urge for attention while getting them involved in constructive activities such as group work (Engleberg, & Wynn, 2010, p. 106). They can be dealt with positively by encouraging them to participate more in a group work besides highlighting the need for them to appreciate the input of others.

Reference List

Engleberg, I., & Wynn, D. (2010). Working in Groups. Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.

Marston, W. (1979). Emotions of Normal People. Minneapolis: Persona Press.

Ryan, R., & Deci, E. (2000). Intrinsic Motivation and Self-determination in Human Behavior. New York: Plenum.

Schermerhorn, J., Hunt, J., & Osborn, R. (1982). Managing Organizational Behavior. New York: Wiley.

Smokowski, P., & Kopasz, K. (2005). Bullying in School: An Overview of Types, Effects, Family Characteristics, and Intervention Strategies. Children and Schools, 27(1), 101-109.

Group Communication

Part 1

Video I: Group Communication Video Cases

The group comprised of three different professionals; a school nurse, a psychiatrist, and a social worker. This diversity in group makeup affected their opinion on resolving the issue. The treatment approach favored by the three professionals varied with a particular approach being seen as more important and useful by each respective professional.

The diversity of the group affected the group members’ communication style since they exhibited varying levels of assertiveness with the psychiatrist being the most assertive of the group. In this case, diversity was a hindrance to communication since group members were keen to defend their position.

The psychiatrist supported medication while the social worker advocated for a more holistic approach. Evidently, the communication was not effective since each member was only interested in advancing their preferred approach without giving due consideration to the suggestions made by the others. Written communication method would have been more effective in this case.

This is because each member would have been forced to go through the ideas proposed by the other members to completion before reacting to him or her (Adair, 2009). Use of presentations would also have helped since each member would have been allocated time to give their opinions without interruption from other members.

Video 2: Planning a Playground

In the planning a playground video, verbal and nonverbal interactions occur among the members. The nonverbal cues were communicating a lack of conviction in some of the proposals being advanced by the members. However, the speaker did not respond to these nonverbal communications.

The verbal communications are very well put and all members were able to properly articulate their issues and offer solutions. The non-verbal communications also demonstrated attention to what was being said by the speaker. Constant nodding and eye contact facilitated the communication process among the members. Use of hand signals such as raising one’s hand when one had a point helped in the organization of the group.

Non-verbal communications were also used to show disagreement with what the speaker was saying. While this communication was not helpful, it was backed up by verbal communication which helped to achieve effective communication. Presentation aids would have helped to better quantify the issue being discussed and help the members to understand the rationale behind the proposals on the playground money made. Keeping of written records of the meeting would also have been helpful for future reference (Hargie, 2006).

Video 3: Virtual Miscommunication

Listening involves receiving the sound waves and understanding what is being communicated by the speaker. Good listening skills are necessary for effective communication to take place. It also prevents misunderstandings and frustrations when the speaker perceives that they are not being listened to.

Listening techniques were not properly utilized in the virtual miscommunication scenario. The listeners did not make use of any verbal affirmations to confirm that they were fully engaged with the communication process. In addition to this, the listeners were not paying proper attention to what the speaker was saying due to distractions.

Another poor listening habit demonstrated in this video was interrupting a speaker while he is making a point. Techniques which could have facilitated the group process include active listening which is characterized by giving verbal affirmations to demonstrate that you understand what is being said would have helped confirm that the listeners were attentive and encourage the speaker to move on.

The group members would also have made use of paraphrasing which involves repeating what the speaker has said in your own words (Cleary, 2004). Such a technique would ensure that there were no misunderstandings and in case they occurred, the speaker would have a chance to correct them.

Part 2

A. Individual Strengths and Problem-Solving Techniques Paper

Part 1: Individual Strengths and the Group Process

I was recently a part of a group whose task was to prepare for a wedding party for my friend. The group consisted of eight members including myself. The members of the group were of varying age groups, came from different backgrounds and possessed varying professional skills. Most of the group members did now know each other or have a relationship with each other outside of the group.

A strength that I brought to the group setting was my enthusiasm for the project. Because of this enthusiasm, I was committed to the group and attended all meetings without fail.

