Friday, March 27, 2020
Great Expectations In Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, light is used symbolically through the example of Estella. Miss Havisham brings Estella up in the darkness, consequently sheltering her from the true meaning of life. By Miss Havisham's orders, the house in which Estella lives is lit only by artificial light. Estella constantly lives a false life by never knowing the true significance of her words and actions. Her confinement to the darkness affects Pip, the one person who truly loves her. Estella represents his unreachable star, a light in the darkness that he faithfully reaches for. The sun, earth's star, is our source of life. In this way, Estella acts as Pip's continual source of inspiration. He strives to become a gentleman for her, so he can spend the rest of his life by her side. Pip's life was unfulfilled until "her light came along the dark passage like a star." This light, in the darkness of her surroundings, will light the way for Pip and always guide him back to Estella. The light that Estella represents is significant to this remarkable work, Great Expectations.
Friday, March 6, 2020
Why You Should Use Web Push To Reach Your Email Marketing Haters What if I saidÃ weve been blowing smoke when we talked about email marketing on this blog? Weve devoted a fair amount of space talking about email marketing- many thousands and thousands of words, in fact. First, weve convinced you that a substantial effort has to go toward building the number of emails on your list. Then, weve told you about the best ways to get people to sign up, and how to get people to open your email. But what if email was on the road to inevitable failure? What if there was something coming that would make it obsolete? Think of all the effort youve put into your email list. Its terrifying to consider that it might be the marketing version of the VHS tape, but perhaps that is inevitable thanks to Web push. Why You Should Use #WebPush To Reach Your #EmailMarketing Haters via @JulieNeidlingerWhat Is Web Push? You are already familiar with Web pushÃ if youÃ are using an Internet browser like Safari (Chrome and Firefox have indicated theyll be getting Web push soon), and get notifications for things such as new Twitter activity. In a way, Web push is sort of like the notifications you get on your smartphone, except that Web push happens through your computers Internet browser, where most of us spend our workday. Any of your readers who have allowed your notifications to appear in their browser will receive a notification the next time you publish new content.Ã They can click on the notification and be taken to your freshly published content easily. Web push is attractive to your readers for several reasons. 1. Web push is easy to use. Web push is simple for your readers to set up.Ã When readers arrive at your Web push-enabled website, a notification pops up asking if theyd like to be notified every time you publish new content. Unlike email or other calls-to-action, Web push is painless. The user can easily select Allow or Dont AllowÃ when asked if they want notifications, and the window goes away. Thats it. They can go on with their Internet browsing without having to verify email later or go to a sign-up page. The barrier to entry is very low- you cant get much easier than one click, which is all that Web push requires of your reader. 2. The permission window is familiar. The Web push window that pops up asking if your reader would like to be notified looks like any other browser-based permission window. Thats easier to trust than a custom marketing pop-up window. Why You Should Be Using Web Push Not every content marketing tool that comes along is worth your time, but Web push is something you should consider using. It very directly gets your content in front of eyeballs that are receptive to it, making it similar to email in that readers have opted in. Its easy to get started. You can get your site ready for Web push without having to be a developer. Using Roost, you can set up Web push on your site easily with several integrations, including a WordPress plugin that makes managing Web push from your WordPress dashboard possible. Roost makes setting up Web push in your WordPress blog easy. With Roost, your notifications can be automatically generated whenever you publish new content, or you can create custom notifications and send them manually to all of your subscribers. Taking the idea of push notifications a step further, you could also use Pushbullet to get notifications right where your readers are. Pushbullet is a mobile app (not limited to just aÃ browser) that also has browser extensions to make push available for non-Safari users. While Pushbullet has features directed at individual user convenience (text messaging, link sharing between devices, phone notifications to your desktop), they also allow users to subscribe to channels. Thats where content marketers might want to take notice. By setting up a Pushbullet channel that uses your RSS feed, you can notify subscribers of new content immediately, much the same as Safari users experience Web push. It appears on their mobile phone, and on their desktop. Web push happens where your audience is. One of the big challenges content marketers face is choosing which social networks they will publish content on. There are so many networks, and each network attracts a different kind of user. Content marketers often struggle with managing all of these publishing channels. With Web push, it doesnt matter what social networks your reader prefers, because it has nothing to do with them. Instead, it is independent of social networks, appearing right in their browser. You dont have to create different, customized messages optimized for different networks. You dont have to research which kind of networks your niche performs best on. Just like with the email you send, your content arrives where your audience isÃ already working, outside of a network. Web push helps build data for you. When we measure the success of a blog post or headline, we often deal with a variety of metrics. Traffic, perhaps, and how many social shares it received. Web push gives you another avenue of metrics, allowing you to A/B test everything from the best time to send notifications to what kind of messages might lead to unsubscribing. For those of you who like to A/B test and base content marketing decisions on hard data, Web push is another building block for you, a chance to learn about your audiences behavior outside of social networks and search engines. Try #WebPush to A/B test #headlines and understand the best times to publish your #blog posts.Web push gives you control and customization. Despite the simplicity of Web push, both for the end user and for you to set up, you still have some customizations and control available to you. Roost recently announced that you canÃ now send specific blog post categories to different subscriber segments, allowing your readers to see only what they want to see. If youre a heavy blogger and publish several posts a day, you might send out a notification to a summary email or link instead of a notification for every blog post. You can send out important product updates, or breaking news. With the simple system of Web push, you canÃ control what gets sent to whom. It is more than just an RSS feed on notification steroids. Web push opens a door for people who dont like email marketing. Not everyone likes getting marketing emails, and Web push helpsÃ solveÃ that problem. Youre probably pretty invested in your email marketing, accepting the loss of those folks you know dont want your marketing email in their inbox. According to bloggerÃ Tim Varner, Web push has an opt-in rate that is 10 times higher than email newsletters. Ill admit Ive become both worn out and disinclined to hand out my email address as freely as I once did. Web push allows me to stay connected to a blog I like but keep my email to myself. I can also control what kind of notifications Ill receive, and I like that I have control. Web push is the perfect patch for the anti-marketingÃ streak that runs through some of your audience. #WebPush is the perfect way to reachÃ your #EmailMarketing haters.Why Email Is Still The King Web push sounds pretty great, doesnt it? But rest assured that all of the attention weve given to growing your email list hasnt been misplaced. We havent led you astray. We were not blowing smoke. The truth is, Web push will not replace email. Its cool, it has promise, and its yet another great tool for your content marketing tool box, butit isnt as powerful as email. Web push is easy to abuse. Its so easy to send notifications to your subscribers that you might be tempted to do it more often than you should.