Do the managers believe in the importance of customer relationship management to the sales and expansion of grocery stores

Now a day organizations are building their relations with clients and doing their efforts to maintain a very good level of long term relationship based on loyalty and trust to accomplish the goals of the organization (Sugandhi, 2004).

All the businesses start with the customers and also end with the clients, service quality is of more importance these days in every business, while all other departments like production, supply chain, procurement and management has their own role and importance (Chen and Popovich, 2006).

There is a clear role of customer relationship management on the growth of company, and services providing companies must pay their full attention in better quality of services because effective practices will attract more clients and companies can earn more and more money and can build their image in the mind of clients.

  1. Research Aims

The researcher will find the effective customer relationship management practices in the hotel industry in the United Kingdom by selecting Marriott hotel as case study to fulfil the academic requirement and will find out the positive effects of customer relationship management on the growth of hotel industry. The researcher will find out all the aspects and will find out the all those actors that can affect the activities of the customer relationship management on the sales and the growth in hotel industry.   

  1. Research Question

Do the managers believe in the importance of customer relationship management to the sales and expansion of grocery stores in the United Kingdom?

  1. Research Objectives

The researcher has some objectives to conduct the research and all those objectives are listed below one by one.

  • To know about the benefits and the advantages of the customers relationship management in the hotel industry for providing the excellent services to the clients on priority basis and according to their requirements.
  • To find out the difference between the perceived quality of service and client expected quality of services and will find out the factors that can reduce the difference to create the trust and best image and organizational image in the mind of its clients.
  • To know about the problems and issues faced by the customer relationship management to implement its strategies and plans efficiently and those factors that can minimize these problems effectively for creating faith among its customers to achieve organizational objectives by through proper channel.
  • To identify the role of employees in handling customers and the positive effects and the customer relationship management department role in enhancing the skills and abilities of the workers to handle the clients for bringing happiness among them.
  • To know the relationship between the employee’s attitude, role of technology, clients attitude, productivity attitude of workers and client’s satisfaction in achieving main goals.
  • Making recommendations and positive suggestions for the organization to improve the customer relationship management department policies in providing excellent services to the consumers for making profits.
  • Review Literature

There are many advantages associated with the customer relationship management, now a day customer relationship management is actually working to find out the actual wants and needs of potential customers and plays its vital role from product development to distribution and till complaint handling. The researcher will also find out here all those features and its drawback and specially its positive impacts in achieving objectives and by serving client at maximum offering good quality services to the clients.

  • Customer Relationship management

All the business strategies that are used to find out the actual need and wants of the clients and their expectations regarding the products and how to sell, how to purchase the raw material and how to handle the clients and how to build the long term relationships with the clients to earn revenue and how to make growth and how to expand the business by capturing more clients from the market are responsibility of customer relationship management in the company with effective strategies and implementation and updating with the passage of time (Bennett, 2007).

The companies must consider their promises and must offer the good quality of services to their clients because to create loyalty and long term profitable relation these are necessary for the companies to pay their full attentions towards these sides, clients need more attention and complaints handling is also need more considerations, these promises and clients priority are main features of effective customer relationship management practices (McDonald, 2002).

To offer good quality of services to the client’s organizations must develop good CRM strategies to identify and to satisfy the clients as per their needs and wants, best strategies of business running by recognizing the expected outcomes and feature of the products and services and by considering all those features the companies can be able to design their products to offer those products and services to the consumers through these effective policies and running these activities with the other business activities smoothly in order to create efficiency in the work (Gronroos, 2006; Morgan, 2008).

No client no business, while number of client increasing is directly proportional to the expansion of the business, when there is no marketing activity then there is no messaging in the market and no awareness about the product to the people and when there is no standard of the items and services then there will be no satisfaction and the consumer will never come again to buy any product and the business will stop so there is a deep relationship between the clients and the products features and the organizational growth (Buttle, 2006).

All the companies are in relation with the raw material suppliers and all the other parties like clients and labours and even then with distributors because these all are the stakeholders and the main objective of company is always are to make money by having clients and to retain old clients and to capture more market share is the main function of the CRM (Sungandhi, 2004).

  • Clients Loyalty

The loyalty among the clients can be created by the effective CRM strategies, if the organizations designed the business policies according to the client’s needs and expectations of them then the business policies are not so good and up to the mark then it will be possible for those organizations to have effective role of customer relationship management in creating the loyalty and satisfaction among its potential consumers for more profit (Buttle, 2007).

The clients satisfaction is depends on the difference between the provided services quality and the level of quality that the client expected from the service providers, and if the difference occurred its means that clients is not happy and there is no success in creating satisfaction, some factors like speedy reaction, personal qualities, credentials, trainings, delegated powers to the employees to provide alternatives to the victims these all effects the approach and handling technique of the employees in better way to the clients (McAlexander et al. 2004).

There is a relationship exist between the sales and the level of satisfaction among the clients, this is so simple to understand because the satisfaction always bring the pleasure and gladness among the clients at maximum level to attain the organizational main mission, and due to this satisfaction factor the consumers again comeback in the organization for more purchases and in this way when the sales volume will increases the revenue and ultimately the profit will increases and it will also provide the opportunity for the expansion to the business (Looy et al. 2004).  There is a relationship between the satisfactions and the expectations when the customers have the need then customers search for something (service or physical product) to overcome their want and when there are many items or services available in the market then they recognize the alternatives and select the best one according to their needs and circumstances and fulfil their needs and requirements, and in such ay the relation exist between these requirements and the satisfaction, when the company can become successful in recognizing these requirements and the facts and actual nature if their requirements then it become so easy for these organizations to provide them the suitable items and services. (Anderson, 2004).

2.3 Clients Satisfaction and Perception

The level of satisfaction after consuming the product and there is a positive influence of satisfaction on the growth and direct relationship exist between satisfaction and repurchasing of the product (Bhote, 2004).

Clients Level of Satisfaction  Client’s Loyalty due to satisfaction  Organizational Growth   

 

Expected requirements of clients Fulfilment of needs and want No difference between expectation and perceiving  
Repurchasing Reference groups Free marketing Testimonials   More revenue generation Expansion of business Long term relationships   

 

This above diagram showed a relationship between the client’s level of satisfaction and the loyalty and is also showed that loyalty is due to level of satisfaction and expansion of business depends on the loyalty of clients (Buttle, 2006). This diagram showed that customer level of satisfaction drives due to requirement meetings of the consumers when their expected requirements are fulfilled then the level of satisfaction achieved because when they got the products as per their problem solved features at good quality and available at cheap prices then the satisfaction after consuming will achieved and this is the first step towards the success. If in this situation the organization becomes failed in providing such items then the feedback is the best opportunity that the organizations can have to improve the features for obtaining the best outcomes by achieving the organization’s objectives. And due to this satisfaction the customers and consumers come again and again to buy the products and it will enhance the volume of the sales and revenue and in this situation the organizations make more profits and organization can grow and can expand the business. These loyal consumers become the strong references and they share their experiences with all other friends, colleagues and to the family and family friends and other attached persons and in this way a free marketing channel starts and without any cost organizational can capture more clients from the market to increase the revenue. In this way the satisfaction drive and trigger the loyalty when the organization offered the satisfaction with consistency and this loyalty become the cause of the expansion of the company.

There is a link between the expected quality of goods and services and the perceived quality of service and good, the level of loyalty has great influence on the expansion of the business, because due to increase in the number of repurchasing services and goods increase in the revenue and thus the growth and expansion is possible (Anderson & Mittal, 2005).

  • Clients perceiving and their expected quality of services

There is a difference between the client’s expectations and the quality that offered to clients especially in service providing companies and this difference is due to many reasons. There are many differences due to miss-understanding of the requirements can be generated more problems for the management in providing suitable solutions to the clients in well manners (Buttle, 2006).

The difference between expectations and the quality of services offered to the clients is mainly due to the misunderstanding of the higher level of management about the expectations of the clients the difference is due to distributional channels, client’s complaints handlings and communicational problems (Parasuraman et al. 2004).  

Gronroos, (2008) stated the solution of differences between the expectations of the clients and the offered quality of services, and described that the quality of services can be enhanced by modifying procedures and by implementing the new techniques by well equipping the staff and by designing and implementing marketing strategies by the business organization.

2.5     Quality of Services Offered to the Clients

There is a deep link between the revenue generating and the quality of services that the customer relationship management provides to its consumers in the hotel industry the revenue volume increase with the increases in the quality of products and the services and decreases with the decrease in the quality of services and this overall affect the long term objectives of the organization, but by having some specific attitudes and the skills the employees can perform in a better way as compared to unskilled workers (Gronroos, 2001). According to the Wilson, (2001) that there is another factors that is included in the quality of services and this is a way in which the organizations have a chance to refurnish their services and minimize the drawbacks in existed products and services through identification of bad factors. The customers who do not know about the system to make the complaints about any issue or problem is so high and if the organization left the situation as it is then it may be possible that the organization have no more longer relationship with its loyal clients and satisfied clients and it is also possible that the organization cannot be able to capture more customers from the market. This statement was supported by the scholars Yeung et al. (2002) stated that there is a significant population that do not know about the complaints system which is 77% and they remain unhappy due to very low quality of services and bad impression of the employee’s dealing in critical situation and the organizations who do not pay their attentions to handle these kind of issues may lose this significant portion of clients just due to minor mistake. But these organizations have another chance to improve the quality of services and the quality of products through handling and providing all the alternatives by having highly skilled and well trained workers with some communicational skills and the organizations can achieve more than one benefits in the form of loyalty and the improvements in the features of their products in high competition environment (Barsky, 2002).

According to the Barsky, (2002) that the organizations must consider all the activities that are related with the quality of services have direct relationship on the loyalty of the clients and this loyalty of the clients have direct relationship with the sales and expansion of the business, all the activities of the business organizations have also deep impact on the overall performance of the organization, and all the other activities from product designing, specifications, raw material, sales forecast, resource distribution, resources allocation these all activities have impact on the sales and growth of the business organization. And there are so many different ways to check the satisfaction and loyalty level to improve them through providing them the quality of services (Buttle, 2008). Whereas according to the Oliver, (2007) that the experience of the customers play its role in creating the loyalty and satisfaction, the satisfaction always comes through appropriate and excellent services. The sales frequency of the clients is always related with the past experience (Anderson, 2004).

  • Research Methodology
  • Methodology

The researcher will describe the research method that the researcher will use to conduct the research. Research method is the best way to carry on the research in an efficient way according to the aims and objectives of the research (Kahn & Cannell, 2004).

To collect primary and secondary data, to record them in a systematic way, after analyzing finding facts and making conclusion the researcher use research methodology to conduct the research in an effective way (Social research methods, 2008).

  • Population

The researcher will conduct primary research and will gather the primary data through distributing questionnaires among the customers and will conduct the interviews from management and staff members. The researcher main focus will remain on the CRM practices and the researcher will disclose the effective CRM policies that positively affect the sales and growth of organization.

  • Sampling

The researcher will select both ganders male and female of different ages like age range will be 18 to 50. The researcher will use effective way to select sample among the population. The researcher will select the best one method among Quota, random, systematic and stratified methods based on the advantages.

  • Data source

Case study as a research tool includes research, on spot watching the situation, making notes, record keeping in well organized way and conducting interview and meetings with staff members (Yin, 2006).

The researcher will explain the sources of data gathering while conducting the research the researcher will consult books, journals, electronic journals, and articles on different topics like marketing, role of customer relationship management, its effectiveness, its draw backs and the challenges. The researcher will also explain here in this section about the methods to keep records of data gathered in a sequence and well form in order to avoid from duplication. The researcher will also used newspapers, books, electronic books, different reports of companies and internet searching and all other sources will be explained by the researcher in this section.

  • Primary Data Source

The researcher will conduct interviews and meetings with staff members and will distribute the questionnaires among the customers to find out the effectiveness of CRM practices and the role of CRM in the success of organization.

Interviews and opinion from customers are very important is collecting primary research (Morgan, 2008).

  • Secondary Data Source

The researcher will gather secondary data through different sources like articles, journals, different reports regarding the research topic, news papers, books, electronic journals and books and the researcher will also use internet.

The data must be recorded in such a way to assure authenticity and avoid duplication (Yin, 2004).

  • Focus Groups

The researcher will also arrange the discussion form to the customers to find out the actual problem that create difference between expectations of clients and the offered services.

The researcher must consider focus groups to find out the solution and actual nature of the problem (Kitzinger, 2005).

  • Interviews

It is critical way to conduct the semi structure interview (Morgan, 2008). The researcher will use the semi structure technique to conduct interviews because in this way the results will be more reliable and this is useful way as compared to other techniques.

To obtain more reliability and valid result the researcher must use semi structure techniques (Neitzschman & Neitzschman, 2004).

  • Research Limitations

The researcher will describe all the limitations of the research in detail like time limitations and the budget and other if he will face.

  • Ethical considerations

The researcher will carefully conduct the research, the researcher will use proper ways to record data and will conduct research honestly and will avoid duplication, steeling data, and plagiarism. The researcher will avoid making his own opinion and will abide by errors and will keep secret all the secrets of the organization and the personal information of participants, and will never disclose the information to anyone.

  • Data Presentation and Analysis 

Tools: The researcher will record all the findings properly in table forms, the researcher will use excel sheets to avoid data duplication and errors in order to remain data valid and reliable. The researcher will use bar charts and pie chart to show the ratios and variable relationships.

  • Expected Findings

In this chapter the researcher will describe all the findings like

About the difference between the expectations of the clients and the offered quality of the services by the customer relationship management, the researcher will also focus on the reasons of this difference and will disclose those factors and will make necessary suggestions and recommendations to reduce the difference and how to improve the CRM strategies effectively in the selected organization.