I also ensured that the group efficiency was increased by proposing that we appoint a chairperson and each member be given a role. I also took it upon myself to ensure that the group did not deviate into topics that were not relevant to the task at hand. I fostered effective communication among the members by making sure that the appropriate channels were used at all times.

Because of these, instances of miscommunication were not there and no the group productivity was increased. I also ensured that each task was delegated to the most skilled person in that area. This meant that the tasks at hand were effectively completed due to the skills of the person in charge.

There were some drawbacks which came about because of my strengths and skills. My insistence on sticking to the agenda had a negative impact on group cohesion.

As I have noted, the group members were not familiar with each other. When someone tried to hold general conversations that were aimed at building a relationship among the members, I focused the group back to the issue at hand. Huszczo (2004) asserts that a good relationship among group members yields good performance by the team. My focus on the agenda therefore prevented members from building a relationship that would have raised commitment to the group tasks and brought about great results.

My focus on the most skilled persons in the group also led to some members failing to participate in the group due to lack of confidence. Webne-Behrman (2008) observes that when this happens, the group suffers since it is denied a chance to benefit from the viewpoint of the members who refused to speak out.

One skill that I could work on in order to foster a more effective group environment is to involve all the members of the group. By making all members feel like important members of the team, the group will benefit from the insights of all the members. I can foster this skill by avoiding the temptation to focus only on the vocal members of the group and seeking ways to involve the members who appear to lack confidence.

The group process was also affected by the strengths and skills of other members. On a positive side, the commitment exuded by the members. This commitment led to a deep determination to accomplish the goals and objectives that the group had set out to achieve. On the negative side, some members dominated the meetings and ended up making their issues the center of the discussion. Dominance derails the group from dealing with all the issues that need to be addressed (Kolin, 2009).

Part 2: Problem Solving Techniques and Group Decision Making

Problem solving techniques Used

Problem solving is one of the key activities carried out of the group and this solutions sometimes aid in the decision making process. Having good problem solving skills is therefore imperative for the success of the group. There are a number of problem solving techniques that I frequently make use of. One technique that I make use of in problem solving is brainstorming in order to come up with a large number of ideas and then choose the best ones.

Adair (2010) asserts that brainstorming is a very effective technique since it frees the participant from functional fixedness and gives a chance for new ideas to emerge. I also make use of abstraction to solve problem. This technique involves solving the problem at an abstractly in order to see how the solution will turn out. After that, I then apply the tested solution to the real problem.

An advantage of abstraction is that it anticipates any adverse impacts of the solution proposed before they are implemented and changes can therefore be made. The last technique that I utilize is the trial and error means which involves applying each potential solution in sequence. This method is useful when a set of potential solutions have been decided but it is not yet clear which one works best.

My techniques influence group decisions in a number of profound ways. Through brainstorming, the group is able to encompass numerous solutions and the best one is chosen for the given occasion. Through brainstorming, the members of the group can be involved and this will lead to greater acceptability of the proposed solution.

Abstraction also helps the group to simulate the impacts of the solution and therefore avoid the solutions that might lead to greater problems. Trial and error is very useful when the group members are fighting over which is the right approach to the problem. Straus (2002) elaborates that it is more productive to select one solution and see if it works. If it does not work, then another solution can be tried out until the right one is reached.

There are other problem solving techniques that I could employ when making group decisions. I could also make of extensive research to solve problems. This method will look at similar problems and their solutions and then adapt this to the particular problem that our group is facing.

By doing this, we will be able to build on what is already known to work and therefore get the best outcomes. I could also make use of the divide and conquer technique which involves breaking down a large problem into small solvable parts. This technique will help in solving problems which seem too complex to deal with. Splitting the problems into manageable chunks will ensure that the group is not overwhelmed as we try to solve the problem.

Developing and improving my problem solving techniques will make me an even greater asset for my group. Straus (2002) stresses that problem solving skills can be learned through practice and exposure. I can increase my problem solving proficiency by reading case studies on problems and how to solve them.