Ã Notifications arent the same as an email. An email shows up in the inbox and sits there until your reader decides to do something with it. A notification does not give the reader that kind of control, and a simple one-click unsubscribe is likely to happen if the notifications annoy your reader in that moment. Just as Web pushÃ notifications areÃ easy to allow, its easy to turn off, too.Ã The temptation and simplicity of sending out many notifications mayÃ prove too much for some marketers. Web push does not get an email address. Attracting audience members whoÃ dont want to give you an email address is a catch 22. Web push doesnt give you anything from your audience, beyond the permission of sending notifications and the data from their usage.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Teaching Strategies - Article Example The content knowledge in this strategy is the encouragement of peer to peer communication and interaction. This strategy enables learners to interact with students who speak English as the primary language s that they are enabled to clarify the essential concepts. The instructor uses various activities which helps the learners to go through he guided interaction successfully by grasping key language skills and concepts. This strategy helps learners to practice their pre-reading and also pre-writing skills so that they could have a meta-cognition of English language. This strategy helps the learners to express their thinking processes in verbal and written language. The assessment activities that teachers use in this strategy include think aloud and guides for complete chapter readings (Tissington and LaCour, 2010). Explicit instruction involves teaching the essential language concepts with an aim of building the background knowledge of the learners. At this stage, learners are given tasks which require cognitive skills of English reading. The teacher employs tools and activities which enable learners to classify, analyze, compare, interpret and synthesize the language concepts. This strategy aims at introducing learners to concepts which emanate from familiar themes, prompts and resources. The instructor aims at motivating the learners to link various ideas from their linguistic and social cultural backgrounds so that the interest of the student in learning English is determined. The motivation of the teacher will enable students to overcome the learning challenges (Tissington and LaCour,
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Homework - Case Study Example The employees think that they will have lesser control over their functions and that the new way of doing things is posed to lessen their influence on strategic operations of the organization. Finally, and obvious resistance to change is the lack of skills especially in computer technology. Most employees are wondering how they will cope with information systems that they barely understand. The first step in dealing with resistance to change is awareness creation among all employees. Awareness creation should take place early enough so that the employees can understand the urgency and need for the proposed change. After creating awareness, it is imperative to train employees in the necessary skills for handling computer programs. In this case, Martin should develop training programs that focus on fully equipping employees with the computer skills. Another way of dealing with resistance to change is diversifying job functions since computers will render some staff jobless. There should be initiative to encourage task diversification so that employees can handle more than one function within the
Monday, January 27, 2020
Russias Economy During Yeltsin Era Analyse the principle problems facing the Russian economy at the end of the Yeltsin era. How have these problems been tackled? Abstract The following dissertation will analyse the principle problems facing the Russian economy at the end of the Yeltsin era. In many respects these principle problems facing the Russian economy stemmed from the economic and political disintegration of the Soviet Union combined with how effectively or ineffectively the Yeltsin administration had attempted to deal with those problems. As will be discussed the principle economic problems that faced the Russian Federation in 1992 were daunting, and therefore it is not surprising that some of these problems remained unsolved and were bequeathed to the incoming Putin government after YeltsinÃ¢â¬â¢s surprise resignation at the end of 1999. Yeltsin had seemed to be RussiaÃ¢â¬â¢s political saviour in August 1991 when he led the resistance to the attempted coup of Soviet hard-liners against Gorbachev. The failure of that coup inevitably accelerated the demise of the Soviet Union. However, the Russian economy would prove much harder to tackle t han desperate Soviet generals and KGB chiefs. The principle problems of the Russian economy can be arguably traced back to the inefficiencies of the Soviet UnionÃ¢â¬â¢s command economy and its massive military expenditure during the Cold War. These economic problems accelerated the demise of the Soviet Union itself and made it difficult to make the economic transition to capitalism without major economic implications. The Soviet Union for all its economic faults had at least provided a basic standard of living, which meant that none of its people starved or were in severe economic distress. This was despite a stagnant economy, although its economic stability crumbled with remarkable speed. For much of the Yeltsin era the Russian economy could not match the basic living standards of the old Soviet Union for many of its citizens. It could be argued that the transition to capitalism contributed to the worsening of the principle problems outlined below, and that ill thought out economic policies since have made it more difficult for those problems to be effectively tackled during and after the Yeltsin era. Among the main themes of this dissertation is that the Yeltsin government did not have a consistent set of economic and political policies to solve the principle problems of the Russian economy, which in turn hampered the effective tackling of those problems. The so called young reformers led by Yegor Gaider and Anatoly Chubais had the most thought out strategies for the Russian economy, yet they did not have a constant control over the governmentÃ¢â¬â¢s economic policy throughout the Yeltsin era. Besides not all the economic strategies advocated by the young reformers proved to be effective once the Russian government put those strategies into practice. The ways in which all the principle problems of the Russian economy at the end of the Yeltsin era were all interconnected are arguably obvious and apparent. To a certain extent it will be argued that Boris Yeltsin himself did not help the Russian government to tackle the principle problems of the Russian economy. The link betwee n principle problems in the Russian economy and political ones plus social factors will be discussed when and where appropriate. This dissertation will seek to examine the reasons for the Russian economy taking over a decade to achieve real growth, despite following the policies that it was advised would