  • Validity and Reliability

The researcher will abide by all the duplication and unnecessary questions, the researcher will use the questions relevant to the objectives of the research. The researcher will use such tools and techniques to bring more reliability and validity in the research conducting and results.

According to Nettom, (2008) Consistency and reliability are more important in research conducting.

The researcher will explain the plan in detail in this section in dissertation that which step will be involved in research conducting.

The researcher will bear all the expenses from his own pocket and will utilize all the available resources with the grant of organization necessary.

Reason and nature of problemX       
Designing questionnaires and conducting interviews        
Record keeping results and making analysis   XX   
Fact finding and analysis     X  
Week12345678
Research methodologyXX      
Review of literatureXX      
Discussion of focused people  X     
Observations  XX    
Contingency plan      XX

5.3 Contingency Plan

The researcher will utilize at the end last two weeks to remove errors with the help of supervisor.

In this chapter the researcher will explain about the problems and drawbacks of the research that he will conduct, the researcher will also make conclusions and will make suggestions to improve the CRM practices and suggestions to minimize the difference and to well equip the employees to handle clients facing problems to offer and provide them good quality of services to achieve organizational goals. The researcher will also explain that the objectives of research has been obtained and also trough the light on the positive impact of effective CRM policies on the organizational growth.

  • References and Bibliography
  1. Books and Journals

Anderson, E.W. (2004), “Cross Strategy variation in customer satisfaction and retention”, Marketing Letters, Vol. 5, Winter, pp. 19-30

Bennett, R. (2007), “Relationship formation and governance in consumer markets: transactional analysis versus the behaviourist approach”, Journal of Marketing Management, 12(12), pp. 417-436.

Buttle, F.A. (2006), “Word-of- mouth: understanding and managing referral marketing”, Journal of Strategic Marketing, 6, pp 241-54

Buttle, F. (2007), Customer Relationship Management: concepts and tools, Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann

Chen, I.J. & Popovich, K. (2006) “Understanding customer relationship management (CRM): People, process and technology” Business Process Management Journal, 9(5), pp. 672-688

Gronroos, C. (2006), “Strategic Management and Marketing in the Service Sector”, Sweden and Chartwell-Bratt: Bromley Student Litteratu ab Lund

Gronroos, C. (2008), “From Marketing Mix to Relationship Marketing: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Marketing”, Management Decision, 32 (2), pp. 4-20

Kahn, R. and Cannell, C. (2004), “The Dynamics of Interviewing,” New York: John Wiley

Kitzinger J. (2005) “Introducing focus groups”, British Medical Journal, 311, pp. 299-302.

Looy, B.V., Gemmel, P. and Dierdonck, R.V. (2004), “Services Management: An integrated approach”, 2nd edition, Essex: Pearson Education Limited

McAlexander, J.H, Kaldenberg, D.O. and Koenig, H.F (2004) “Service quality measurement”, Journal of Health Care Marketing, 14(3), pp.34-40.

McDonald, L. (2002) “Customer Relationship Management – An Overvie”w, Available at http://www.brillianceweb.com/betterwebdesign/tips_48.aspx, Accessed on July 30, 2006

Morgan D.L. (2008) “Focus groups as qualitative research”, London: Sage Publications

Neitzschman, L.H. & Neitzschman, H.R. (2004) “Service Management Strategy and Leadership in Service Businesses”, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V.A. and Berry, L.L. (2004) “A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research”, Journal of Marketing, 49 (1), pp. 41-50

Sugandhi, R.K. (2004), “Customer Relationship Management”, New Delhi: New age International Publishers

Yin, R. (2004), “Case study research: Design and methods”,2nd ed., Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publishing

Yin, R. K. (2006), “Case Study Research, Design and Methods”, 3rd ed. Newbury Park: Sage Publications

  1. Websites

Anonymous, “Research variables: Reliability and Validity of Measurement”, available on http://cbdd.wsu.edu/edev/NetTOM_ToT/Resources/Other/TOM614/page68.htm, [Accessed on 22nd March, 2012]

  1. Bibliography

Anderson, E.W. & Mittal, V. (2005), “Strengthening the satisfaction-profit chain”, Journal of Service Research, Vol. 3(2), pp 107-120

Bhote, K.R (2004), “Beyond Customer Satisfaction to Customer Loyalty”, New York: AMA Management Briefing

Denzin, N.K. and Lincoln, Y.S. (2008) Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials London: Sage Publications

Evans, J. R., & Laskin, R. L. (2004) “The relationship marketing process: A conceptualization and application”, Industrial Marketing Management, 23(5), 439-452

Gummesson, E. (2004), “Broadening and Specifying Relationship Marketing”. Asia-Australia Marketing Journal, 2 (1), pp. 10-30.

Hallowell, R. (2006), “The relationships of customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and profitability: an empirical study”, International Journal of Service Industry Management, 7(4), pp. 27-42

Macintosh, G., & Lockshin, L. S. (2007) “Retail relationships and loyalty: A multi-level perspective”, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 14(5), 487-497.

Oliver, R.L. (2008) “Satisfaction: A behavioral perspective on the consumer”, Singapore: McGraw Hill

Zeithaml, V. A., & Binter, M.J. (1996), “Service Marketing”, New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, INC.

corporate communication strategies

Discuss the purpose of corporate communication strategies

Corporate communication makes the company visible and gives its products an image and reputation a customer can identify with (Canary, 2010). Customers and employees also get to know and feel good about the company they are working for and doing business with. Customers need to know about the company; its management; its method of manufacture; its mode of functioning, and the company’s philosophy and values. They need to know its products and services so that they can trust what the company stands for and confidently buy, consume and use their products. Stakeholders investors, shareholders partners and suppliers, employees, government, NGO’s, local community, industry and customers any individual or group which can affect or be affected by an organisations activities need to feel a sense of involvement with what the company is doing, the more they know, and the more open the communication with them, the more they trust, and feel involved and responsible for the company in which they have a stake (Schultz, et al., 2005). Employees are most important to the organisation; without them the company’s cannot run. Both the management and employees must appreciate this interdependence. So, both management and employees at all levels must develop a sense of inclusion, a sense willing cooperation and a united pursuit of the company’s values and goals. This is done through two-way internal communications up and down the hierarchy (Cornelissen, 2008).

Source: Author

Corporate Communication is the method by which large and medium size companies communicate with customers, stakeholders and employees. The reputation of a company and its products are built through the messages disseminated by the company to employees, customers and the public (Christensen et al., 2005). The corporate communication department is a source of information to journalists and vice versa from the media to the management. Corporate communication department is a guide and influence to top management about image management, it co-ordinates between the PR agency and the MD in creating and maintaining an image of the company (Bronn & Wiig, 2005).

It is the liaison between the top management and the marketing department in the preparation of product advertisements and marketing communications. The Corporate Communication department is custodian of the brand image, and briefs and supervises the production of product literature and advertising, coordinates with printers, AV makers, film producers, creative agencies so that the standards of the company and its corporate identity are followed (Martin and Hetrick, 2006). In internal communications, the corporate communications department edits the house journal, newsletter, email messages from the top management which have to be vetted and rewritten, notice boards have to be kept busy and the intranet has to be updated enough for two way communication between management and employees to maintain morale and to further their identification and purpose with the company. The corporate communication department works along with and under the overall direction of the Managing director in providing policies and guidelines in corporate image, corporate identity and corporate culture (Shirky, 2008). The Corporate communication department works closely with HR in inculcating corporate culture and two-way communication in the company through internal/employee communications. The corporate communication department also works with the marketing department on marketing communications and also with the finance department in disseminating relevant financial information. Corporate communication plays a major role in creating and maintaining the business image of any corporate entity (Moloney, 2007). It is an effective strategy to communicate the brand value and reputation to its customers, stakeholders and the target audience. There are many processes of corporate communication with which manager can create the desired business impact. Many reasons mark the importance of corporate communication in today’s business world (Fombrun and Harvard, 2003).

To have a Better Rapport

Rapport building is the key motive of any corporate communication strategy; this can be internal and external, as well. When there is a constant rapport with employees and customers, the business image of the company will also get higher. It is for this reason many big companies like coco cola and IBM follow effective corporate communication strategies (Morsing and Beckman, 2008).

To Highlight the Performance

Nothing other than frequent communication like newsletters and posters can effectively highlight the performances of the company. This will again have a positive impact on the business image of the company (Larkin and Palgrave, 2005).

To Advertise New Products & Services

Regular means of communication will help in easy reach of new products and services to the consumers. So, corporate communication becomes highly essential for advertising new products and services of the company (Hatch & Schultz, 2009).

Be it new product launch, news update or any other message; it promotes the business image of the company when it is communicated via proper channel. Many organizations carry out social activities in the interest of public and also to emphasize its brand presence (Schultz et al., 2003).

Assess how corporate communications link to corporate objectives

If money is the life blood of business, communication is the nervous system. Communication between colleagues, through command channels and with the public is key to getting things done in a corporate environment. This communication takes many forms, ranging from the informal break room chat to the multi-million dollar publicity campaign (Argenti and Forman, 2006).

Publicity

Corporate communication for publicity is aimed at increasing business profitability. Sometimes this means direct advertising. Other times it means press releases or public statements to improve corporate image. Some examples of publicity based communication include advertising, press releases and executive interviews. Some corporations will also give to charitable organizations without making a public announcement, relying on the charity or the press to communicate their actions to the public (Canary, 2010).

Information

Information is the basis of all corporate communication and in fact the basis of all communication in general (Martin and Hetrick, 2006). Corporate employees communicate information about project specifications, employee needs, meeting times, accounts coming due and upcoming vacations (Schultz, et al., 2005). These communications come in all forms. Some examples include face-to-face talks, informal emails, formal memos, phone calls and published documents.

Collaboration

Many corporate employees work in teams to accomplish the goals of their department. The departments work together in much the same way to accomplish the goals of the corporation. Employees communicate in order to collaborate on their shared goals (Cornelissen, 2008).

Written Records

Clarity is important in all communication. When poor communication can jeopardize a major account or risk a million-dollar lawsuit, clarity becomes extremely important (Christensen et al., 2005). For these reasons, corporate communication usually includes a written component in order to ensure clarity. Parties can always refer to the written document to remember what they had agreed to. In an informal disagreement, this serves to put the team back on the right course. In litigation, it serves as proof of one party’s claim (Bronn & Wiig, 2005).

Analyse the relationship between corporate communication and corporate branding

Corporate brand communication covers the entire realm of how a corporation interacts with the marketplace (Fombrun and Harvard, 2003). Through effective brand communication, a company articulates what it stands for and the unique value proposition it offers to the marketplace. Typical approaches for corporate brand communication include public relations, investor relations and advertising. By effectively communicating with the marketplace, a company can achieve its business objectives (Shirky, 2008).

PR and Branding

One of the techniques that corporations often use in their corporate brand communications is public relations (Moloney, 2007). Typically, a company will establish a PR platform that articulates key messages about its products and services. By communicating novel attributes to the print, broadcast and online news media, PR can help companies launch new products (Morsing and Beckman, 2008).

Talking With Investors

While the marketplace is an important communications target for companies, investors who supply operating capital represent a critically important audience (Schultz et al., 2003). For chief executive officers and chief financial officers who are seeking better relationships with existing and future investors, a strategic investor relations program is important. The company may look at investor relations as a way to minimize risks associated with poor performance in exchange for quality branding and honest communications (Larkin and Palgrave, 2005).

Advertising Brand Messages

As corporations depict their corporate brands, they often rely on paid advertising (Argenti and Forman, 2006). This advertising, in the form of print, broadcast and online advertising, allows a company to control its corporate message in an atmosphere that is appealing to the audience with whom the company seeks seek to interact. Many companies today seek brand interactions with customers that entice the customer to learn more and engage with the company (Hatch & Schultz, 2009).

Plan an internal corporate communications audit

An analysis, report and recommendations assessing an organization’s communications process and proficiency based on (Canary, 2010):

Interviews with key executives

Surveys of key managers

Employee focus groups

Review of internal publications, materials and communication practices

Prioritized recommendations for improvement

Planning & Launching:

In the Planning stage, manager will use our guidelines and templates to identify and articulate organization needs, the objectives of the audit, and the components and process needed to conduct an effective audit that meets needs (Schultz, et al., 2005). All the elements of the audit which may include some or all of the stages described here will be mapped out in advance at this stage so that a clear picture of the process and its results is identified. The Launching stage may involve a special communication campaign manager conduct to introduce the audit process to organization using current communication vehicles. The campaign will announce the audit in a compelling, credible way, explain its reasoning and objectives, and build employee support and commitment to it (Cornelissen, 2008). The program guides manager every step of the way, even giving manager possible names for audit process after explaining the reasons recommend that manager do not use the word audit for initiative (Bronn & Wiig, 2005).

2. Observing & Evaluating:

This stage involves the observation of work culture based on a list of items we provide manager and what it communicates to its inhabitants. It also involves conducting a review of existing communication policies, publications, reports, vehicles and processes and organizes the results to be included in the Audit Report (Christensen et al., 2005).

3. Interviews of Executives and Middle Managers:

Managers are provided the set of criteria, procedures and questions manager can use in an interviewing of top executives. With the right questions, interviews can generate significant information about the organization, its culture, its goals, and how communications fit in all of these (Martin and Hetrick, 2006).

4. Focus Groups:

The program offers manager the set of criteria, procedures and questions manager can use in selecting and conducting the focus groups that are representative of audiences. Focus groups can generate more useful information than surveys alone because facilitators, with the questions provided by the program, can probe the feelings behind the opinions (Shirky, 2008).

5. Survey:

The do itself Communication Audit Program provides manager with the format and questions of a comprehensive yet focused and easy to manage, employee or stake holders communication survey (Fombrun and Harvard, 2003). The survey asks participants about every key aspect of organizational communication, including the culture, the communication vehicles, and supervisor employee relations. Manager can either reproduce the survey, print and distribute it to audience, or add the questions to one of the available online survey services at low cost (Moloney, 2007).