By doing this, I will be exposed to new and effective manners of solving problems and learn from experts. I will also be able to use the case study findings in my own problems. Playing puzzles and other mentally challenging games will also increase my analytical skills and therefore make me more proficient and solving problems. Keeping an open mind and being willing to try out other problem solving techniques proposed by other people will also help me to develop and further improve my skills.

Part 3

1. Group Motivation Inventory Paper

Lessons learnt from the exercise

Completing the Group Motivation Inventory exercise made me learn a number of things about myself. To begin with, I learnt that while I work very hard in my group, this dedication is mostly driven by the effort shown by the other group members. I also discovered that I do not spend too much time on group projects and mostly do only what we had agreed on with the other members.

The exercise also revealed to me that I prefer working on my way since I would rather divide the tasks with the group members and then focus on my part individually. Even so, I observed that I appreciate the efforts made by other members of the group and easily commended them for their contributions to the group effort.

Another lesson I learnt was that I prefer to avoid contentions and seek to preserve a cordial mood in the group setting. I therefore avoid issues that might result in strive with other members of the group. I also learnt that I am greatly concerned about the perception that other people have about my contributions.

For example the appreciation I got from my group members inspired me to work even harder. It is likely that I would not have been as inspired had they not shown any appreciation for my efforts. Furthermore, I also noticed that I like taking initiative to ensure that the group objectives are met within the set deadlines.

How the Knowledge affects my interaction with groups

This knowledge affects the manner in which I interact in groups in significant ways. Groups are an invaluable tool for achieving significant results in many settings. The knowledge I gained made me realize that greater outcomes can be obtained from working together as a group.

This is because each member of the group brings with him/her skills and expertise that can contribute to the generation of great ideas (Brown, 2000). I also need to develop intrinsic motivation and avoid letting my desire to work for the group be determined by the efforts shown by other members.

The exercise also brought it to my attention that in many cases, I fall prey to groupthink and go along with the options forwarded by other members of the group even if I disagree. Groups achieve their purpose if they are able to come up with the best solution to handle a common problem.

Guffey, Rogin & Rhodes (2009) observe that groupthink damages the effectiveness of a group since it discourages open discussions and results in conformity which inhibits the best alternatives from being discovered and implemented. I will also be aware of any prejudice or bias I might have while interacting with group members. This awareness will keep me from derailing the communication process as a result of stereotypical views I might harbor (Greene & Burleson, 2003).

Different Approaches in Group Interaction

From the results of the exercise, significant weaknesses in my interaction in groups were highlighted. I therefore intend to act differently in some aspects. I will make use of good listening habits in order to facilitate communication efforts with others. Downs (2008) reveals that good listening skills can be acquired through lessons on effective listening.

I therefore intend to overcome any poor listening habits I might have through training. For example, by acquiring active listening, I will be able to become an effective listener and also gain greater insights into the points being made by the speaker (Gottlieb, 2003). I will also work on looking interested in what the speaker has to say and adopting the proper non-verbal cues. This will encourage the members of my group to communicate more extensively and the group will gain invaluable information from each speaker.

Actions to Increase my Motivation

To be more motivated in the group efforts, I will engage in research on the subject matter before each meeting. By doing this, I will always have something to contribute during each meeting and I will not get bored as the other members get into detailed discussions about the matter at hand.

I will make use of assertive communication to ensure that my opinions are heard by the members. Assertion will help me to maximize my satisfaction without violating the needs of the other group members and therefore promote positive interpersonal relationships in the group (Greene & Burleson, 2003). By doing this, I will have a greater sense of ownership in the direction that the group is taking.

This involvement will lead to greater motivation on my part. I will also set personal goals that I will seek to achieve for the group. Pynes (2008) asserts that the clear expectations which are characteristic of goal-setting theory result in high performance from individuals.

Personal Incentives

A number of personal incentives will help me to increase my commitment to the group. Having a sense of purpose will also serve as a great incentive in the group process. By having a clear objective and goal to achieve, I will be motivated to work hard in order to achieve the goals (Greene & Burleson, 2003).