promote stability, liberalised and privatised economy. This dissertation will attempt to analyse whether the economic transition achieved anything at all to justify an estimated 47 % decrease in living standards between 1991 and 2000. How many Russians believed that the detrimental effects of the principle problems of the Russian economy at the end of the Yeltsin era could have been averted or tackled earlier? When Boris Yeltsin assumed the presidency of the Russian Federation it was still part of the Soviet Union and not even a sovereign state in its own right also it did not have control over economic policy. Yeltsin presided over the dismantling of Communist control in Russia, yet he found it very difficult to construct capitalism from virtually non-existent foundations as any form of capitalist economic activity had been illegal for much of the previous 75 years after the Communist Revolution. By the time Yeltsin left his presidential office, the Russian Federation was a fully independent state that nominally, if not completely become a liberal democracy with a capitalist market economy. However, the dual Russian transitions to liberal democracy and capitalism from an authoritarian Communist State proved difficult and many have argued that those transitions remain incomplete. The incompleteness of the transition to capitalism and the political and economic make up of the Russian fed eration had a strong influence upon the principle problems facing the Russian economy at the end of the Yeltsin era. Russia had been used to authoritarian government with state controlled central planning for the economy so the process of liberalisation had been uneven and had unwelcome social and economic consequences across Russia. The legacy of misguided Soviet economic planning took much effort and a great deal of suffering for the poorest sections of the Russian society to break, it seemed to help a minority of Russians make their fortunes, whilst leaving the rest to fend for themselves. In Russia the correlation between political and economic weaknesses arguably helped to make the post-communist economic and democratic situation imperfect and even corrupt. The move to bring capitalism to Russia in less than a decade was as revolutionary as StalinÃ¢â¬â¢s attempts to achieve industrialisation during collectivisation, yet the opposite aims of privatising the economy. The aim of the Yeltsin government to bring capitalism was a sensible notion, yet the ways that it was implemented caused controversy as well as arguably increasing the impact of the principle problems that afflicted the Russian economy at the end of the Yeltsin era. Decline and signs of recovery 1992 1998 The initial bout of economic shock therapy administered in 1992 brought about hyperinflation, the closure of many factories and enterprises, which led inevitably to mass unemployment. Gaider and the other young reformers in the Yeltsin government had to end state subsidies to factories and intoduce the lifting of price controls at one go rather than to introduce reforms gradually. It was harsh economic medicine for a country burdened with the consequences of communismÃ¢â¬â¢s profound economic and political failures, although Yeltsin did not have the political strength or motivation to carry out shock therapy as extensively as Gaider and the other Ã¢â¬Ëyoung reformersÃ¢â¬â¢ had originally intended. Through much of the 1990s the young reformers and the richest entrepreneurs known as the oligarchs competed for political influence and power, whilst contending to gain control of the Russian economy or a share of its greatest spoils. Neither the young reformers nor the oligarchs were popular with the majority of the Russian people, yet none of them particularly cared. They were not involved in popularity contests, they were arguing over power and riches. Sometimes they might do things that were good for the Russian economy, yet they were mainly interested in achieving their own agendas than serving the national interests of Russia. The weakness of the Russian economy further weakened the position of the Russian government at the start of the Yeltsin era. These were political as well as economic weaknesses that still existed when Yeltsin left office. YeltsinÃ¢â¬â¢s first term was undermined by political disputes with the Russian Supreme Soviet, which Yeltsin eventually closed down and replaced with a new parliament, the Duma. Yeltsin had to maintain his political position whilst attempting to prevent the Communists and nationalists making sufficient electoral gains to restrict his political room to manoeuvre. Yeltsin was able to maintain his hold on power, despite a strong challenge from the Communists after his re-election in 1996. YeltsinÃ¢â¬â¢s second term in office highlighted his inability to find a Prime Minister that was politically reliable, could manage, or even reduce the weakness of the Russian economy and who did not want to assume the presidency as YeltsinÃ¢â¬â¢s replacement before Yeltsin was due to leave office in June 2000. YeltsinÃ¢â¬â¢s second term witnessed his problems with ill health worsen, which in turn meant that the Russian economy as well as the Russian government was not as effectively managed as they needed to be. When Yeltsin appointed the virtually unheard of Vladimir Putin as Prime Minister he believed that he had found a man that could fix the Russian economy and solve its political problems. Perhaps more importantly for Yeltsin and his family, Putin was unwilling to prosecute either him or his relatives for their links to the corruption and inefficiency of the Yeltsin era. The Russian economy did show signs of revival towards the end of YeltsinÃ¢â¬â¢s first presidential term, yet in many respects such a revival was more apparent than real. The vast majority of Russians were economically worse off than they had been before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Declining inflation and unemployment rates did not benefit most of them, especially those that lost their jobs, their savings, and all hope with the shock therapy of 1992 which resulted in inflation rates of around 2,000%. The new Russian economy seemed to benefit former Communist party officials; bureaucrats, factory, and state farm managers that managed to gain control of former state owned enterprises. The other main beneficiaries were the handful of entrepreneurs, subsequently known as the oligarchs that had become very wealthy through their links with Yeltsin. The Russian economy for the first time also had millions of shareholders eager to show their capitalist credentials. The Russian governm ent did not however, share in the beginning of the Russian economy during the middle of the 1990s, the strength and capabilities of the Yeltsin government to deal with economic problems was undermined by falling revenues. Government revenues had been reduced through the economic contraction of the early 1990s, higher spending on social security, lower global prices for Russian oil exports, plus extensive tax evasion. Not that anybody had to deliberately evade paying their taxes given the massive size of the tax arrears owed to the Russian government. The breakdown of the Soviet Union led to other problems such as lower exports to the other former Soviet republics and the inability of countries such as the Ukraine to pay for Russian gas and oil. The table below that shows the annual changes in RussiaÃ¢â¬â¢s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures between 1992 to 1999 amply demonstrates the disastrous state of the Russian economy throughout much of the Yeltsin era.  