6. Reporting:

In the Reporting stage, manager can follow the structured process provide for analyzing the information and data manager summarized from the previous phases of the audit. Manager will be able to produce a comprehensive report that includes recommendations for actions that can significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of communications in an organization (Morsing and Beckman, 2008).

Conduct an internal corporate communications audit

Our five step methodology (Larkin and Palgrave, 2005)

Planning

The initial planning phase is critical in confirming scope and objectives, review existing data and assessing audiences, channels and messages. From this manager will be able to understand the context, ask the right questions and ultimately, run a successful audit (Hatch & Schultz, 2009).

Interviews

To get a deeper understanding of the key issues would recommend conducting some stakeholder interviews (Schultz et al., 2003). This helps understand the business priorities and further refine the objectives for the audit. Managers would suggest keeping the interviews quite structured with the ability to go off piste as required. This would involve creating an interview guide to ensure consistent facilitation of the interviews (Argenti and Forman, 2006).

Survey

Once managers have analysed the results of steps 1 and 2 they should design and conduct a survey, test it and then launch it. The analysis should help manager to get a snapshot of collective views and have statistically robust data. It should also act as a baseline set of results for future surveys (Canary, 2010).

Focus groups

The quantitative data from the survey will usually identify a few key trends or issues which warrant further research (Schultz, et al., 2005). Manager would usually suggest holding some focus groups to understand these key issues a bit more, and/or to test some possible solutions to those issues. Managers certainly regard focus groups as a great opportunity to test new ideas (Cornelissen, 2008).

Recommendations

The final audit report includes the findings from the insight work in steps 2-4 as well as some detailed recommendations for further action. The report would usually include a high level internal communications strategy with a range of recommended actions and tactics (Bronn & Wiig, 2005).

Critically evaluate the effectiveness of current levels of practices

Organizational communication standards grow out of the communication choices of executives, managers and other employees. Ideally, organizational communication facilitates sharing of information, event planning, project coordination and social interaction. Poor communication and non functional communication systems leads to confusion, lowered morale and loss of productivity (Christensen et al., 2005). Business leaders must create communication plans and information channels to ensure that employees are kept informed and in contact with each other. Communication between employees is a process that helps people mange, create and sustain organizational operations (Hatch & Schultz, 2009). Organizational communication happens in many forms, including conversations, letters, emails, memos and websites. Each of these types of communications is appropriate for different types of situations. For example, letters are more formal than emails and emails are formal than conversations (Martin and Hetrick, 2006). All forms of communication may be used to impart authority, delegate responsibility and provide vital information. Conflict is one disadvantage of communication. Employees may use communication to disagree and argue with each other and with management (Fombrun and Harvard, 2003). Conflict causes tension among employees and can halt operations, disrupt meetings and prevent task completion. Sources of conflict include employees feeling that their needs are not being met, lack of structure, lack of transparent communication and personality differences (Shirky, 2008). Organizational leaders also use communication to mediate and control conflict to lessen the effects of employee disagreements. Employees may use communication to become familiar. This familiarity may eventually lead to friendship (Moloney, 2007). Friendship among employees may be good for the company because it helps employees work together, know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and learn to trust each other. On the other hand, employee friendship can be a distraction, with employees spending work hours chatting instead of being productive. Conflict over friendships and relationships may be more disruptive than other types of workplace conflicts. Through the creation of a communication strategy, business leaders reduce the disadvantages of communication and increase the advantages (Larkin and Palgrave, 2005). Businesses have a variety of communication needs that vary according the organization’s size, industry and structure. Elements of organizational communication strategy include communications technology, communication plans and the delegation of communication responsibilities. The hierarchy of authority controls many aspects of communication. For example, the executives communicate with department heads, who communicate with managers or project leaders, who communicate with lower level employees (Morsing and Beckman, 2008).

Plan an external corporate communications audit and Conduct an external corporate communications audit

The exchange of information and messages between an organization and other organizations, groups, or individuals outside its formal structure, the goals of external communication are to facilitate cooperation with groups such as suppliers, investors, and stockholders, and to present a favourable image of an organization and its products or services to potential and actual customers and to society at large (Schultz et al., 2003). A variety of channels may be used for external communication, including face-to-face meetings, print or broadcast media, and electronic communication technologies such as the Internet. External communication includes the fields of PR, media relations, advertising, and marketing management. A communication audit is an evaluation of the effectiveness of an organization’s communication efforts (Canary, 2010). These efforts may include a number of different methods and materials, such as advertisements and marketing collateral, websites, internal communications, and shareholder reports (Argenti and Forman, 2006). A communication audit will assess the effectiveness of each of these methods. It is often used as a tool to aid in planning or revaluating a communications plan or strategy. There are a number of reasons that a company or an organization may decide to undergo a communication audit. It may have determined that its methods of communication are spread too thin. It may feel that basic customer surveys do not provide a comprehensive look at the effectiveness of its communications strategies (Schultz, et al., 2005). The organization may simply wish to evaluate the company message to ensure consistency across mediums, or to reach a new target audience. Whatever the reason, it is important that the organization outline its mission, its values or vision, and its audience prior to the audit so that the effective communication of these items may be adequately assessed (Cornelissen, 2008).

Most organizations wanting to manage communications efforts can benefit from an external communications audit, or a strategic evaluation of how the organization reaches out to different audiences. This audit should include assessing how communications efforts relate to the organization’s primary goals. Get someone outside the organization to perform an audit if there is no one on staff to perform an internal audit (Bronn & Wiig, 2005).

Identify External Audiences

The audit focuses on the degree of effectiveness of different communications strategies. Before determining the firm’s effectiveness in communications, identify what kinds of audiences receive messages from the firm, and those that should receive them. An audit might show findings that suggest how the communications strategy can be improved, such as a finding that some audiences need to be contacted in more ways or with more effective means of communication (Christensen et al., 2005).

Survey Strategies in Use

Once manager have studied the audiences, prepare a survey for them. This survey must be a list of questions to gauge the effectiveness of different communications formats. Each question might include a numerical scale, such as 1 to 5, asking the respondent to rate a communications strategy (Martin and Hetrick, 2006). Use focus groups and interviews to gather general information and specific questions for the survey. A focus group discusses questions informally; be sure to note the reactions of the group to a short list of topics. An interview might be more formal, in which case manager should note responses to all questions. Once managers have concluded focus groups and/or interviews, use those findings to write a communications survey (Shirky, 2008).

Effectiveness of Strategies

Administer the survey to different audiences identified earlier in the audit. These audiences will help manager understand how the organization communicates (Moloney, 2007). Manager might want to use in depth interviews or undertake opinion research. Once manager have completed all of surveys and manager must tabulate the results and analyze them. Look for patterns using statistical measures, such as average ratings for each question on the survey (Fombrun and Harvard, 2003).

Conclusions and Findings

Look for conclusions about communications strategies (Larkin and Palgrave, 2005). A survey question might ask audiences to rate the customer service department’s telephone representatives. If this question yielded a lower than average rating, such as 2.5 on a 1 to 5 numerical scale, manager might arrive at the conclusion that the firm needs to improve communications in that department (Morsing and Beckman, 2008). Summarize findings in a report and share it with employees.

Strategic Alignment

In the future, the management team can make changes to improve external communications by studying problems or issues identified in this audit, including how to strategically align each communications strategy with the strategic goals of the organization (Schultz et al., 2003). For example, a communications audit might reveal that an organization does not devote sufficient resources to marketing. The organization can align marketing expenditures to each business activity based on its responsibility for achieving its marketing goals (Hatch & Schultz, 2009).

Hence, corporate communication audit becomes very important to ensure that the business goals are being achieved. A communication audit is a systematic research method that identifies the strengths and the weakness of current internal and external communications. A communication audit has become very essential in today’s business environment. It doesn’t really need to be cost prohibitive (Argenti and Forman, 2006). Yes, it costs money to conduct a thorough audit upon which the business leaders can base their decisions. Basically, the reasons for auditing can be grouped into 10 different reasons (Canary, 2010):

To see how past communications were handled.

To see what the key audiences know about the business, service, product, organization, and their needs and how they prefer to be reached.

To see the strengths and weakness in current communications programs

To see what are the opportunities for future communications.

To see what are the current goals and objectives for communication.

To see whether the messages are clear and consistent or do they have a coordinated graphic identity (Schultz, et al., 2005)?

To see if the messages are reaching the key audiences and moving them into actions

To see what do the customers think of the communication.

To see how to make the communications effective in the future

To see the key areas where the hard works needs to be implied

A communication audit examines and recommends improvements in the way an organization communicates internally, among its staff, as well as with its members (Cornelissen, 2008). Based on the results of a comprehensive communications audit, a set of recommendations is developed. The goal is to have an integrated set of communication tools to both inform and develop leaders (Bronn & Wiig, 2005).

Critically evaluate the effectiveness of current levels of practices

Answering the Main Question

In a world where people are deluged with thousands of messages each day, their primary question is often “Why should I care?” or “What’s in it for me?” Effective communication makes this answer clear to the reader or listener (Martin and Hetrick, 2006). Ask self what information would be most important to manager if manager were a member of the audience and make sure materials deliver these details. Emphasize the benefits at the beginning of message or materials before adding less-important information (Christensen et al., 2005).

Simplification

Keeping communication straightforward increases the likelihood that it will be effective. Target a sixth to eighth grade reading level for written materials (Fombrun and Harvard, 2003). Avoid using acronyms, regulatory terms or jargon. Delete words if an average person manager stopped on the street would not know their meaning. When preparing written materials, keep sentences short and break up copy with headings and graphics. A page full of text is not appealing to potential readers (Shirky, 2008).

Methods

Make information available to customers and employees through a variety of formats (Moloney, 2007). News releases, text messages and e-mails can be used to communicate urgent information, while newsletters can be an appropriate choice for content that is less time-sensitive. A website is vital for communication with external audiences, and a well-organized Intranet that displays news content and practical resources can be very helpful for employees (Morsing and Beckman, 2008). Incorporating video presentations allows manager to appeal to visual learners and offer new perspectives or details. Holding meetings with employees or the public offers face-to-face interaction that can build credibility and make audiences feel valued (Larkin and Palgrave, 2005).

Timeliness

Information that customers need to know should be communicated as quickly as possible. When audience learns information from the media instead of directly from organization, there can be a perception that manager intended to hide the information or that manager do not truly care about audience (Hatch & Schultz, 2009). The centres for Disease control notes in its crisis communication handbook that two of the most serious mistakes an organization can make when communicating with stakeholders are providing information that is too little and too late or coming across as arrogant and not valuing stakeholders (Schultz et al., 2003). These thoughts are summed up in an agency slogan: “Be First, Be Right. Be Credible” (Argenti and Forman, 2006).

Transparency and Frequency

Employees and the public are often suspicious of corporations and government agencies, but manager can build trust by increasing the transparency of messages. Executives should be forthcoming with bad news and be willing to express the regret they feel about difficult circumstances (Canary, 2010). Sharing the reasoning behind difficult decisions may also build understanding.

“People begin to notice that when manager do something wrong, manager say so; it follows that when manager don’t say so, manager didn’t do anything wrong.” Customers and employees should not just hear from manager when the news is bad. A monthly newsletter or quarterly meetings can keep employees informed about company activities, while articles on the company’s website and opt-in e-mails keep customers in the loop (Schultz, et al., 2005).

Plan the objectives of a corporate communication strategy

The policy is necessary to set out the principles for all communication activity across the Council. The Corporate Communication Strategy is a high-level strategy which sets out the basic principles for the Council’s communication activities and processes including communication activity undertaken across all departments and delivered by a range of people who work to these corporate principles (Cornelissen, 2008). Accessibility of information to all, clarity and user friendliness for the various audiences, consideration of languages, two way communication, etc. are principles to maximise equality in communication. By stating that accessibility of information and communication to all people is a fundamental principle, the consideration of all equalities strands (i.e. race, gender, disability, age, religion/belief and sexual orientation is therefore implicit and explicit. Although overarching, the Strategy and its related Action Plan were developed and updated after consideration of equalities requirements and consultation with relevant section heads (who are responsible for areas such as diversity and community engagement) (Bronn & Wiig, 2005). It was also endorsed by the Corporate Management Team, before going to Cabinet for approval. The Action Plan includes proposed actions to be undertaken by corporate sections. Each corporate section should be undertaking for these activities. These activities are in areas including Diversity, Consultation, Community Engagement and Partnership Working. The activities should improve the effectiveness of communication, in order to meet the needs of audiences within the County’s diverse communities. General, corporate public relations activity is undertaken in accordance with the Strategy and Action Plan (Martin and Hetrick, 2006). Functions within this activity include media relations, Leicestershire Matters production, language services commissioning, design and creative services. Decisions taken are informed by a range of advice, experience and views, to ensure equalities issues are appropriately addressed. Consultation has been undertaken, in order to feed into the development of the Strategy and includes the following examples:

A professional understanding of readers views and needs from journalists, writers, community engagers, language commissioners, designers etc (Christensen et al., 2005).

Consultation with, and advice from, the disability issues coordinator

Reference to the census and population trends, along with other relevant demographic statistical information

Market research

Feedback from users of the service, e.g. readers, interpreters etc

Feedback on Equality issues received by the section/department

Discussions at community cohesion workshops, along with any other relevant forums

Based on the key priorities, managers are to develop a series of communication goals outlining the deliberate strategy of the communication function. These communication goals will provide the communication function with a sense of purposeful direction, ensuring that it focuses its resources on doing the right things (Shirky, 2008).

Communication goal setting is the most important step in linking communication strategy to higher-level strategic priorities. A communication goal is the destination an organisation wants to reach through its communication with regards to strategic priorities and their implications for stakeholders. It provides the link with lower-level communication plans that are developed to implement these goals (Fombrun and Harvard, 2003).