My need to see any endeavor I take part in succeed will ensure that I have the proper motivation to work with the group. Greater participation in the group will invariably increase my influence in the group. The greater influence I will have on the decisions made by the group will also be a major incentive for me.

Incentivizing Group Members

The actions of each individual member will contribute positively or negatively to the success of the group. It is therefore important to foster a positive climate that encourages each member to make the necessary contribution to positively influence the outcomes of the group (Schneider, 2008).The motivations for group members’ may be deferent and this would call for different incentives to be employed.

Encouraging intrinsic motivation in the group members will be most beneficial. Sharbrough (2006) observes that internally motivated people yield the best results since they do not require any external factors such as promises of reward or threat of punishment to achieve the set goals.

To drive the members, I will promote a culture where achievement is recognized and applauded. Jakobson (2007) reveals that by using simple methods such as acknowledging great performance from an individual member of the team during meetings, the member will be motivated to perform even better in future.

Part 4: Presentation Aids

Presentation aids are tools that are used to enhance the group process by enhancing perception of the speaker and also helping the audience stay interested and remember what is being discussed. Computer generated slides such as Microsoft’s PowerPoint is the most favored presentation aids in group presentations. The speaker makes use of a computer program to create slides that may contain text, images, audio, and even video elements (Kolin, 2009).

In addition to this, the speaker may include notes to help him/her through the presentation. The slides are then presented through a projector to aid in the group presentation. Computer generated slides have a number of significant advantages. The end results look very professional, which increases the interest from the audience. It is also easy to make changes to the data and reproduce the slides if need be.

The speaker can also maintain eye contact with the group members even as he/she presents. However, this presentation aid also has some demerits the most significant of which is that it can be distracting if funny images or too much color is used. Too much information on the slide will also reduce the efficiency of the presentation aid. In most cases, the room has to be darkened for the slides to be visible. This might cause some group members to lose concentration in the presentation.

Another presentation aid used is handouts which are printed paper which contain the points that the speaker is making. The handouts are offered to the group members and the can therefore help the audience to follow along with what is being discussed. A notable advantage of handouts is that they are very simple to make and use. Since they only require printing, they are cheap to implement.

They also act as a lasting reference since members can go home with them (Schneider, 2008). The biggest disadvantage with handouts is that the audience may fail to concentrate on the speaker as they read ahead. These tools will therefore fail to enhance presentation by pulling attention away from the speaker. When the group is relatively large, handouts may be expensive since each member needs to have their own copy.

Another presentation aid used in group presentations is the flip chart. This tool makes use of blank sheets of paper mounted on a board (Cleary, 2004). The speaker composes the desired visual aid by using markers or any other graphic material on the paper. The most obvious advantage of the flip chart is that it is inexpensive and very easy to use as no special skills are required of the presenter.

The aid is also easily portable to any location where the meeting is taking place. The speaker can add material to the charts in real time which makes it very good for interacting with the audience. There are some disadvantages associated with flip charts. To begin with, it is only useful for a small audience due to visibility. If the speaker uses illegible handwriting, the tool will not assist in the presentation efforts.

Overhead Projectors are also popular presentation aids especially when a large group is being addressed. The overhead transparency projector machine is the only piece of equipment needed to utilize this aids (Guffey et al., 2009). The presenter can then project works, images, and illustrations to a screen.

A significant advantage of overhead projectors is that they can be used in large auditorium without visibility being deteriorated. They are also easy to use and do not require a lot of technical knowhow. On the downside, they are big and bulky and therefore not easy to transport. The presentations are also not very professional and may therefore not get the attention of the audience.

References

Adair, J. (2009). Effective Communication: The Most Important Management Skill of All. New York: Pan Macmillan.

Adair, J. (2010). Decision Making and Problem Solving Strategies. NY: Kogan Page Publishers.

Brown, R. (2000). Group processes: dynamics within and between groups. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell.

Cleary, S. (2004). The Communication Handbook: A Student Guide to Effective Communication. New Delhi: Juta and Company Ltd.

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Gottlieb, M. (2003). Managing group process. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Greene, J. & Burleson, B. (2003). Handbook of Communication and Social Interaction Skills. New York: Routledge.