Stock market crash and Government weakness The perilous financial position of the Yeltsin government itself proved to undermine the revival of the Russian economy as it directly contributed to the collapse of the Russian stock market in 1998. The crash of 1998 ruined millions of small-scale shareholders in Russia and reduced the scale of foreign investment in the Russian economy. Russian investors were in effect made to suffer due to the ineptness of the Russian government in raising enough taxes to run the country and avoid bankruptcy. Under Yeltsin the Russian State had lost out in terms of revenue and economic independence to the oligarchs, profits that should have lined the coffers of the Kremlin lined the pockets of Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Potanin, and the other oligarchs. All of these factors combined to make the insolvency of the Russian State as principle problem of the Russian economy. Restoring the solvency of the government would increase its scope to solve the other principle problems of the Russian economy , as well as restore the political authority of the state. When Vladimir Putin assumed power his government was faced not only with the task of restoring the solvency of the Russian state, he also had to restore the faith of Russians and foreigners that the government would not default on its loans. The crash of August 1998 had led to the Yeltsin government defaulting on $40 billion worth of foreign loans. The crisis in confidence also saw the rouble decline to a third of its pre-crash value. The Russian economy was not helped by international bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or foreign governments most notably the United States by the amounts of capital as the Russian government would have liked. As Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had already shown his commitment to restoring the solvency and the power of the Russian State. PutinÃ¢â¬â¢s strength of character plus his determination to succeed contributed to YeltsinÃ¢â¬â¢s decision to resign and maximise PutinÃ¢â¬â¢s chances of retaining the presidency after the 2000 presidential election. Putin was elected president in 2000 and claimed the credit for RussiaÃ¢â¬â¢s improving economy as well as apparent victory in the war against Chechen separatists. Putin put himself forward as the man capable of curing RussiaÃ¢â¬â¢s profound economic, social, and political problems. If confidence alone was the sole key to solving the principle problems of the Russian economy at the end of the Yeltsin era, then Russia should have been a prosperous state the day Putin entered the Kremlin. Principle Problems of the Russian Economy The first principle problem facing the Russian economy at the end of the Yeltsin era was the incomplete nature of the transition to a capitalist market economy. The support of Boris Yeltsin for the measures needed for a full transition to a market economy was not consistent throughout his time in office. The economic reforms introduced in 1992 hit the Russian economy harder than the similar reforms introduced in former Communist states such as Poland and Hungary. Russia had a larger economy, more state enterprises and factories plus a much longer period under communist control than any of the former communist states Central and Eastern Europe had. The Yeltsin government received plenty of advice as to whether to introduce economic liberalisation all at once or gradually, although at that point there was no hard evidence as to which approach would be the most successful in the long run. In the short run economic contraction was expected before the Russian economy would show signs of i mprovement and growth. However, the period of economic contraction was longer than many experts had predicted, although the sheer scale of the problems facing the Russian economy throughout the Yeltsin era were enormous. A healthy Boris Yeltsin, despite his lack of knowledge concerning capitalist economics, might have given the government more urgency in tackling those economic proms it could. However, during his second term as president Yeltsin suffered from the affects of heavy drinking and a severe heart condition. Given the prominence of presidential power in the Russian political system having an incapacitated president was detrimental to the tackling of RussiaÃ¢â¬â¢s economic problems. Not only was Yeltsin frequently ill he would intervene in the government at some inopportune moments. Yeltsin had a tendency to appoint Prime Ministers and cabinets on a whim. If a Prime Minister proved incapable of tackling the countryÃ¢â¬â¢s many social, economic, and political problem s they would be removed. Paradoxically if a Prime Minister was too successful in resolving those problems or appeared to be more popular than Yeltsin they were also removed from office. A principle problem facing the Russian economy at the end of the Yeltsin era was that a proper banking system similar to those operating in more established capitalist economies had not been fully developed to aid the Russian economyÃ¢â¬â¢s transition in to a capitalist economy. There are various reasons why the lack of a fully developed banking system became a principle problem facing the Russian economy. The lack of such a properly developed and regulated system hindered and deterred foreign businesses from investing in the Russian economy, as potential investors could not be sure of where their money was going. The lack of foreign investment slowed down economic growth in the financial sector of the Russian economy. Growth in the financial sector was needed to compensate for the contractions in the industrial and agricultural sectors of the economy. The lack of a properly regulated banking system also aided the money laundering of illegal profits from the organised crime gan gs that seemed to proliferate after the Soviet Union collapsed. Organised crime gangs had been able to take advantage of the Russian governmentÃ¢â¬â¢s struggle to maintain full political and economic control of Russia. The unregulated nature of the Russian banking system did not help stem the flow of financial capital out of the Russian economy during the Yeltsin era. The Yeltsin government seemed unable or unwilling to take effective measures to stop the flow of capital that was so detrimental to the Russian economy. If the Russian government had been able to attract as much investment into the Russian economy as there was capital exported away from it then the economy would have achieved greater stability and growth. However, the IMF made economic aid and loans to the Russian government conditional upon the Russians on improving the Russian banking system to international standards of performance and regulation. The Russian government could in return claim that RussiaÃ¢â¬â¢s e conomic problems would have decreased if the Russians had received all the international aid and investments that had been promised in the early 1990s. Whilst aid was slow in coming forward the foreign debts owed by Russia from $97 billion in 1992 to a burdensome $152 billion by 1998. During the same period the amount of GDP the Russian government had to use to service its foreign debts doubled to 60%. That was money that the Russian government could have spent in more productive ways such as increasing spending on non-military research or tackling the social and economic problems that were reducing the performance of the Russian economy. A principle problem facing the Russian economy at the end of the Yeltsin era was organised crime. Organised crime gangs, as previously noted, took advantage of the lack of political and economic control in Russia. The way in which the transition to a capital economy in Russia had been attempted had benefited organised crime gangs. Organised crime had existed in the Soviet Union due to the people wanting consumer goods as well as drugs that were not available through state enterprises. Under the Soviet economy system all private economic activity had been illegal. Organised crime gangs find post-Communist Russia an easy place to operate with little fear of being caught, rival gangs were more of a threat to each other than the Russian police were to them. If the gangs could not bribe the police they could frequently outfight them. The financial dire straits of the Russian government meant that there were not enough police or customs