Communication themes are also developed as broad messages that the organisation wants to communicate about specific strategic priorities. Often, organisations refer to themes as position statements (Cornelissen, 2008).

Well formulated communication goals and communication themes are central to communication strategy development and should focus on closing the vision culture reputation gaps that exist between organisations and their internal and external stakeholders (Moloney, 2007).

Plan appropriate measures to monitor a planned corporate communications strategy

Monitoring communication activities

Keep track of participants’ lists and contacts

Prepare a questionnaire for feedback or conduct a brief online survey after event

Monitor website hits in connection with certain events, after having sent out a press release etc (Morsing and Beckman, 2008)

Keep track of who received publications distribution lists and the number of publications disseminated. Get feedback through surveys or focus groups.

Compile an archive including press clippings and screenshots of websites that mentioned programme (Larkin and Palgrave, 2005)

If manager cover a large programme area

Manager may also think about hiring a professional media monitoring service, although this can be costly

Keep also a media archive of radio and programmes that mentioned programme

Evaluate the content of the media and its effectiveness

Direct consultation of the audience (Schultz, et al., 2005)

Evaluation of Corporate communication strategy

To what extent does the communication strategy respond to the information needs of the target audience (Hatch & Schultz, 2009)?

How coherent are the tools and messages with the objectives of the strategy, with each other and with other existing initiatives in the field (Schultz et al., 2003)?

How effective is the communication strategy/policy in improving awareness and knowledge about EU policy in the field (Argenti and Forman, 2006)?

To what extent does the communication strategy/policy contribute to a better understanding/perception of the commission’s policy in the field (Canary, 2010)?

References and Bibliography

Argenti, P.A. and Forman, J. (2006) The Power of Corporate Communication, 3rd ed. New York: McGraw Hill Publishers

Bronn, P. & Wiig, B. (2005) Corporate Communication: A Strategic Approach to Building Reputation, 2nd ed. Norway: Gyldendal Publishers

Canary, H.E. (2010) Communication and Organizational Knowledge, 3rd ed. NY: Routledge Publishers

Christensen, L., Morsing, M. and Cheney, G. (2005) Corporate Communications Convention, Complexity, and Critique 4th ed. London: SAGE Publications London

Cornelissen, P. (2008) Corporate Communication: A Guide to Theory and Practice, 2nd ed. UK: SAGE Publications London,

Fombrun, C. and Harvard, J. (2003) Reputation, Realizing Value from the Corporate Image, 2nd ed.Boston: Business School Press

Hatch, J. & Schultz, M. (2009) Taking Brand Initiative: How companies can align strategy, culture, and identity through corporate branding, 4th ed. Canada: Jossey-Bass Publishers

Larkin, J. and Palgrave, M. (2005) Strategic Reputation Risk Management, 3rd ed. NY: MacMillan Publishers

Martin, G. and Hetrick, S. (2006) Corporate Reputations, Branding and People Management, 3rd ed. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann Publishers

Moloney, K. (2007) Rethinking Public Relations, 3rd ed. London: Routledge Publishers UK

Morsing, M. and Beckman, S. (2008) Strategic CSR Communication, 3rd ed. Copenhagen: SAGE Publishers

Schultz, M., Hatch, M. J. and Larsen, M. (2003) The Expressive Organization, 4th ed. London: Oxford University Press

Shirky, C. (2008) Here come everybody: How Change Happens When People Come Together, 6th ed. London: Penguin Books

Schultz, M., Antorini, Y.M. and Csaba, F. (2005) Corporate Branding, Purpose/People/Process, 3rd ed. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press

Financial Statement Analysis

Financial Statement Analysis

1.        How in your FSA subject do you view the income statements, including cash flow statements and the balance sheet in determining the profitability of a company?                

1.1       Income Statement

Income statement or profit or loss statement is basically a financial statement of an organization for a specific time period that measures the financial performance which shows the revenues and the business expenses through operating and non operating activities (Berends, 2010). This statement also shows the net profit or loss incurred by the company over a specific time period. There are two main portions in an income statement, income portion deals with operating items and this portion is used to analyze by the investors to disclose the information about sales/ revenues and incurred expenses through business operations (Black, 2011).

http://i.investopedia.com/inv/articles/slideshow/balance-sheet/asset-liab-equity.jpg

Source: Author

                                   Assets = Liabilities + Owner’s equity

The other portion is non-operating that contains the information about revenues and expenses that does not generated by the business to perform business regular operations (Bragg, 2013). This statement is used to assess organizational profitability by deducting the expenses from the generated revenue over a specific time period (Boone, 2013). If net income positive this means profit otherwise is loss.

1.2       Balance Sheet

Balance sheet is the financial statement that summarizes the organizational assets, owner’s equity and its liabilities over a specific time period (Brealey and Stewart, 2011). The main purpose of balance sheet is to have an idea about the financial condition of an organization that shows the own and owes of organization. It helps the businessmen to understand the strengths and capabilities of organization (Brendy, 2012).

http://www.wordstemplates.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Balance-Sheet-Template.jpg

Source: Author

Total Assets = Current assets + Other Assets + fixed Assets

Liabilities = Current Liabilities + Long term Liabilities

Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities – Book Value

Retained Earnings = Earnings retained for business opportunities/ investments

1.3       Cash Flow Statement

Cash flow statement contains about 17 items listed in the specific order they need to appear, cash flow statement is prepared monthly for the first year, quarterly in 2nd year and annually for 3rd year of business (Broadbent and Cullen, 2012). Cash shows the cash in hand, sales shows the income from sale paid for cash receive able means income from collection on cash owed to the business resulting in sales, other incomes means liquidation of asset, income from any investment and loan interest that has been extended (Dayanada, 2012). Total income in cash flow statement shows the total money (sales + receivables + other income). Merchandise or material is raw material used by the company to manufacture products, when raw material comes in, cash goes out. The labour required to manufacture product is called direct labour, expenses required incurred for business operations called overhead (Drury, 2012). Under marketing the expenses, commissions and direct costs related with marketing and sales departments are considered. Research and development are expenses for R & D operations. Some expenses called general and administration expenses incurred during the general administrative operations of business. Information about the paid taxes, except payroll are also treated as expenses in cash flow statement (Dyson, 2013). Capital shows the investment amount need to create income, loan payments are the payments use to reduce long term liabilities, material cost plus direct labour, marketing sales, research and developments, taxes, loan payments, capital and overhead expenses shows the total expenses (Fridson, et al., 2013). Whereas the cumulative cash flow is calculated by subtracting previous cash flow from current cash flow (Gartner, et al., 2013).

2.         Importance and role in determining profitability of a company

The financial statements provide the information to the creditors and investors to evaluate an organizational financial strengths and performance. Manager, creditors and investors need published financial information of an organization to make measurements and making analysis (Berends, 2010). The financial conditions of an organization are of important and major concerns to creditors and investors, as well as financial managers also need this information for making financial decisions and to know financial condition of company. Balance sheet shows the liabilities, assets and owner’s equity, it does not contains the information about business operations and changes occurred during the specific period to run business and final results, so the creditors, investors and financial manager need income statement to know the profit and loss, and cash flow to evaluate the cash flow in and out of company account to carried out business operations (Boone, 2013). Through income statement past and current incomes can be compare that shows the performance of an organization. A retained earning is part of equity is of important for the creditors and investors to understand the strengths and performance of an organization because if there is an increase in retained earning it means that a steady growth in organizational shareholder’s equity (Black, 2011).

3.         Explain 5 ratios clearly

3.1       Profitability ratio

Financial ratios are used to measure the business abilities to generate revenue as compared to it expenses and other costs incurred in a specific time period (Bragg, 2013). Higher values of these ratios as compared to organizational competitors show that organization is doing well business. These ratios assess the ability of organization to earn profit, sales revenue and cash flow (Brealey and Stewart, 2011). The creditors and investors and business owner also need these ratios to make investment decision for future or to understand the business performance in past period.  The most important ratios are return on capital employed (ROCE), gross profit margin, net profit margin and cash return on capital invested (CROCI) (Brendy, 2012). ROCE indicate how well an organization is using capital to generate returns and money for its shareholders is indicated by return on investment. Higher values means organization is executing operations in well manner to earn profit (Broadbent and Cullen, 2012).

3.2       Debt ratio

This is another financial ratio that is used by the creditors, investors and business owner to measure the degree of consumer’s leverage (Drury, 2012). This is ratio of total debt to total assets, and is expressed in percentage. Higher this ratio indicates that the risk associated with this company is high lower value of this ratio indicate low risk (Dayanada, 2012).

http://i.investopedia.com/debt_ratio.gif

Source: Author

3.3       Liquidity ratio,

Liquidity ratio basically indicates the organizational ability to repay short term to the creditors to reduce short term liabilities (Dyson, 2013). Liquidity ratio can be calculated by following formula

Liquidity Ratio = Liquid Assets / Short term Liabilities

If the value of the liquidity ratio is greater than 1 then it means that fully covered. High ratio indicate low risk of default, low ratio indicates higher risk of default (Fridson, et al., 2013).

3.4       Turnover ratio,

Turnover ratio indicate the number of times (frequency, repetition) of organization inventory replaced during a specific time schedule (Gartner, et al., 2013). Turnover ratio can be calculated as cost of goods/products/ services sold divided by average inventory over a specific time period. High value result indicates that organization is producing and selling products/ services quickly (Berends, 2010).

Inventory Turnover

Source: Author

3.5       Employee ratio

This ratio indicates an important ratio of organization between sales and number of employees (Boone, 2013). Higher value of this ratio means more productivity of organization higher value indicates more revenue generated by an employee (Black, 2011).

Revenue Per Employee

Source: Author

4.        References and Bibliography

Black, G. (2011) Introduction to Accounting and Finance, 4th ed. England: Pearson Education Ltd.

Bragg, S. (2013) Cost reduction Analysis: Tools and Strategies, 4th ed. London: John Wiley & Sons

Brealey, A. and Stewart, (2011) Capital Investment and Valuation, 4th ed.London: Mc-Graw Hill Publishers

Brendy, M. (2012) Accounting and Finance, 8th ed. Oxford: Cengage Learning

Broadbent, and Cullen, J. (2012) Managing Financial Resources, 8th ed. UK: Butterworth-Heinemann

Dayanada, D. (2012) Capital Budgeting, 6th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Drury, C. (2012) Management and Cost Accounting, 10th ed. England: South-Western Cengage Learning

Dyson, J.D. (2013) Accounting for Non-Accounting Students, 10th ed. England: Pearson Education Ltd

Fridson, Martin, and Alvarez, (2013) Financial Statement Analysis: A Practitioner’s Guide, 6th ed. UK: John Wiley & Sons

Gartner, William, and Bellamy, (2013) Enterprise, 5th ed. London: South-Western Cengage Learning

Postnatal Depression

In the United Kingdom, 1 in 10 women experience postnatal depression following childbirth (Lewis, 2004). Postnatal depression has profound effects on quality of life, social functioning and economic productivity (Chisholm et al, 2003). The health consequences could also lead to adverse long-term emotional and physical development of the infant (Miles, 1993; Jones, 1994; Boath et al, 1998). Postnatal depression is also predictive of child cognitive and behavioural disturbances at the age of 3 years (Campbell et al, 1995; Murray et al, 1996). Moreover, failure to identify these women often leads to safeguarding concerns for both mothers and infants (Warrington et al, 2001). Health visitors play a vital role in identifying and supporting women who experience postnatal depression. Their role includes supporting families from birth to five, thus giving opportunity to provide a prolonged period of contact and support to women  affected by the disorder. However, evidence suggests that most vulnerable women including Black Minority Ethnic groups do not always receive this vital care.

What is the current state of play with this issue?

Postnatal depression can affect men too. The birth of a new baby can be stressful for both parents and some fathers feel unable to cope, or feel they are not giving their partner the support she needs. It usually develops in the first four to six weeks after childbirth, although in some cases it may not develop for several months. There are many symptoms of postnatal depression, such as low mood, feeling unable to cope and difficulty sleeping, but many women are not aware they have the condition. It’s common to experience mood changes, irritability and episodes of tearfulness after birth the so called baby blues. These normally clear up within a few weeks. But if a woman experiences persistent symptoms, it could well be the result of postnatal depression. It is important for partners, family and friends to recognise signs of postnatal depression as early as possible and seek professional advice. Postnatal depression can be lonely, distressing and frightening, but there are many treatments available. As long as postnatal depression is recognised and treated, it is a temporary condition you can recover from. It is very important to seek treatment if you think you or your partner have postnatal depression. The condition is unlikely to get better by itself quickly and it could impact on the care of the baby.

Treatment for postnatal depression includes:

Self help advice

Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy

Antidepressant medication

The cause of postnatal depression

The main causes are not clear, but it’s thought to be the result of several things rather than a single cause.

These may include:

The physical and emotional stress of looking after a newborn baby hormonal changes that occur shortly after pregnancy; it is thought some women may be more sensitive to hormones than others individual social circumstances such as money worries, poor social support or relationship problems.

Women might be more at risk of developing post natal depression if they:

Have a previous history of depression or other mood disorders such as bipolar disorder

Have a previous history of postnatal depression

Experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy

Postnatal depression is more common than many people realise and cases can often go undiagnosed. It is estimated around one in seven women experience some level of depression in the first three months after giving birth. Rates of postnatal depression are highest in teenage mothers and is thought to affect all ethnic groups equally.

Aims and objectives

Depression affects 5-22% of women after childbirth. Some women with postnatal depression will experience a prolonged or relapsing illness that may last until their children enter school. It has adverse effects upon the coping abilities of women, their relationships with their infants, partners and social networks and may adversely affect the educational attainment and behaviour of their children. Since many more women are now active in the workforce, the effects of postnatal depression have obvious economic consequences both for their families and their employers.