Guffey, E., Rogin, P. & Rhodes, K. (2009). Business Communication: Process and Product. NJ: Cengage Learning.

Hargie, O. (2006). The Handbook of Communication Skills. NJ: Taylor & Francis.

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Schneider, M. (2008). Groups: process and practice. NY: Cengage Learning

Sharbrough, W. (2006). Motivating Language in Industry. Journal of Business Communication, 43(4), 322-343.

Straus, D. (2002). How to Make Collaboration Work: Powerful Ways to Build Consensus, Solve Problems, and Make Decisions. Detroit: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Webne-Behrman, H. (2008).The Practice of Facilitation: Managing Group Process and Solving Problems. Boston: IAP.

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

“So that whatever some have imagined and pretended about promises made to natural men’s earnest seeking and knocking, ’tis plain and manifest that whatever pains a natural man takes in religion, whatever prayers he makes, till he believes in Christ, God is under no manner of obligation to keep him a moment from eternal destruction.” (Edwards, 1)

Introduction

When examining the quote seen above it becomes immediately obvious that it can be considered offensive to nearly every other major religion on the planet. The reason behind this is that it contextually implies that so long as one does not believe in Christ the end result is eternal destruction since God is under no obligation to save them.

Since belief in the divinity of Christ is primarily isolated to Christianity and its various iterations this selection of text in effect declares that individuals who are part of other religions are doomed to eternal destruction. This is despite any good they do on Earth as indicated by the phrase “whatever pains a natural man takes in religion” (Edwards, 1).

Concept of Faith and Religion

It is based on this that it can be stated that the concept of faith and religion espoused by Jonathan Edwards is “absolute” in nature which prevents possible alternative methods of thought from taking root.

One way of looking at this is to think that Edwards views Christianity as the only means by which salvation can be attained. The general theme of the work of Edwards is primarily based on the concept of sufficiently creating fear through the concept of damnation which in effect helps to persuade people towards a particular way of thinking.

When reading through his entire sermon one cannot help but notice that he employs the carrot and stick approach wherein he combines the potential for eternal suffering and damnation with the promise for eternal salvation under Jesus. This is so long as people obey the rules of the Church and follow the teachings of Christ.

Contextual Basis

It must be noted though that the contextual basis of this particular quote is important when comparing it to the rest of the work of Edwards in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. This is due to the fact that it shows how black and white Edwards is making the concept of either salvation or destruction out to be.

For him there are no alternatives whether in the form of other religions, good behavior, or simply by living a good life. Under his thought process which permeates throughout the entirety of the sermon, the only one true way in which someone can attain eternal salvation is through belief in the Christian God and his teachings.

Accuracy of the Sermon of Edwards as Compared to Modern day Views on the Concept of Salvation

A comparison between the views of Edwards and that of modern day society shows a highly contrasting situation wherein it is generally believed that salvation is not isolated primarily through an absolute belief in doctrine. Instead it is believed that salvation can be attained through any number of possible ways and through a variety of religions (Cordry, 61).

This contrast in the way of thinking regarding the concept of salvation is indicative of the social changes that have occurred since the times of Edwards. This is related to people becoming more open in terms of developing and understanding what it truly means to obtain eternal salvation whether through word or deed.

Works Cited

Cordry, Benjamin S. “A More Dangerous Enemy? Philo’s ‘Confession’ And Hume’s Soft

Atheism.” International Journal For Philosophy Of Religion 70.1 (2011): 61-83. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Sept. 2012.

Edwards, Jonathan. “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Jonathan Edwards Section. Yale University, 2012. Web. 16 Sep 2012.

Euthyphro – Plato

The concept that needs to be defined is that of piety/ holiness. Euthyphro is in the verge of prosecuting his father because of the crime he committed. Socrates is surprised by the action of Euthyphro. However, Euthyphro argues that his action is pious.

This action makes Socrates to wonder whether impiety and piety knowledge that Euthyphro posses are adequate enough to allow him prosecute his father by not behaving impiously. As a result, they search for piety definition as understood by Euthyphro. The dialogue between the two terminates without getting a clear definition of what piety means (Cohen, N.D).