officials to deter, let alone catch organised crime g angs and their members. Poorly or infrequently paid police and customs officials had little motivation in stopping criminals, including those that resisted the temptation to take bribes. Another principle problem facing the Russian economy at the end of the Yeltsin era was the informal economy in which employers paid in cash, whilst neither they or their workers paid taxes on their earnings or profits. However, the informal economy had in many respects helped to maintain the Soviet economy, despite its in efficiencies and stagnation. The economic reforms introduced at the start of the Yeltsin era offered chances and opportunities to organised crime gangs and individual entrepreneurs to make their fortunes. Previous experience of working in the informal economy did prove advantageous to many Russians wanting to make their fortunes or faced with the more mundane task of surviving. The Russians have a long tradition of people who know the right people within the bureaucracy being able to further their own position. Corruption, bribery, and the calling in of favours could make all the difference between success and failure during the Yeltsin era. The informal economy grew due to the greater economic freedom and the unregulated nature of the Russian economy once market liberalisation had occurred. For many Russians being part of the informal economy was the only way to make ends meet. The Russian government had drastically reduced the number of state owned enterprises, whilst cutting subsidies to the newly privatised enterprises. Private enterprises in Russia would frequently not pay their workers for months to try to stay in business as they found it very difficult to survive against foreign competitors. Not being paid for months or only been paid in kind prompted workers further into the informal economy. Due to the lack of money available to the Russian government public sector employees were not always paid either. Desperation forced many Russians into holding two or three jobs to make ends meet. Without the informal economy the social and economic problems facing Russia could have been worse.  When private and public sector workers were paid, the high inflation at the beginning of the Yeltsin era meant that most Russians had to find extra sources of income or face economic ruin. It is difficult to have an accurate idea of the informal economy within framework of the Russian economy in terms of its share of GDP and its actual size. Statistics from the Russian government were even in the 1990s domestically or internationally known for their accuracy. Given the lack of resources available to the Russian police, customs officials, and bureaucrats it is not surprising that few people were caught for their involvement within the informal economy or that Russian officials could be bribed to turn a blind eye. During the Yeltsin era, the Russian government estimated that 25% of RussiaÃ¢â¬â¢s GDP was generated by the informal economy. Other sources such as the IMF and the Russian press put the figure as high as 80%. The harsh economic realities of life in YeltsinÃ¢â¬â¢s Russia meant that corruption and unregulated economic activity increased dramatically. Organised crime gangs were able to gain from peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s misery and desperation in terms of increased levels of drug taking and prostitution. The collapse of Soviet authority and the difficulty of Russia and its neighbours had in securing their mutual borders had given the organised crime gangs the opportunity to expand their activities as well as their profits. These increases in gang activities lead to higher levels of crime, as people had to resort to desperate measures to feed drug habits and gangs fought each other. Although the outbreaks of gang warfare witnessed in cities such as St Petersburg can mainly be regarded as a law and order issue, such events did have an economic impact during the Yeltsin era. Economic hardship, drug taking, and prostitution have heavily contributed to declining life expectancy rates. Many of the peo ple that should be the most economically active in Russia are either working informally and therefore not paying taxes or they have died prematurely. Drug taking and prostitution have increased the spread of AIDS so that Russia has one of the highest infection rates in the world. The demographic decline in Russia, if left unchecked could have major implications for the Russian economy as well as disastrous effects on its society. Organised crime may help many Russians survive from day to day, yet it makes some gang members very wealthy whilst depriving the Russian government of much needed revenue and leaving the cost of sorting out serious law and order as well as health problems. Organised gangs were also able to take advantage of the Russian governments wars in Chechnya during the Yeltsin era by selling drugs and weapons to both Russian troops and Chechen rebel fighters. Overall the effect on the population of the Russian Federation was an average annual decrease in the popul ation of around 750,000 people throughout the entire 1999s. At the end of the Yeltsin era another principle problem facing the Russian economy was the uncompetitiveness of many industries and businesses. Again the legacy of the economic system of the Soviet Union plays its part in the weaknesses of the Russian economy. The Soviet system had not produced words that Russian consumers or potential foreign consumers had wanted. Instead the Soviet economic planners had determined production levels and the types of goods produced. Once state subsidies were removed all factories and enterprises and the Russian economy was open to unrestricted foreign imports. Russian enterprises were forced to close, drastically cut their workforces, or not pay their workers for long periods. Some businesses resorted to not paying their taxes as part of their efforts to stay operative. One of the leading oligarchs, Mikhail Khodorkovsky estimated that upwards of a million Russian enterprises should have been declared bankrupt. In 1996 the Yeltsin government state d that around 35% of Russian factories and businesses were on the verge of bankruptcy. The Russian government estimated that 80% of Russian factories and businesses were in financial dire straits. The instability of the rouble and a lack of foreign currencies and investment also made it difficult for Russian enterprises to remain competitive. De-valuations of the rouble would briefly aid competitiveness, yet did not offer a long-term solution. Lack of foreign investment and profits made it more difficult for Russian factories to replace obsolete equipment or the latest training for their workers. The standard of education in Russia tended to be high, although there was a lack of people trained in Information Technology and more advanced industrial procedures, especially outside of the military research establishment. The Yeltsin government and the young reformers had hoped that large-scale foreign investment would revive even the most outdated enterprises in the Russian econ omy. Although, not all of the potential foreign investors were put of by the lack of market regulation, the less than welcoming reception received from officials, Russian businesses, and the Russian public deterred many investors from investing in Russia. The young reformers had hoped that their policies would only lead to a short-term contraction of the Russian economy, with a more competitive and modernised Russia emerging from shock therapy. They and Yeltsin were caught by surprise when the affect of shock therapy lasted throughout the Yeltsin era. A sharp contraction in the production levels of Russian heavy industries was expected and indeed occurred. However, the biggest falls in production witnessed during the Yeltsin era was in the production of consumer goods rather than in the more traditional heavy industries. Whilst production in those heavy