The researcher will find out themian causes of postnatal depression among the moothers

The researcher want to know the impact of postnatal depression on the motehrs

The researcher want to know about the treatment of postnatal depression

The researcher is intersted in finding out the main causes of postnatal depression

The researcher will find out the darkside and its bad effects on mother’s health

The researcher will develop the positive suggestions and recommendations for the mothers to

reduce the chances of postnatal depression.

The researcher will find out the risk of postnatal depression associated with human lives

The researcher will find out its percentage and the age in which the people become its victom

Review of literature

The postnatal period is the period following the birth of a baby (Omar & Fattah, 1998) extending up to one year after delivery. For the majority of women this marks a relatively healthy period in their lives. However, it is estimated that a significant number of families areaffected by postnatal depression with 15% of women diagnosed with this disorder (Leverton & Elliott, 2000; Lewis, 2004). Despite the widespread nature of the problem the current process of diagnosis and treatment is not standardised, is often chaotic and may result in inappropriate care and treatment (Clifford et al, 1999). Postnatal depression is defined as an affective mood disorder often occurring in women up to one year after child birth (Gibson et al, 2009). This disorder is often characterised by feelings of loss and sadness and sometimes the loss of self-esteem (Olshansky, 2003). The depressive scale of this disorder and its presentation ranges from mild depression requiring minimal intervention to puerperal psychosis which often requires multi-therapy intervention, hospitalisation and long term support (Williamson & McCutcheon, 2004). Depression accounts for the greatest burden of

disease among all mental health problems, and it is expected to become the secondhighest among all general health problems by 2020 (Murray & Lopez, 1996). Minority ethnic groups represent 29% of the population in Greenwich with an estimated increase to over 33% by 2011 (Whiteman & Guite, 2008).

Evidance

A qualitative study by Amankwaa in 2003 looked at 12 women who have experienced postnatal depression in the past and noted that these African women believed that only white women get postnatal depression. This was considered a sign of weakness that did not represent a legitimate illness (Cox, 1999). In 2004, in a rural area of Ethiopia, Hanlon et al, (2009) conducted 25 in-depth interviews and five focus groups with purposely-selected participants. The participants included pre-natal women, fathers, grandmother, traditional and religious leaders, birth attendants and community leaders. The aim of the study was to determine societal recognition of problematic distress states in the postnatal period. The problematic distress state was defined to include both spiritual and mental disturbance. Hanlon et al, (2009) study identified salient themes that respondents spontaneously describe as culturally problematic distress occurring in the postnatalperiod, but they did not consider it to be an illness. This bears similarities to the current study where women exhibited symptoms of postnatal depression but did not regard it as an illness. The implication for practice suggests that lack of identification could be a contributory factor in naming the presenting phenomenon of postnatal depression. The overall findings suggest that black Caribbean women often have difficulties conceptualising postnatal depression, due to their tendency to minimise stress and their health seeking behaviour. However, current standardised tools such as the EPDS do not reflect the understanding and perception of women from BME groupsas demonstrated by Clifford et al, (1999). Edge, (2004) focus on ethnic groups offers greater understanding into the efficacy of the use of the EPDS. Although the findings from these studies were from Caribbean women, the overall evidence suggests that using the EPDS alone may not be the most effective method for assessing women from different cultural background. Oates et al, (2004) looked at postnat tal depression across countries and cultures and compared the emerging themes across different centres. This study found morbid unhappiness after child birth comparable to postnatal depression but not all saw this as an illness remediable by medication. This cultural approach also helps to understand why boys, who are most valued in Asian and African societies, in western society are most at risk of insecure attachment, cognitive difficulties and behavioural problems if their mothers had postnatal depression (Sharp et al, 1995). The consequences of this delayed effect of postnatal depression for the subsequent generations could be substantial (Chisholm et al, 2003). However, it is difficult to generalise the validity of the outcome due to lack of clarity in data collection. Moreover, the homogeneity in data collection could not be compared because participants remained in their cultural environment. The findings therefore cannot be directly compared to the present study which looked at African women living in Greenwich, UK, whose thinking and perception might be different in the way they respond to postnatal depression (Cox, 1999). Two anthropological studies, by Clifford et al, (1999), and Oates et al, (2004), in postnatal disorder, confirm the value of cultural education and training to assist with the understanding of the pathways to care and prevention of postnatal depression.

Research methodology

The researcher will use a focus group method to collect data from participants. Focus group

is an in depth, open ended group discussion that enables exploration of specific issues on predefined and limited topics (Krueger, 1988). The purpose of the focus group was to elicit and validate collective testimonies and group resistance narratives. These testimonies and narratives have been used by women and could be used by any subjugated group ‘to unveil specific and little-researched aspects of women’s daily existences, their feelings, attitudes, hopes, and dreams (Madriz, 2000). Focus groups can facilitate the identification of cultural values and they are said to be valuable when researching ethnic minority groups (Wilkins et al 2002). Forthis current study, participants felt very comfortable within the groups knowing they were not alone in the way they felt during and after pregnancy. They were also able to share their experiences with their mother-in-law knowing others have the same experiences.

Despite the positive attributes of using focus groups, I was also aware of the potential influence of dominant group members. This means supporting unassertive participants to articulate their views. I was also aware that not everyone would be open about discussing deeply personal and sensitive issues in a group setting. One of the difficulties centres on recording data during the discussion whilst manipulating recording equipment and being attentive to detailed information. These difficulties were managed with a co-facilitator who assisted with field note-taking, verbatim transcribing as well as voice tape recordings.

Ethical Approval

Ethics approval was obtained from South London Research and Ethics Committee before approaching the women. An application was made through the Integrated Research Application System and a review of the process was made before the panel of the Ethics Committee. The Trust also gave Research and Development approval before commencing the study.

Population and Sample size

Twenty six women of African background aged between 16-45 years old, were purposively selected from the health visitors’ list all of whom were African women who had migrated and are settled in the UK. This age group wasselected as it represents the reproductive and fertile record of a woman’s life. Women under the age of 16 were excluded due to the complex and sensitive nature of the topic. Participants were asked about their marital status and the kind of support network they have at home, as studies have shown that women’s marital status and the kind of support network they have are significant risk factors that may predispose a woman to postnatal depression (Patel et al, 2002). Similarly, their educational background or employment status may also affect their perception and the way they describe postnatal depression. Letters were sent to all the stakeholders such as the health visiting teams, the homeless liaison team, the safeguarding team and the clinical psychologist team, after receiving ethics and R&D approval.

Recruitment

Recruitment of participants was made easy by colleagues who supported the course of the study. Out of the 26 women invited, 22 confirmed attendances but only 17 participated in the study. Eight attended for Group 1 and 9 attended Group 2. The groups were seen on two separate days. An information leaflet outlining the study (see Appendix 3), was sent to all

participants followed by a ‘phone call a week later. Transport was organised to take the participants to and from the focus group meeting. They were all given a gift voucher to thank them for participating in the focus group. Each focus group lasted for two hours with 15 minutes break. Focus groups were held in the Children Centre which is a familiar environment for participants. The benefit of having a co-facilitator meant the researcher was able to facilitate the discussion, while the co-facilitator was free to take notes and assist with the subsequent transcription of the data collected (Krueger, 1988).

Criteria

It was difficult to develop a strict inclusion criterion due to limitation in numbers, but the following were essential to gather useful information for the study:

• Women in the postnatal period who have delivered a baby up to a year ago.

• Must be from African descent and between the ages of 16 and 45 years.

• Must be able to speak and understand the English language.

• Must have a live baby.

Data Gathering

Women were given the consent form to sign to agree to participate in the group. A focus group schedule which focused on how women felt when they became pregnant, was used. The focus of this schedule was asking them to describe their emotional feelings and the concerns they may have had during pregnancy and after having the baby. All participants were given codes, all conversations were tape recorded and stored in a locked cabinet on NHS premises, accessible only to the facilitator. The two transcripts were read several times to understand the data. Initial coding of the transcripts was then performed. Codes will made to capture the descriptive language used by the participants. Once the data will sorted, the facilitator grouped the data into themes, and examined all the cases in the study to make sure that the description of each theme was captured (Pope et al, 2006).  Triangulation will be used to improve the reliability and validity of the data. The key findings will be presented back to the participants through follow-up phone calls. There will general agreement about the information collected. The tape recorded data will also play back to check for clarity and confirmation of their descriptions and compared with the field notes.

References and Bibliography

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Mental Health Nursing, 22(14), pp: 297-316

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Bowling, A. (2002) Research methods in health. Investigating health and health services. 3rd ed. Oxford: Open University Press

Campbell, S.B., Cohn, J.F. & Meyers, T. (1995) Depression in first-time mothers: mother-infant interaction and depression chronicity, 31(11), pp: 349-357

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Clifford, C., Day, A., Cox, J. & Werrett, J. (1999) A cross-cultural analysis of the use of the Edinburgh Post-Natal Depression Scale in health visiting practice. Journal of Adv. Nursing, 12(5), pp: 191-190

Cox, J.L. (1999) Perinatal mood disorder in a changing culture. A transcutural European and African perspective. International Review of Psychiatry, 11(12), pp: 103-110

Edge, D., Baker, D. & Roger, A. (2004) Peri-natal depression among black Caribbean women. Health and Social Care in the Community, 12(12), pp: 430-438

Edge, D. (2005) We don’t see Black women here: an exploration of the absence of Black Caribbean women from clinical and epidemiological data on perinatal depression in the UK. Midwifery, 24(5), pp: 379-389

Fishbein, E. & Burggraf, E. (1998) Early postpartum discharge: how are mothers managing? Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 27(8), pp: 142-148

Gibson, J., McKenzie-McHarg, K., Shakespeare, J., Price, J. and Gray, R. (2009) A systematic review of studies validating the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale in antepartum and postpartum women. Acta Psychiatr Scand , 119(44), pp: 350-364

Hanlon, C., Whitley, R., Wondimagegn, D., Atalay, A. & Prince, M. (2009) Postnatal mental distress in relation to sociocultural practices of childbirth: an exploratory qualitative study from Ethiopia. Social Science & Medicine 69(23), pp: 1211-1219

Hewitt, C.E., Gilbody, S.M., Brealey, S., Paulden, M., Palmer, S., Mann, R., Green, J., Morrell, J., Barkham, M., Light, K. & Richards, D. (2009) Methods to identify postnatal depression in primary care: an integrated evidence synthesis. Health Technology Assessment, 12(6), pp: 123-167

Jones, L.J. (1994) The social context of health and health work. 2nd ed. Great Britain: Macmillan Press

Kirmayer, L. (1989) Cultural variations in the response to psychiatric disorders and emotional

distress. Social Science & Medicine, 29(3), pp: 327-339

Kitzinger, J. (1995) Introducing focus groups. British Medical Journal Kleinman, 311(16), pp: 299-302

Krueger, R. (1988) Culture and depression: studies in the anthropological and cross cultural psychiatry of affect and disorder, 3rd ed. USA: University of California Press

Leverton, T.J. & Elliott, S.A. (2000) Is the EPDS a magic wand? A comparison of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and Health visitor report as predictors of diagnosis on the present state examination. 2nd ed. Newbury Park: Sage Publisher

Lewis, G. (2004) Why mothers die The sixth report of confidential enquiries into maternal deaths in the United Kingdom. 2nd ed. London: Penguin Books

Murray, L., Fiori-Cowley, A., Hooper, R. & Cooper, P. (1996) The impact of postnatal depression and associated adversity on early mother-infant interactions and later infant outcome. Child Development 67(13), pp: 2512-2526

Murray, C. & Lopez, A. (1996) The global burden of disease: a comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries, and risk factors in 1990. Ist ed. MA: Harvard School of Public

Oates, M.R., Cox, J.L., Neema, S., Asten, P., Glangaud-Freudenthal, N. & Figueiredo, B. (2004) Postnatal depression across countries and cultures: a qualitative study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 12(14), pp: 26-78

Olshansky, E. (2003) A theoretical explanation for previously infertile mothers vulnerability to depression. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 35(13), pp: 263-268

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prospective study. Current Psychiatry Ain Shams University

Patel, V., Rodriques, M. & De, S.N. (2002) Gender poverty and postnatal depression. A

study of mothers in Goa. Journal of Psychiatry, 159(13), pp: 43-47

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Sharp, D., Hay, D.F., Pawlby, S., Schmauccker, G., Allen, H. & Kumar, R. (1995) The impact of postnatal depression on boys intellectual development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 36(12), pp: 1315-1376

Swift, C.R. (1972) Psychosis during puerperium among Tanzanians. Journal of Mental Science, 10(5), pp: 214-230

Turkson, S.N.A. (1992) Psychiatric disorders associated with childbirth among Ghanaian womenillustrative cases. Ghana Medical Journal, 26(13), pp: 467-470

Williamson, V. & McCutcheon, H. (2004) Postnatal depression: a review of current literature. Australian Midwifery Journal of the Australian College of Midwives, 17(4), pp: 112-213

A Critical Reading of Walter Benjamin

My intent is to offer a critical report of Walter Benjamin’s most celebrated essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. Many difficulties arise from a first reading of the text, notably because of a striking contrast between its shortness and the large number of issues raised. The reasons for that lie on the circumstances in which the essay was written, but may also be related to the philosopher’s epigrammatic style. This latter topic could alone be a theme for a paper and I cannot provide a fair account of the problem here. Instead, I will emphasize three aspects of Benjamin’s essay: 1) the context in which it was produced, in an attempt to show that it can be seen as a kind of this paper was originally written in the United States six years ago. It has remained unpublished until the present date for several reasons, mostly because of my sudden return to Brazil the following year (2003). I have now decided to submit it to the recent created Cadernos Benjamin in order to establish a communication with Professor Tereza de Castro Callado (a specialist in Benjamin’s work) and with a group of graduate students of UECE (Universidade Estadual do Ceará) who have shown great interest in the philosopher’s thought. I found quite promising to “discover” a generation of philosophy readers who think beyond the German mainstream (the tradition of “philosophy workers”, criticized by Nietzsche) which unfortunately seems to prevail in Ceará. In the 20th century panorama, Benjamin’s thought represents one of the most consistent enterprises of resistance to the trends of logicism and moral foundationalism. Both assail the contemporary attempts to produce philosophy in a new key. If the dangers of an “aestheticization of politics” are not at stake in our days, one cannot say the same of the reduction of philosophy to logical systems (modes of representation) – theme of Benjamin’s The Origin of German Baroque Drama. In this sense, it would be more useful to write an essay on this latter work. Yet, I believe that the simple mention to Benjamin, together with a consideration of his commitment to art, may suffice to keep the spark of creation in the core of philosophy, against the Kantian-Hegelian and analytic bureaucratic tendencies. I hope to present a Portuguese version of this paper soon, so that the intended dialogue may become easier in a near future.