Definition of piety by Euthyphro

The definition of piety is offered by Euthyphro in four different perspectives. From the initial dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro, Euthyphro is in the verge of prosecuting his own father. This is because he murdered a murderer. The underlying philosophy behind the actions of Euthyphro is not understood by Socrates.

However, he is keen to learn with an aim of understanding Euthyphro and how he ended holding such a super power in the whole state. Socrates was preparing himself to face trial. As such, he wanted to attain the same respect that had already been achieved by Euthyphro. In their dialogue, Euthyphro understands the various definition of piety.

On the contrary, throughout their dialogue, Euthyphro gives out four different piety definitions some of which contradict each other (Brickhouse & Smith, 1995). According to Socrates, there are numerous limitations with regards to his definitions and continues to insist for an answer that is satisfactory. His initial definition can be found in the following statement, “piety means prosecuting the unjust individual who has committed murder or sacrilege, or any other such crime” (Plato, N.D, p.5).

This is in reference to his father’s prosecution for murder charges. Piety is therefore considered as that action which does not maintain the city justice. Therefore, if a single man acts in a disgraceful manner, he needs to face justice by being prosecuted and justice enforced. To emphasize on this point, a reference is made to Kronos the father of Zeus and Zeus himself. Kronos was bound by his son Zeus because he consumed his own children.

After being bound, Zeus escaped. Ironically, Kronos managed to castrate his own father because he consumed his own children. However, it is argued by Euthyphro that, in comparison to all gods, Zeus is the most just. Therefore, Euthyphro is trying to appease the gods by being just. Thereby prosecuting the society wrong doers such as in the case of his father, Zeus and his father as presented in the book.

Another definition of piety provided by Euthyphro to Socrates states that, “the pious is to do what I am doing now to prosecute the wrong doer” (Plato, N.D, p.9). In that case, he prosecutes his own father despite people being against his actions. This definition is not accepted by Socrates because it is only an example given rather than a definition.

According to Socrates view, the definition of piety given by Euthyphro is not objective as they are not similar in each and every situation and they are not explanatory. Another definition of piety by Euthyphro is that” The pious is what is dear to gods (6c-8d). This definition is fine to Euthyphro. Nevertheless, Socrates argues that, a lot of things are disagreed upon by gods. For instance, the idea of him prosecuting his father might be okay with Zeus but not appealing to the overthrown Kronos.

Socrates main goal

From the dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro, the main goal of Socrates was to have a clear definition of what piety was. However, Euthyphro gave him examples rather than a single definition. In addition to that, Socrates wanted to understand Euthyphro better and how he raised to that powerful position in the state. Socrates was about to face trial and his main objective was to make sure he worn the case by understanding the true meaning of piety.

According to my own definition, piety is the reverence and devotion to God and religious practices. For instance, going to church and listening to sermons is a good example of piety. Therefore, Euthyphro was obeying his gods by prosecuting his father. Given the fact that his father had committed a crime, he was supposed to face justice and pay for his sins.

Additionally, piety can be perceived as the science of sacrifice and prayer. In essence, piety is acknowledging what needs to be done in sacrifices and prayer in order to please gods. Therefore, individuals should have a clear knowledge of how they can address their gods in times of prayers and sacrifices. Hence, an individual needs to please god.

However, according to Socrates arguments, he believes that there is no co-existence between the god-loved class and pious things class. His arguments are based on substituting the two terms” god-loved” and “pious” in his statements. The substitution result to sentences that are false.

References

Brickhouse, T. C., & Smith, N. D. (1995). Plato’s Socrates. New York: Oxford University. Press.

Cohen, M.C. (n.d). Socrates on the Definition of Piety: Euthyphro 10a- 11b. Retrieved September 16, 2012, from http://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/Euthyphro.pdf

Plato, M & Jowett, B. (n.d.). Euthyphro: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved September 16, 2012, from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1642

Kiera Brinkley: A Person Who Has Influenced My Life in Positive Way

Leading normal lives we do not understand how lucky we are to have legs and hands, we do not respect the opportunities we are offered and we do not know how to use the basic issues we have, the opportunity to walk and to use hands, while those who live with limited opportunities lead fuller lives than others do. Kiera Brinkley is the example of how we are to live.