industries of coal, steel, oil and gas declined by 45% during the 1990s that was not as bad as the decline in production of consumer goods. The move to a capitalist market economy had been anticipated to provide stimulation for increases in the production of Russian made consumer goods such as colour television sets, personal computers, and video recorders. Instead production of these consumer items declined dramatically, by 80% for television sets, 60% for personal computers, and 99% for video recorders. A section of the Russian economy that the government had believed would promote economic growth and provide jobs for those that lost their jobs in other sectors of the economy ceased to exist to any meaningful extent. There are two fairly straightforward explanations for the slump in the production of consumer goods. Those Russians that could afford television sets, personal computers, and video recorders brought more reliable and fashionable imported foreign brands. Through the liberalisation of the Russian economy and the efforts of the informal economy such goods became more widely available if not affordable throughout the Yeltsin era. For the poorest sections of Russian society that had their savings wiped out by inflation and their prospects diminished by unemployment or underemployment throughout the Yeltsin era there were little prospects of them buying the essentials to live let alone Russian or non-Russian consumer goods. The poor could not even afford the low quality and cheaper Russian made goods. A principle problem of the Russian economy closely related to its uncompetitiveness was the increasing shortages of workers, skilled ones in particular. At the start of the Yeltsin era the severe contraction of the Russian economy meant that unemployment had increased. It was not only capital that left the Russian economy once the country moved to a market economic system. Some of the brightest and most capable people working in the Russian economy left the country for better pay and prospects abroad. Of course, not everybody was able to take the opportunity to earn his or her future in exile. In some respects the most harm done to the Russian economy was by the calibre of academics and technicians that left the country. The Yeltsin government could not do as much to halt the brain drain as it had to cut spending on higher education, health services and most notably on defence projects and research. Cuts in defence spending could be justified, as a war with the United States and its NATO allies seemed impossible. The shortage of skilled workers was worsened by the reduction in life expectancy, especially amongst men. The effects of lower life expectancy were mult
Sunday, January 19, 2020
1TITLE An assessment on how product branding effects consumer purchase decisions in Food Market Chain Group (FMCG) goods and durable goods. 2BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY Branding is a vital element in a business. Without a brand, retailers may be confused or give the customers the wrong products, while the customers have to explain in detail the type of products they want to fully satisfy their needs and wants. It can therefore be assumed that a brand acts as a sign, name or symbol for products and services. The main aim of a brand is to identify the products or services of a seller or a group of sellers and differentiate an offering of a seller from that of its rivals (Kotler, 2003). In recent years, brand played a significant part in the market as the marketers added value to the brand to make it more preferable compared to other brands in the same market segment. For example, when quality rice is mentioned, most people will think of Tastic rice. This is just one of the successful branding strategies 3STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The purpose of the study is to know the effect of brand elements on customer purchasing decision. The brand elements are brand image, brand association, brand name, brand logo and brand awareness. The findings from the literature and the primary data shows that brand elements have significant impact on customer purchasing decisions as well as the success of the retailer. It is common knowledge that the customerÃ¢â¬â¢s choice is influenced by many surrogates of which the simplest of them all is the brand name. Products offered by the retailer may be equally satisfying but when the consumer is satisfied with some brand he or she is not willing to spend additional effort to evaluate the other alternative choices. Once he or she has liked a particular brand, the customer tends to stay with it, unless there is a steep rise in the price or discernible better quality product comes to his or her knowledge which may prompt the consumer to switch the brand. Companies spend a lot of money and time on the branding and thus it needs a careful evaluation on the effect of branding on consumer buying behavior. 3.1RESEARCH OBJECTIVES The above examples show that some customers prefer one brand over another even though that brand is more expensive. Price may not be the important factor while the psychological factor may be greater, for instance .Therefore, the research aims to achieve the following objectives: * To establish if any relationship exists between branding and consumerÃ¢â¬â¢s purchasing decision. * To identify the major aspects of branding that influence the consumersÃ¢â¬â¢ purchasing decision. * To examine the consumers tendency to recommend brands and its effects on purchasing decisions of their friends and family. * To establish the changes in the relationship between branding and consumersÃ¢â¬â¢ purchasing decision when other factors such as price are introduced. * To understand the choice of the customer on whether it is branded or non-branded goods. 3.2RESEARCH QUESTIONS The study will answer the following research questions: (a)Does any relationship exist between branding and consumer purchasing decision? (b)What are the major aspects of brand elements that influence consumer purchasing decision? (c)To what extent do consumers tend to recommend brands and the effects of consumer purchasing decisions on their family and friends? (d)How do other factors such as price when introduced affect the relationship between branding and consumersÃ¢â¬â¢ purchasing decision? (e)Is the choice of the customer branded or non-branded goods? 3.3Significance of the study To theory The research will help in a way because it equips readers with the requisite knowledge about how brands and their elements affect consumersÃ¢â¬â¢ purchasing decisions. Readers can learn through the suggested recommendations provided by the researcher hence they can be able to make wise purchasing decisions during shopping. Therefore it helps to bridge the gap in areas not being addressed and also to advance knowledge in product branding and consumer purchasing decisions. To practice The recommendations from the findings of the study may assist retailers in the Food Market Chain Group (FMCG) to effectively brand products that help them gain a competitive advantage by influencing consumers on their purchasing decisions. Therefore the research enlightens companies in the FMCG on not to spend a lot of money and time on branding and thus it helps them to careful evaluate on the effect of branding on consumer buying behavior. To self The research is conducted in partial fulfillment of the requirements to acquire a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Degree in Retail Management. The research also equips the student with the relevant skills and knowledge which he will acquire during the research. 