* PhD for the Université de Nice (Philosophy, 2001). Professor in the Graduate Program of the UGF-RJ Universidade Gama Filho no Rio de Janeiro. Graduate student in the Comparative Literature Department at the University of Geórgia – USA, 1994-1995 an 2002-2003.

manifesto; 2) the development of the key-concept of “aura”, already mentioned in an earlier text (“On Some Motifs of Baudelaire”); 3) the question of “politicization of art”, as it appears in the epilogue. Key-words -art, politics, aura, aestheticization, will to art.

A Critical Reading of Walter Benjamin´s The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction

I. Introduction

Walter Benjamin’s short and polemic essay, titled “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, first appeared in France 1936. The text is divided into 19 sections (15 sections and an epilogue in the original manuscript used in Hannah Arendt’s edition of 1955, titled Illuminations and translated into English in 1968). Its central thesis is somehow summarized in section II, immediately after the introduction of the key-concept of “aura”:

One might generalize [Benjamin’s argument about the withering of the “aura”] by saying: the technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition. By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence. And in permitting the reproduction to meet the beholder or listener in his own particular situation, it reactivates the object reproduced. These two processes lead to a tremendous shattering of tradition, which is the obverse of the contemporary crisis and renewal of mankind. Both processes are intimately connected with the contemporary mass movements. Their most powerful agent is film. Its social significance, particularly in its most positive form, is inconceivable without its destructive, cathartic aspect, that is, the liquidation of the traditional value of the cultural heritage. (“The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, 221)

Benjamin does not fail to point out that works of art have always been reproducible throughout history. For instance, he mentions the procedures of founding and stamping in ancient Greece, the medieval additions to the development of woodcut graphic art (engraving and etching), the appearance of lithography in the nineteenth century. His argument, however, is that mechanical reproduction, which is a result of the advanced stage of capitalism he is living in, represents something new (“The Work of Art”, 218-219). It is precisely the novelty of these arts of reproduction such as photography and film that deserves to be analyzed in detail. After all, according to the philosopher, such changes entail a new concept of art –a concept that makes art absolutely inseparable from politics.

In fact, Benjamin’s own political motivations – in the strongest sense of the word – for writing the essay are set forth from the very beginning. The connection between the two processes mentioned above (copying and distributing the works of art) and the mass movements delineate the context. It is a political-historical context. As we read in the “Preface”, theses about the art of the proletariat or the art of a classless society – especially those on the developmental tendencies of art under certain conditions – become important weapons (sic) against the use of traditional aesthetic concepts (creativity, genius etc.) by Fascism (“The Work of Art”, 218). Even though this political terminology recedes in the following sections until the “Epilogue”, it is clear that the essay’s main goal is precisely the one Benjamin assigns to Communism: to block the resilient tendency for an aestheticization of politics initiated or reinforced by Giacomo Marinetti’s Futurist manifesto.

Thus, it seems that “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” must be seen more as a sort of pamphlet or manifesto than anything else. And it is probably the urgency intrinsic to manifestos that makes several passages of the essay sound too straightforward or sectary. However, if one acknowledges that a second framing is necessary to the text – not only a view of its historical context (the essay as part of a political agenda), but also in relation to other of Benjamin’s writings –, the enchaining of arguments can appear in a new light.

For instance, a previous conference given two years earlier (“The Author as Producer”, 1934) clearly shows two important aspects of Benjamin’s analysis of art in his new age. First: in spite of his emphasis on the role played by mechanical reproduction, Benjamin is still far from denying a degree of autonomy for the artist in the process of artistic creation, as some readers claim. Second: in spite of his demand for a revolutionary art, the philosopher always insists on the necessity of developing a literary technique capable of awaken a critical attitude in the audience. That was the case of Bertolt Brecht’s Epic Theater, for example:

[A] work of literature can be politically correct only if it is also correct in the literary sense. (…) By mentioning technique I have named the concept which makes literary products accessible to immediate social, and therefore materialist, analysis. At the same time, the concept of technique represents the dialectical starting-point from which the sterile dichotomy of form and content can be surmounted. (“The Author as Producer”, 93-94)

In other words, in literature (art in general) there is neither a “revolutionary content” separated from form to be conveyed, nor a technical medium, independent from the artist-producer who would be more or less capable of conveying it. Now, it suffices to transpose the argument to the scenario of “The Work of art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” to understand that Benjamin never celebrates a dismissal of creativity for political reasons, in a socialist realism manner. Accordingly, he never suggests that new media such as photography and film are revolutionary in themselves.

A close reading of another of his previous texts (“A Small History of Photography”, 1931) may also be quite useful to make the reader avoid a second prejudice against Benjamin, namely the one that attributes to him a sort of naïve optimism about the new arts of reproduction2. Throughout the text, instead of an absolute positive evaluation of photography, what we find is something much more subtle: a kind of relative approach, as when he mentions the difference between the surrealist photographer Eugène Atget and other artists:

He was the first to disinfect the stifling atmosphere generated by conventional photography in the age of decline. He cleanses this atmosphere, indeed he dispels it altogether: he initiates the emancipation of object from aura which is the most signal achievement of the latest school of photography. (ROCHLITZ, quoted, 152).

Once again, one must argue from the passage above that Benjamin’s idea is not that photography is in itself more revolutionary than other arts, but rather that its novelty (and film’s novelty too) entails a “decline of the aura” and discloses new possibilities for art. On the other hand, it was perhaps hasty to draw conclusions about the use of new artistic media as he did. It is true that “even if we except commercial film, film itself has hardly evolved in the direction of politicization announced by Benjamin” (ROCHLITZ, 149). In fact, one can

2 As a matter of fact, both prejudices – the one about a dismissal of creativity in the realm of a revolutionary art, and the second, about Benjamin’s “optimism”, seem to be present in Theodor Adorno’s letter to Benjamin, written soon after his reception of the essay: “what I postulate is more dialectics. On the one hand, dialectical penetration of the ‘autonomous’ work of art (…) transcended by its own technology into a planned work; on the other, an even stronger dialecticization of utilitarian art in its negativity” (in TAYLOR, 124). As for Benjamin’s optimism, it seems that he may be seen as optimistic rather about the artist and the audience, not about the media themselves.

even see the history of cinema as going exactly in the opposite direction – “commodification” took over artistic creation, in an unfolding much closer to Adorno’s pessimistic views about the destiny of art in our capitalist mass society. Yet, Benjamin’s ideas about politics in film refer to those that explicitly claim aesthetic purposes. His thesis refers to art, not to mere entertainment.

At any rate, the questions we need to ask ourselves concern the scope of Benjamin’s concept of “aura” because it is this aura of the work of art that tends to disappear with the advent of the arts of reproduction (photography and film).

What does the term mean exactly? How can artwork reproduction entail a “decay of this aura”? Why does such a decline represent a positive event in terms of politicization? What does Benjamin mean by politics in his essay?

II. The Concept of “Aura”

The first mention of the theme occurs in Benjamin’s Parisian Diary (1930). Curiously, in this reply to a friend’s (Adrienne Monnier) comment, we find a negative evaluation of photography as a means of reproduction. The philosopher complains that reproductions of works of art ruin all aesthetic pleasure (“L’Œuvre d’Art”, 117). Some of his friend’s objections, particularly those stressing the fact that art must be viewed as a collective creation, seem to have influenced Benjamin to such an extent that in the “Small History of Photography” a new line of argument will be followed. A kind of materialistic conversion seems to take place. The term “aura” is now to be defined historically, in the same way as it appears in “The Work of Art”:

We define the aura (…) as the unique phenomenon of distance, however close it may be.

If, while resting on a summer afternoon, you follow with your eyes a mountain range on

the horizon or a branch which casts its shadow over you, you experience the aura of those

mountains, of that branch. (“Small History of Photography”, 222)

Here, what we have is a spectator who contemplates objects feeling a sort of “pathos der Distanz”. It does not matter if they are actually far from him or not, for the distance is ultimately in his way of perceiving. The important point is that one does not feel as being part of what one contemplates. According to Benjamin, it is the same situation of a certain aesthetics (in the broadest sense of the term, i.e., in relation to our perception). More precisely, it is the situation engendered during the Middle Ages and reinforced by all posterior idealistic tendencies. From this standpoint, l’art pour l’art (“art for art’s sake”) represents nothing else than a reaction to the changes that have been occurring since the Renaissance which tends to approach the spectator from the works of art.

What happens that profoundly changes the impact of art upon the spectator, capturing a new place for the artistic process? At first sight, the essential feature is merely negative. Even the most perfect reproduction lacks its own presence, since the original “thing” is not there, in time or in space. It is more a question about authenticity than genuineness for what really matters is the fact that the work of art is now emancipated from its character of object (as a fetish) (“The Work of Art”, note 6, 244), and from a special context: “[F]or the first time in world history, mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual” (“The Work of Art”, 224).

From now on, the original work does not bear any authority whatsoever. First: because the reproductions became independent of it. Second: because the copies can be now put into situations which would be out of reach for the original. They enable it to meet the beholder halfway: “The cathedral leaves its locale to be received in the studio of a lover of art: the choral production, performed in an auditorium or in the open air, resounds in the drawing room” (“The Work of Art”, 221).

The objects of art are then reactivated. They do not refer to an original anymore, and they can be transported from one “space-time” to another. By means of reproduction they are detached from the domain of tradition. Benjamin opposes the former dependence on ritual to the increasing opportunities for exhibition in our (his) times. Here again, it is clear that his evaluation of the whole process of “liquidation of aura” is rather positive. “Cult value” is replaced by “exhibition value”, in a sort of invitation for the public to participate, critically but also enjoying the works of art. Actually, distraction and concentration are not to be separated in an idealistic manner anymore. Benjamin gives the example of Georges Duhamel who complains that in film his thoughts are replaced by moving images, to which he replies: it is the “same ancient lament that the masses seek distraction whereas art demands concentration from the spectator” (“The Work of Art”, 239).

This possibility of participation prepares new times for art. The negative theology of the so-called “pure” art consisted in denying any social function or any categorizing by subject-matter for art. Now that the criterion of authenticity ceases to be applicable to artistic production, the function (or pseudo-non-function) of art is reversed: “Instead of being based on ritual [or on pure form], it begins to be based on another practice – politics” (“The Work of Art”, 224). Still concerning the idea of bringing the spectator into scene, Benjamin compares film and photography to painting and theater to show that they can be more powerful in demystifying art. Film, for instance, encourages the audience to assume a more critical attitude than theater does, because it allows the audience to identify with the actor through the camera (“The Work of Art”, 228). Besides, film shows things “from different perspectives and enriches our field of perception” (“The Work of Art”, 235).

Benjamin stresses, however, that all the beneficial consequences of the event (the “decay of the aura”) do not come to fruition by themselves. They rest on two circumstances: the desire of contemporary masses to bring things “closer” spatially and humanly (1), and a change in their perception which has its “sense of universal equality” increased (2). Or, as he puts it: “the adjustment of reality to the masses and of the masses to reality” (“The Work of Art”, 223). Without the concourse of these causes, ethical and aesthetic (again in the broad sense of a theory of sensibility), nothing will be (or can be) achieved – not even through film: “So long as the movie-makers’ capital sets the fashion, as a rule no other revolutionary merit can be accredited to today’s film than the promotion of a revolutionary criticism of traditional concepts of art” (“The Work of Art”, 231).

Such a statement allows us to understand why, according to the philosopher, there is finally no common ground between the politicization of art and the fascist attempt to aestheticize politics. Perhaps the answer is that Fascism only gives us the illusion of suppressing the auratic distance found in tradition. Nonetheless, it is still the capital that sets the rules. The traditional concepts of art are criticized, but only insofar as they reveal themselves too weak to avoid the politicization of masses. Fascism needs something else, something mesmerizing. Its art (and the arts of reproduction are a weapon for Hitler and Mussolini too, like in Leni Riefenstahls’s films) seeks to show the masses (“to give them a chance to express themselves” – “The Work of Art”, 241), but without inviting them to think about their condition. The ritual values are still there, although they appear disguised. The spectator is brought into the scene, but as an object (aestheticization of politics). Conversely, a politicization of art claims for something different. It claims for a participation of the spectator who is now supposed to question his own conditions (as a subject). But this also presupposes an artist capable of setting the rules for art production.

In this sense, we can say again (in response to Adorno) that Benjamin does not neglect the importance of the artist’s autonomy. The question that remains though concerns the degree of autonomy he reserves to him. Should all new art form created indicate the way whereby property relations can be changed? Or is it enough to denaturalize them opening to new relations, even more complex than social relations? Is there a logic to follow or must artist and spectator invent their own logic of perception?

Benjamin’s great admiration for Brecht’s epic theater, as well as his emphasis on the notion of commitment and didactic art, finally suggest that the first alternative is the true one. But wouldn’t the second version of politicization be more efficient in blocking the fallacies of l’art pour l’art and the Futurist-Fascist glorification of war and death?