Kiera Brinkley is a sixteen year old girl who lost her legs and hands when she was 2 years old because of the meningococcal disease. During her life, her mother supported and inspired her telling that she is not different from others, but that she is unique and she should be proud of it. This point of view helped Kiera Brinkley grow up a positive person with many desires.

Looking at Kiera Brinkley I understand how strong this person must be to be able to dance without legs. She inspired me for actions. Watching the video on YouTube with Kiera Brinkley I was inspired by her mode of life, her strong character and desire to live.

Kiera Brinkley lives fuller life that people with ordinary options and she may be used as the role model for others. Being limited in movement, she managed not only to walk and study at college, she also realized her dream to dance and this is a great achievement.

I was inspired by this persona and I am sure that everyone who watches how this person uses her body having limited opportunities is inspired as well. She motivated me for living better life than I have, to act rather than stay and watch how others do.

Environmental Psychology

This is a scientific discipline concerned with the study of impacts that human beings have on the environment around them, and how the environment affects them. The role human beings play in conserving and sustaining the environment has been identified using relevant psychological theories. This has been eased by research findings that exist in this field (Clayton & Myers, 2009).

Definition of Environmental Psychology

According to Clayton and Myers (2009), environmental psychology is a branch of psychology that is concerned with the relationship between human beings and the environment within which they live. It involves studying relevant theories, and how they can be applied in real life. In general, this is a discipline concerned with streamlining rules of engagement between human beings and the environment.

Theories used in Environmental Psychology

Evolutionary Psychology Theory

Under this theory, the need to survive is the greatest reason why human minds undergo evolution. The human mind is divided into small sections that can be studied to identify the role played by the brain in the interaction between human beings and the environment. The sections studied are biases and perceptions.

It is believed that the environment dictates the way the human beings live in it. The dictation involves influence on activities such as mating, feeding, and social organization. In addition, the theory posits that the need to survive in the environment compels human beings to change their means of communication thus resulting in the development of a variety of languages. This means that human behavior in any given environment is the result of the environment dictating people how they should live in it (Korpela, 1989).

Biophilia

This is another approach to environmental psychology that posits human adaptation to the environment to be the result of intrinsic effect. According to the proponents of this theory, human beings usually develop a genetic predisposition to depend or associate with the environment as a result of the need to survive (Clayton & Myers, 2009).

This theory opposes the famous notion that inherited traits are solely responsible for human behavior. Instead, it posits emotions to be reactions to external stimuli. Identification of edible plants is one of the examples quoted under this hypothesis (Clayton & Myers, 2009).

Importance of Research in Environmental Psychology

The relationship between human beings and the environment within which they live is vital. They are inseparable, and will continue to have an effect on each other as long as they exist. The fact that they constantly affect each other requires research to help understand their relationship.

Environmental pollution as a result of human activities is one best example that illustrates the relationship between the two. Pollution has become a serious threat to the human race. In this respect, it is necessary to carry out studies to understand the possible impact one can have on the other so as to avoid the wiping out of the human race (Hansla, Gamble, & Juliusson, 2008).

Conclusion

It is natural to have a system to balance the existence of organisms in any given environment to ensure that the environment is not altered. This system also ensures that the environment does not destroy the lives of the organisms. However, human beings do not obey the rules of such balanced systems.

Therefore, this necessitates teaching through a discipline such as environmental psychology and relevant theories. Through such approaches, the human species will definitely understand the importance of conserving and caring for the environment. Unless human beings focus on the well being of the environment, their own survival will always be threatened.

References

Clayton, S. & Myers, G. (2009). Conservation Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Hansla, A., Gamble, A., & Juliusson, A. (2008). The relationships between awareness of consequences, environmental concern, and value orientations. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 28 (1), 1-9.

Korpela, K. (1989). Place-identity as a product of environmental self-regulation. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 9 (3), 241-256.

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