3.4Limitations The following are the limitations envisaged in the carrying out of the proposed research: a)Availability of resources The researcher is a full time student with limited financial resources therefore it is a challenge to obtain the required material for the research. Money is needed for typing, printing and travelling costs to gather the required information. To cut costs the researcher will use questionnaires to collect data in order to cut expenses. b)Access to information The type of research will mainly depend on available information from leading retailers in the FMCG. Some of the Branch Managers may consider the information confidential depending on the aspects of branding asked to them by the researcher. They may fear that the information will be used against them by their competitors. Therefore the researcher will assure the information will be used for academic purposes only. c)Time constraint The research is running concurrently with final year semester courses therefore the time may be inadequate considering other important and competing academic commitments. Therefore to balance the forces the researcher will use a small sample of the population to save time. 3.5Delimitations The study will be carried out at leading retail supermarkets especially TM and OK supermarkets. The research is limited to the leading supermarkets because they offer all kinds of product brands. The respondents will include customers and employees of the retail outlet. 3.6Definition of terms Brand The name ,term, design and symbol that allow consumers to identify the goods and services of a business and to differentiate them from those of the competitors ( Jones and Hall 2008 ) FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) The industry includes food and non-food everyday consumer products that are usually purchased as an outcome of small-scale consumer decision so they are heavily supported ( advertising ) by the manufacturers. Customer Refers to a person, organization or other entity that buys goods or services from a store, person or other business. 4LITERATURE REVIEW 5 METHODOLOGY The sub heading outlines the techniques that are to employed by the researcher to collect the relevant data and its subsequent analysis.Haralambos (1992) postulates that methodology is concerned with detailed research methods through which data is collected and analysis of data are used. It discusses the research design ,target population and respective sampling techniques ,data collection methods and the research instruments. 5.1 Research design Fisher (2004) defines research design as the specification of methods and procedures for acquiring the information needed to structure or solve the problems.The function of a research design is to ensure that the evidence obtained enables us to answer the initial question as unambiguously as possible.Dawson et al (2002) postulates that a research comprises of redefining problems and is thus ,an original contribution to existing stock of knowledge making for its advancement.Therefore searching for information and presenting it is the job of the researcher. The qualitative approach is the best research methodology which leads to a better understanding of how product branding affects consumer purchasing decisions. The qualitative approach includes questionnaires, observations and interviews. Interviews will allow the researcher to probe the respondents for more information. Saunders et al (2007), notes that survey design is a popular and common strategy in business and management research. 3.2Study Population Frankel and Wallen (1996) highlights that the study population includes all individuals whom the researcher is interested in getting information from and making conclusions. They further explain that study population consists of those subjects whose characteristics are similar to those of the in the sample and one makes conclusions from the sample drawn from this study population. In this study a population will refer to TM supermarkets specifically in Harare, Gweru and Karoi.O.K supermarket Gweru can also be included for the research to be effective and also to cut transport costs to the researcher. 5.3Sampling Allison, Scott and Russel (2001) stress a sample as a group of subjects whom the researcher collected information. A sample is a small part of the population which has the same characteristics of the population. The concept of sample arises from the inability of the researcher to test all the individuals in a given population (Castillo 2009). Sampling is therefore a process of selecting group(s) of subjects for a study in such a way that the individuals represent the larger group from which they were selected. The main decision which the researcher has to make is to whether go for a census or sample research. The sample was selected on a random basis that avoids bias and makes the findings more representative and credible. According to Kothari (2007) census means each and every element which forms part of the research will be investigated and sample means few elements which represent the entire research would be investigated. Practically it is not possible to conduct a census. Hair (2003) defines sampling as a process of selecting a relatively small number of elements from a larger defined group of elements so that the information gathered from the smaller group allows one to make judgments about the larger group. Sampling Techniques a) Random Sampling Method Basically there are four methods of sampling under random sampling. Simple random sampling is a method, which ensures that each element of the population has an equal chance of being selected to become part of the sample (Peatman 1947). Systematic sampling is when elements are chosen from the population at a uniform interval that is measured in time, order or space. Saunders et al (2007) describes stratified sampling as involving the dissection of a population into groups of strata along some dimension that uniquely distinguishes each stratum from the rest and is relevant for the information sought after. Stratified sampling involves dividing the population into strata, with each stratum having relatively homogeneous elements. Once the strata have been identified a simple random sample is selected from each stratum separately, the sample corresponding to the proportion of elements in each stratum. Stratified sampling is used when the population is thought to consist of a number of smaller subgroups or sub populations such as male/female, different age/ethnic / interest groups, which are thought to have an effect on the data to be collected (Allison et al; 2001). Cluster sampling involves splitting the population into groups called clusters and is usually used when the population covers an area that can be divided by regions (Allison et al; 2001). The sample elements are then chosen from the different clusters to come up with one sample. b) Non Random Sampling Non-random sampling can be done through four ways, which are convenience, quota, judgmental and snowball sampling. Convenience sampling is where the sample is drawn for the convenience of the researcher. Convenience sample only includes those subjects that are immediately to hand (Allison et al; 2001). Quota sampling is where the respondent selection is in the same ratio as found in the general population. Judgmental sampling includes elements thought to be representative of the population and in this case the researcher attempts to come up with sample using judgment and the amount of error depends on the expertise of the researcher. Snowball sampling is commonly used when itÃ¢â¬â¢s difficult to identify members of the desired population (Saunders et al; 2007). The researcher adopted a non- probability sampling method because of limited resources at her disposal since it is based on available elements. Only operational managers and departmental heads of short term insurance brokers firms were targeted. Views were also taken from assistant insurance brokers. Sample Size According to Saunders et al (2007) the sample size is determined based on a 95% confidence rate interval, an estimate of margin of error and the total population which the sample was to be drawn. A general rule of thumb is to always use the largest sample possible. The larger the sample the more representative it is going to be, smaller samples produce less accurate results because they are likely to be less representative of the population (Wood and Haber 1998). The selection of respondents will the sample more representable of the retail sector and the findings credible. 