III. Politicization of Art and Will to Art

Benjamin’s views on cinema as an art of the masses are much indebted to a Marxist conception of politics. But it is this perspective that ultimately ruins part of his approach because the opposition between “politicization of art” and “aestheticization of politics” seems thus reduced to the general projects of Communism and Fascism (“The Work of Art”, 242). By the same token, this rigid opposition tends to presuppose the agents of the polis (the masses or the people) in such a manner that the difference between “giving them their right” (the right to change property relations) and “giving them a chance to express themselves” (while preserving property) (“The Work of Art”, 241) appears as quite abstract. In this respect (but only in this respect), it seems that Adorno is close to some truth when he affirms in his Aesthetic Theory:

The failure of Benjamin’s grandly conceived theory of reproduction remains that its

bipolar categories make it impossible to distinguish between a conception of art that is free

of ideology to its core and the misuse of aesthetic rationality for mass exploitation and

mass domination, a possibility he hardly touches upon (ADORNO, 56).

The problem of Adorno’s assertion is that the distinction to be established is not between a conception “free of ideology” (whatever it may mean) and “the misuse of aesthetic rationality for mass exploitation and mass domination” but rather between a political conception of art that presupposes the people to whom the artist address himself and another one in which all social and political relations are still and always to be invented. Actually, there are no political conceptions free of ideology although there have been many attempts to exploit and dominate the masses through art – Riefenstahl’s film Triumph of the Will produced in 1934 remains perhaps the best example of a very successful aesthetic enterprise of the kind. By the way, it is only this latter use of ideology that threatens and betrays art because what seems to characterize art is precisely a “will” that never fully identifies itself with a “truth” or a “cause”.

In fact, the reason why Benjamin is unable to surmount the opposition between the Communist politicization of art and the Fascist aestheticization of politics is not related to an insufficient dialecticization of the problem, as Adorno postulated in his famous letter. Benjamin’s so-called “bipolar categories” (ritual / political, cult value / exhibition value) do not imply any dismissal of the artist’s creativity in the name of politics, nor do they praise the arts of reproduction (photography and film) in themselves.

As two of the last footnotes of The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction indicate3, Benjamin does not fail to note that the medium is not enough to assure a politicization of art. Nor does he forget, as we have already seen, that many artists continue to find refuge in the doctrine of l’art pour l’art in order to neutralize the power of art over people. He does not even ignore, in spite of certain optimism, the fact that the audience (the masses) itself is very often seduced by new auras. After all, “cult value does not give way without resistance” (“The Work of Art”, 225).

The real “mistake” seems to lie elsewhere. It has probably to do with something more fundamental; namely, with Benjamin’s basic concept of art. Even though modernity shows that “art” is nothing but a nominal concept, changing throughout the times; one can still argue that there must be a species of will to art (something like the famous critic Alois Riegl’s Kunstwollen) beyond that. It is such a “will” that repeats itself by acquiring new forms in different periods of history. It is such a “will” that Adorno claims to be absent of Benjamin’s essay when he writes in his obscure Paraliponema that “what is called aura is known to artistic experience as the atmosphere of the artwork, that whereby the nexus of the artwork’s elements points beyond this nexus and allows each individual element to point beyond itself” (ADORNO, 274).

In other words, there is an aura of the work of art that is not based on ritual. Even if it is true that Benjamin never said the contrary and that Adorno distorted his friend’s words, the question about the nature of this new, immanent, aura remains. Does Benjamin really leave room for such a possibility? If so, what would this other aura be exactly? What would be the “will to art” that succeeds in creating it? How would it be related to politics? Why would film be more capable of creating such an aura?

An attentive reading of another of Benjamin’s essays (“On Some Motifs in Baudelaire”) can help to answer a few of these questions. First of all, it is interesting to note that the text was written soon after “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. It is unlikely that the philosopher has changed his mind during such a short interval of time. However, he uses the term to designate a different experience. He talks about “the associations which, at home in the mémoire involontaire, tend to cluster around the object of a perception” (“On Some Motifs”, 186). But an aura made out of free associations (Freud and Proust are the main references in this essay) no longer depends on any ritual.

What now best characterizes the phenomenon (aura) is a sort of response that the work of art is capable of giving back to the spectator. Benjamin’s point of departure is an aesthetical definition given by Paul Valéry, according to which a work of art is recognized “by the fact that no idea it inspires in us, no mode of behavior that it suggests we adopt could exhaust it or dispose of it” (“On Some Motifs”, 187). So, there is something inexhaustible in the work of art. What it gives to us is more than a mere likeness (a representation). A work of art before the age of mechanical reproduction evoked a mere compound of sense impressions. This tends to disappear with photography: “What was inevitably felt to be inhuman, one might even say deadly, in daguerreotypy, was the (prolonged) looking into the camera, since the camera records our likeness without returning our gaze” (“On Some Motifs”, 187-188). This glance that does not look back is what the arts in the age of mechanical reproduction give to us.

3 “One technical feature is significant here, especially with regard to newsreels, the propagandist importance of which can hardly be overestimated. Mass reproduction is aided especially by the reproduction of the masses. In big parades and monster rallies, in sport events, and in war, all of which nowadays are captured by camera and sound recording, the masses are brought face to face to themselves” (Benjamin, 251). This note refers mainly to Fascism. In another note, Benjamin mentions the threat to life which modern man has to deal with in film. The idea is that the medium also offers all kinds of danger.

That is probably the reason why Baudelaire saw the new media as “unnerving and terrifying”, “startling and cruel” (On Some Motifs”, 186). Yet, the poet himself was fascinated by this “decline of the aura”. His poetry (his motifs) must actually be viewed as a celebration of the ephemeral element of the arts of reproduction. Baudelaire, the Modern artist par excellence. According to Benjamin, Baudelaire’s insight into the phenomenon of the aura goes along with its disintegration in his own poetry. Nevertheless, he does not consent this disintegration without reinstating a kind of aura himself, through his idea of a shock as the new criterion for aesthetic experience.

In his book Mass Mediauras: Form, Technics, Media, the commentator Samuel Weber summarizes the arguments presented above:

What Baudelaire encounters (…) is the human equivalent of the apparatus: eyes that ‘look up’ but do not ‘look back’, or even look at. And with this glance that does not look back and yet sees, a very different kind of aura emerges: that of a singularity that is no longer unique, no longer the other of reproduction and repetition but their most intimate effect. What Benjamin calls the ‘decline of aura’ emerges here not as its simple elimination but as its alteration (WEBER, 104).

From this perspective, the essay on Baudelaire shows that Benjamin does admit the possibility of a different type of aura. The aura of the age of mechanical reproduction would be this shock, effect or impact that words, sounds or images wield upon us, which disrupts our perception by not offering any response or feedback. Instead, the spectator becomes critical about the representation. This is not only the cases of Baudelaire’s poetry and the arts of reproduction (Eugène Atget’s photographs and cinema in general), but most fundamentally what occurs in Brecht’s epic theater.

Benjamin’s essay on the German playwright finally provides a key to understand what could be his general approach of aesthetics, his basic concept of art or his idea about the will to art that lies under the creation of different auras throughout history. Brecht’s attempt to create a non-Aristotelian drama clearly belongs to our times insofar as it puts accent on the interruption of events. It is the so-called Verfremdungseffekt (effect of estrangement) whereby the spectator is able to discover the conditions of life instead of identifying with the development of the events. This new epic theater “consists in producing astonishment rather than empathy” (“What is Epic Theater?”, 150), but Benjamin also notes that the Brechtian path is, to a certain extent, a recuperation of the legacy of the medieval and Baroque drama.

One finds here a decisive connection with a capital text written by Benjamin ten years before the essay on mechanical reproduction, titled The Origin of German Baroque Drama, in which he develops what can be viewed as his key-concept of aesthetics – the concept of “allegory”. It is probably this very concept that subsumes all sorts of aura. Astonishment and estrangement are ways of displacing, dislocating. In short, Benjaminian will to art is basically allegorical.

The problem is to understand how this will to art – related to ritual in the past – now relate to the political realm. In order to answer this question, it would be necessary to look closely into cinema. After all, according to Benjamin himself, film is the most powerful agent of the liquidation (one must say from now on: transformation) of the aura.

Film would be the best medium to induce a shift in property relations. But film may be even more capable than that. Instead of presupposing the people and its social relations, it may be the case that what is really strong in film lies in its capacity to denaturalize these relations, opening to new ones, even more complex than the social ones. In short, there would be two forms of relating an allegorical will to art to the realm of politics – two forms of politicization of art: the one that is explicitly admitted and sustained by Benjamin (which can be found in Brecht’s epic and didactic theater) and another one, still to be decrypted (maybe in Benjamin himself), where either the people and the social relations remain open and must be constantly reinvented…

WORKS CITED AND CONSULTED:

-Adorno, Theodor. Aesthetic Theory. Edited by Gretel Adorno and Rolf Tiedemann. Translated and edited with an Introduction by Robert Robert Hullot-Kentor. Minneapolis: U.P. of Minnesota, 1997.

-Benjamin, Walter. “The Author as Producer”, in Twentieth-Century Literary Theory. Edited and introduced by Newton, K.M. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1988.

-_____________. “What is Epic Theater?”, “On Some Motifs in Baudelaire”, and “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, in Illuminations. Edited with an Introduction by Hannah Arendt. Translated by Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken Books, 1977.

-_______________. “L’Oeuvre d’Art à l’Époque de sa Reproduction Mécanisée”, in Écrits Français. Présentés et introduits par Jean-Maurice Monnoyer. Avec les témoignages d’Adrienne Monnier, de Gisèle Freund et de Jean Selz. Paris: Gallimard, 1991.

-Rochlitz, Rainer. The Disenchantment of Art: The Philosophy of Walter Benjamin. Translated by Jane Marie Todd. New York: Guilford Press, 1996. -Taylor, Ronald (Translation Editor). Aesthetics and Politics. Manchester: NLB, 1979. -Weber, Samuel. Mass Mediauras: Form, Technics, Media. Edited by Alan Cholodenko. Stanford UP, 1996.

The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility

1.          Introduction

The essay is important for its early analysis of photography, and the influence photography and technological reproducibility have had on art and our perception of it. I summarized the essay below, dedicating a short paragraph to each of the chapters of Walter Benjamin’s essay. I have commented briefly after each paragraph to indicate strong and weak points in the essay. First of all, Benjamin observes that the reproducibility of art is a consequence of the advances of productive capitalist society, and that the political interest of its consequences should not be underestimated. Benjamin’s main observation is correct and extremely important. One may quarrel with the Marxist style of his preliminary observations (Samuel, 1996). However, they are explicit, not hidden and do not influence his main analysis of the consequences of the reproducibility of art, and should rather be seen as hallmarks of intellectual integrity and openness (Taylor, 1997).

2.          First Paragraph

 Next, he observes that though reproducibility of artworks has been known for a long time (casting, stamping, woodcuts, movable type, engraving, etching, lithography), with the advent of photography, reproduction in detail was vastly accelerated, with minimal effort. He sets out to analyze the effects of the reproduction of artworks and the art of film, on art in its traditional form. Again, Benjamin’s main observation is acute, and acknowledges the strong influence that reproductive society has on our perception. He rightly considers the influence of photography on art as dominant compared to the influence of art on photography although the latter is also important. In fact, he stops short of analysing the wider influence of photography on culture in society, although he alludes to it often in the sequel of the essay. He could have allowed his observations a wider applicability (Walter, 1988). Benjamin is clearly aware of that but chooses nevertheless to concentrate on the influence on art. The choice of domain is artificially small, and is presumably the cause for a much less refined treatment of much broader subjects in the introduction and epilogue (Theodor, 1997).

3.          Second Paragraph

Benjamin argues that the work of art is distinguished from a reproduction by the here and now of the artwork. He argues that photographic reproduction is not forgery, since it can reveal details unobservable to the human eye, and can place the artwork in otherwise unreachable contexts. Reproducibility endangers the original’s aura. Mass existence detaches the authentic object from the sphere of tradition. Once more, Benjamin makes an important observation. The reproduction of an artwork is not like the original, however, note that Benjamin chooses here to think of photography of art, and not of photography by itself. He considers the artwork as reproducible via photography, and concentrates on the difference between the reproduction and the original, identifying authenticity and aura of the artwork as qualities that are lost in the process of reproduction (Samuel, 1996). Aura and authenticity are vague concepts, in my view, and I associate them with an old view on art in which a Master realizes a singular work of art, and distils magic on a canvas. However, it is true that the concepts of aura and authenticity can, in many particular instances be filled in concretely, and they are therefore useful. More examples would have been appropriate. To me the most important point at this junction is that photographs are reproducible independent of their application (Taylor, 1997). It is one of their most important characteristics, here applied only to the reproducible reproduction of a work of art. In fact the paragraph show that Benjamin is only concerned with a particular application of photography, namely in art. His essay cannot be read as an analysis of photography proper, although it contains important elements for such an undertaking. In particular, anything photographed becomes a mechanically reproducible image. That is an important characteristic of the act of photographing (Walter, 1988).

4.          Third Paragraph

Modes of perception change. Aura is associated to distance. By reproduction, distances gets smaller, sameness is extracted from uniqueness, the work of art becomes repeatable and transitory. The reverence for true art is again manifest in the description of what photographical reproduction does to the artwork, perhaps, to make the transition clearer, Benjamin consciously exaggerates the starting point (Samuel, 1996). However, that is unnecessary and refers to a very classic view on art. I often want to be close, feel close is taken in by the artwork, are emotionally touched by its mastery. Moreover, associating repeatability to transistorize does not make little sense, nor does associating art to eternity make sense, although again, it is a classic mistake. Eternity is a concept that I won’t easily fit into my lifetime. It is a negation of the finitude that we are familiar with in our lives, and that I should cherish. Benjamin makes the very important point that our perception of art changed through its reproducibility. That is certainly true, and needs to be analyzed in more detail (Taylor, 1997).