2 questionnaires will be distributed per each retail supermarket. 5.4Instrumentation 4 Research instruments and Data collection For the purpose of this study, the researcher employed the survey design in which data was collected by way of questionnaires and interviews. This was done to ensure more internal validity of the research. According to Cohen and Manion (1980: 280), Ã¢â¬Å"the use of two or more methods in data collection is referred to as the triangulation methodÃ¢â¬ The data sources can be divided into primary and secondary data sources. 3.4.1 Primary Data Primary data is that first-hand information collected directly from public. The data obtained through primary means usually accurate and provides more reliable information about the subject investigation. When primary data sources are used, data is acquired from the main source and is not derived from any pre-existing research. The primary data sources the researcher used in doing this research were (a) Questionnaires (b) Personal Interviews 188.8.131.52Questionnaires According to Saunders et al (2007) a questionnaire is a technique of data collection in which each person is asked to respond to the same set of questions in a predetermined order. Brian White (2000) postulates that a questionnaire is regarded as a series of questions; each one providing a number of alternative answers from which the respondents can choose. The questionnaire was used as this enabled the researcher to gather as much data as possible since the question was in both standard and open ended questions. Advantages (a) Questionnaires are cheap and the researcher does not incur high travel and accommodation expenses. They are printed on bond paper which is not costly though and need not to be necessarily colorful. (b) They provide anonymity of respondents and thereby giving assurance of their confidentiality. (c) Questionnaires are a relatively quick way of receiving a response. In some instances, the researcher had to wait while the respondents filled in the questionnaires and some of the questionnaires had to be collected a day after they had been dropped. (d) They avoid interview bias. Personal questions are often more willingly answered as the respondent is not face-to-face with the interviewer Disadvantages (a) As questions cannot be complicated, and need to be simple and straightforward, the richness of information that is sometimes collected with other methods is lost. (b) You may not receive a spontaneous answer as respondents may discuss the questions with others before completing the questionnaire. As all questions are seen before they are answered, the answers cannot always be treated as independent. (c) Respondents gestures and facial expressions could not be observed as these are essential communication signs that can effectively be used to evaluate responses. (d) The targeted respondents may not complete the questionnaire. For instance, a busy manager may ask a personal assistant to complete it on their behalf. Personal Interviews The targeted interviewees were busy people due to the nature and demands of their roles in their organizations therefore the researcher did not carry as many interviews as the number of questionnaires that were distributed. Appointments were made with respondents prior to interviews. Since the interviewees were busy with other company commitments, the researcher had to save on time and used a structured approach where a set of prescribed questions for the interview were set. Advantages (a) The real benefit of an interview is that you are face-to-face with the interviewee and thus any misunderstandings are cleared immediately. (b) In addition to the above benefit, also during the interview the researcher can re-word or re-order the questions if something unexpected were to happen. (c) The interviewer can encourage the respondents to answer as fully as possible and check as appropriate, that the question is correctly understood. (d) Response rates are usually higher than for other methods of questionnaire administration (e) Materials that need to be shown to respondents can be properly presented Disadvantages (a) They are time consuming, taking into consideration the length of the interview, the time taken traveling to and from interview and notes revision. (b) Interviews are subject to bias as some interviewees may tend to please the interviewer and as a result may not tell the truth. (c) Relatively costly time wise and in monetary terms. Secondary Data This refers to information from sources other than the main source, whereby some intermediate agent has compiled data or information in their own research and has now presented it as some part of a bigger study. This proved to be the most helpful method and thus accounts for much of the data used, especially in the literature review and the analysis sections of this research project. The Internet The internet unarguably forms the most endowed Ã¢â¬ËlibraryÃ¢â¬â¢ ever. The researcher accessed e-journals, e-books and works by other scholars and organizations via the internet. With ease, the researcher could check both technological and legal developments in electrical safety of other countries. Some of the questionnaires were sent to respondents via e-mail. Advantages (a) Provides the researcher with current updated information (b) The Internet is user friendly and provides the researcher with all referencing and cataloguing done electronically. Disadvantages (a) Internet speed and efficiency is dependent upon how congested the network server is and the higher the congestion, the slower it will be to retrieve information there from. (b) The internet is vulnerable to the virus risk. Computer viruses can easily corrupt documents before or after the researcher completes his work. Textbooks and Journals The researcher made reference to numerous text books and journals on competitive advantage. These journals and textbooks showed the researcher the different views of writers from all over the world. Data analysis and presentation Data collected from both primary and secondary sources will be analyzed and presented through tables, pie charts and graphs.
Friday, January 10, 2020
In Punjab the life is lead in a different style. A tradition of living life with fun and gaiety, enjoying very moment, can be seen here. Glimpse of this life style can be seen every year on Lohdi festival, 12 January. Lohdi is celebrated in the evening before Makar Sankranti, in the northern states of India like Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and the near by areas. This day, the culture of these places display a new look. Lohri is not just limited to Punjab. But here the look of this festival is something different. This day, the color and happiness is in full beauty and liveliness. While talking about Punjab how can we forget mentioning MustardÃ¢â¬â¢s Saag, Chapattis made of corn, smell of Earth, sweet smell of water from pot. Lohri is a festival of thanking nature, and, the spark of joy is different if it is celebrated in the style of Punjab. Lohri is also called the knock of Makar Sankranti. The folk songs in the evening of Lohri, make the environment musically beautiful. As per the Hindu religion, it is believed that what ever we donate something in fire, it directly reach to our God and ancestors. On the day of Lohdi, the swinging crops from farm are brought home, then it is burnt in fire.Dancing and singing people move around it and do a thanks giving. Here also, there is a different style of worshiping God. Although the festival of Lohri brings in happiness for every class and age people of north India. But, it is particularly special for young men, women and newly married couples. Today, youth, girls and guys, dress up beautifully and organise a competition of signing.