5.          Fourth Paragraph

The uniqueness of the work of art is determined by its basis in ritual. Art in the age of reproducibility is revolutionized. It is based not anymore on ritual, but politics. Ritual is advanced as a prerequisite for art. Without ritual, art becomes a goal in and of itself. However, there is nothing wrong with that, and I believe that art has gained its independency of ritual, and that it deserved to do so (Walter, 1988).

6.          Fifth Paragraph

The stress on the cult value of works of art has shifted to their exhibition value. Photography and film are ideally suited for realizing that shift. Again an acute and visionary observation, a further analysis of the consequences of this fact, both negative and positive, is necessary (Theodor, 1997).

7.          Sixth paragraph

From some cult value in early photography portraits, fleeting human presence via at get photography has become evidence for a historical process. Perhaps, when photographs were less widely spread, they kept cult value. However, they were always ideally suited for exhibition, and they still are, even the eldest ones.

8.          Seventh Paragraph

Certainly, it is true that we must not ask whether photography is an art, for various reasons. The technological innovation underlying photography and film revolutionized our vision, and we must undertake the definition of new categories to cope with its advent, instead of trying to fit them into an old dictionary. However, it is also insufficient to ask how photography as a technique of reproduction has changed art. It has changed art in more drastic ways than as a means of reproduction. It seems that Benjamin underestimates still the importance of photography (Taylor, 1997).

9.          Eight Paragraph

The actor is tested optically by cinematography. The audience is not in personal contact, but takes the position of the camera, the optical tester. The approach contradicts the cult value.

10.      Ninth Paragraph

In film, the actor loses his person, his here and now. The best acting is where the actor acts as little as possible losing his aura entirely, the actor need not identify with a role. Indeed, the best acting is often minimal and I believe this is partly due to the viewer’s capability for empathy and her imagination (Samuel, 1996).

11.      Tenth Paragraph

The screen actor confronts the consumer. Capital sets the fashion. Film is only revolutionary in its criticism of the traditional concepts of art. Everybody can be filmed, everybody writes. The masses are involved. The revolt of the masses is a fact and I associate it to a rise of the overall standard of living rather than to one particular facet of technological revolution and the breadth of its manifestation is, by nature, large (Theodor, 1997).

12.      Eleventh Paragraph

Vision of reality is one via apparatuses, diminishing distance and increasing detail. Our daily perception of reality has remained more or less constant, from our ape days until now, and the influence of apparatuses on our daily lives should not be exaggerated. Their technological importance, and their importance in scientific discovery, of course, can hardly be overestimated and it is true that to some degree, the associated sense of possibility has influenced popular culture (Walter, 1988).

13.      Twelfths Paragraph

Pleasure becomes fused with expert appraisal, in the relation of the masses with art. Simultaneous mass reception of painting is unthinkable, and does not naturally confront masses directly. Art is again associated to an elite, individual activity, while it is essential that culture is public, and only in its publicity and public value, it can be culture. However, it is clear that a reaction of the masses cannot replace an expert opinion, when better informed, based on a broader interpretation, a finer analysis of distinguishing characteristics, etcetera, the larger public should take time to listen to experts, but should by no means be excused from an attempt to shape an informed opinion (Taylor, 1997). Any suggestion to that effect is tantamount to cultural suicide.

14.      Thirteenth Paragraph

Film sharpens and deepens our optical and auditory impressions. Artistic uses and scientific uses of photography are identical, as will be demonstrated by film. My field of vision is enlarged, our eye is sharpened. We see things we could not see before, discovering the optical unconscious. Benjamin rightly estimates that photography and film have influenced and enlarged our visual perception. This society has developed a far more subtle visual language, due to the omnipresence of imagery and a linguistic analysis of visual language in contemporary imagery is called for (Walter, 1988).

15.      Fourteenth Paragraph

Dadaists destroyed the aura of art and outraged the public. Film is shock replaced by shock. The analysis of cinema is certainly not simplified by the continuous visual attack on our brain during viewing. The analysis of film should be approached with caution, time delay, and a stop button.

16.      Last Paragraph

The artist enters the painting the masses absorb the work of art. Concentration is contrasted with distraction. The public is a distracted examiner. Benjamin again uses a classic image of art in which the artist loses himself in the painting, contrasted with the masses devouring art. The latter is a more optimistic view on art than we are used to from Benjamin. Fascism allows masses to express themselves, not changing the property relations and war delivers the artistic gratification of a sense of perception altered by technology (Samuel, 1996).

Conclusion

The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility points towards very important consequences of the invention and pervasiveness of photography. Benjamin wrote an essay about art and about the influence of photography on art. He identifies technological reproducibility as a paramount feature of photography. His concept of art is classical, and his essay seems to have a pessimist undertone about the influence of modern media on the experience and social consequences of art. He rightly identifies the strong influence of photography and film on our modes of perception. By contrast I would like to argue that photography and its reproducibility are still underestimated in this essay, where its function is too often narrowed down to the reproduction of art. I wish to stress the necessity of a linguistic analysis of visual imagery and a more thorough study of the special relationship between art and politics, from the perspective of quieter times. It is necessary to understand photography and film better, to better control its potentially destructive use. Clearly, photography has made fine art more democratically accessible to a much wider public and the influence of this fact on art should not be overestimated, whereas art is bought by a small fraction of the people that have been reached by photography and it is true that expert critics and potential buyers have gained easier access to art works through photography, but it would be fair to conclude from this that better art has gotten a better chance of getting the upper hand, not only in the market, but everywhere worldwide (Theodor, 1997). The influence of the public at large on the expert critics and buyers exists but should not be exaggerated. We should not confuse products of distraction and entertainment with the production of works of art. Though it is extremely interesting to analyze precisely the way in which Benjamin identifies, like a visionary, salient features of technological and cultural streams during his lifetime, more than half a decade later it should strongly be recognized that his analysis is dated (Samuel, 1996).

References and Bibliography

Samuel, W. (1996) Mass Mediauras: Form Techniques Media, Manchester: NLB Publishers

Taylor, Ronald, T. (1997) Aesthetics and Politics (Translator editor), New York: Guilford Press   

Theodor, A. (1997) Aesthetic Theory. Edited by Gretel Adorno and Rolf Tiedemann, Translated and edited with an Introduction by Robert Robert Hullot-Kentor, Minneapolis: University press

Walter, B. (1988) The Author as Producer, in Twentieth-Century Literary Theory. Edited and introduced by Newton, New York: St. Martin’s Press

Management Leadership Style

Introduction

The main purpose of this research is to highlight the importance and role of management in the success of business organization. There are so many benefits of business management to the business organization. For example the Apple Company is the most successful business organization in the world because it has the effective business management and effective business strategies. Whereas the Tesco was the successful superstore market chain in the United Kingdom and now a day is losing its business because of ineffective business management and business strategies (Thomas, 2011). Lamming, (2011) has stated that management is always responsible for the designing and developing the mission statement of the organization, objectives are also set by management and to achieve and control the employees management always design the rules, procedures and implement them on the work placement so that through effective communication and controlling organizational objectives could be achieved.

Thesis Statement

Comparative analysis of Apple and Tesco management

Basically Apple is the most successful business organization in the world whereas the Tesco is less successful business organization in the world because of management. As above I have mentioned that management functions are associated with executing a business or an organization that involves the functions of management (planning, organizing, monitoring and leading) is called the business management.

Conclusion

Through the above statement I can conclude that business management in an organization is the key to success in an organization. There are different role of management in an organization and their role varies from department to department, for example the manager in sales department will achieve the sales targets by leading and controlling, allocating resources and solving sales force problems and by encouraging them to achieve organizational objectives (Nicoloulaud, 2012). Similarly the human resources manager will recruit the best work force for the organization from the labour market to participate its role in achieving organizational objectives, and financial and accounting managers also play their roles effectively in allocating, producing and generating financial statements, accounting statement and allocating financial resources to the other departments to achieve organizational work smoothly. Manufacturing department manager will also lead, motivate and control the employees in its department and will be responsible to achieve department targets to achieve organizational objectives. According to Freeman, (2012) that “Managers at work placement plan the work, allocate resources to the employees and lead them and encourage them and solve their problems and give them proper feedback about their work so that employees can contribute towards achieving organizational objectives in efficient manners”.

Comparative analysis of Apple and Tesco Management

Introduction

Apple is basically multinational American company that has been producing electronics products for its customers and also designing software for its customers to use its products. Apple management has the competent skills and composed of highly skilled workers to manufacture and producing Android and Symbian operating systems for its own manufactured hardware like different series of mobile phones and laptops and tablets (Apple, 2014). Apple is although offering highest price products in the market and successfully doing its business in international market and its products demand is increasing every year because of its effective business management procedures and activities the management team at Apple has all the necessary competencies and skills to compete in the market and achieving its organizational objectives efficiently and effectively. Apple business operations are managed effectively and efficiently because of highly skilled mangers in all the management process those contribute in its management process planning, organizing, controlling and leading. Tesco is the supermarket market chain leader in United Kingdom offering non food items and financial services in the United Kingdom to its customers at low prices but at high quality of products, Tesco is doing its business in global market and suffering from lot of issue because of its ineffective management. Tesco is although the market leader in the United Kingdom but is losing competitive position in global market because of its ineffective management process and activities, Tesco do not have highly skilled workers as compared to the Apple managerial skills (Tesco, 2014).

Effective Management Process

Basically management is the function or is a process used in the business and organizations to achieve their goals and objectives by using the resources like human resources, technological resources, financial resources, infrastructure and procedures and by coordinating the employee’s efforts in efficient way. Basically leaders are the people in the organizations those have specific skills to manage the things in an organization and do right things at right time and allocate right resources to the right people is called a leader whereas the term leadership is always refers to the art to perform leadership role in an organizations effectively (Hutt, 2011). There are different forms of leadership now a day including political leader that has personal interest and cause and has the vision to do for a nation or for a country, secondly it could be the executive member in an organization or institute that establish mission and vision statement for an organization and train and lead the other staff members to achieve specific goals and objectives in specific time period efficiently and effectively by using specific resources. In order to improve the effectiveness of organizations and to lead and to achieve and sustain competitive position the organizations needs to bring quality in their products and services offer them at lower cost to increase market share and to generate sales revenue, and these thing are possible by the effective management (Apple, 2014). Effective management means that resources should be allocated to the right people at right time to the right people to save time and to avoid wastage of resources, so by maximum utilization and output of resources management is necessary. To achieve organizational objectives it is important that managers leads the employees towards achieving organizational objectives, management/ managers are always responsible for the integrating all the resources in a line to achieve common objectives. It is the management that allocates the organizational resources to the employees and assigned the different tasks in different positions to achieve specific tasks to achieve organizational objectives (Byars, 2012).

Management is basically the mixture of science and arts it is not purely science not art, management term has the following activities

Planning

Planning means to plan the aims and objectives of an organization and also defining the targets and tasks for the human resource management. Management at Apple has the effective skills and competencies as compared to Tesco management. At Apple management always focus on the innovation technology and they successfully plan the aims and objectives, whereas at Tesco managers do not have such competencies and skills to establish Tesco aims and objectives as according to the job and market interest. At the Apple management is continuously involved in establishing and refining the aims and objectives of the company and focus on the innovations and new technology to provide best operating system and modern hardware technology, at Apple management always involved in research and development activities to bring innovations in its way of achieving organizational objectives, whereas in the Tesco the management only once establishes the aims and objectives and then they just focus on the established and pre defined procedures to achieve organizational objectives (Bateman, 2011). 

Organizing

Organizing means to allocate the resources to the employees as according to their job nature and according to their skills and experience. Human resource can play their effective role in achieving organizational objectives efficiently and effectively (timely, and without wasting resources). At Apple the CEO has introduced the innovative leadership style to motivate its employees and established the planning board whereas at the Tesco only the management involve in planning phase. At Apple incorporation this organizational structure provide an opportunity to work as team (engineers and programmers and other professional) to establish organizational aims and objectives and procedures to motivate its employees. Tesco only corporate level management is involved in establishing organizational aims and objectives (Asakawa, 2012).

Staffing

Staffing means that recruitment the staff member as according to the job description, and specific criteria is always define to recruit people to play their role in achieving specific tasks in an organization then after recruitment employees are given training and rewarded them as per their performance to retain them with the organization. Apple employees feel more job security and taking high salaries and other benefits as compared to Tesco employees and this is the main reason of high productive attitude of Apple employees. Apple incorporation is using the innovative methods and online methods to provide training to its employees to create efficiency while saving time and cost whereas at Tesco employees do not have opportunity to provide them training online. Apple incorporation management hire the people from all over the world and offer them highly salaries and other benefits and provide them training in different phases as according to their skills and build high competencies among them and reward them with high perks and benefits whereas Tesco has only 30% of its business outside the UK and Tesco concentrate on UK labour market and recruit the labour form only one market and Tesco employees profile is less than the Apple employee’s profile (Tesco, 2014) (Thomas, 2011).

Leading

Managers in an organization always lead their subordinators and lead them by their skills and motivate them in achieving organizational objectives, listen them, their problems and provide them friendly environment at work placement so that they can contribute and share their problems and share their experiences and knowledge with each others to solve the problem. Leading is an important function of management that involves the activities to motivate the employees to achieve their tasks effectively. At Apple incorporation management is successfully motivating the employees in achieving organizational objectives and employees has devoted themselves and contributed more as compared to the Tesco employees because at Apple Incorporation employees feel more job security and they are earning high scale of salaries and other benefits and compensations as compared to Tesco employees. Tesco employee’s salaries are low and their benefits are also less as compared to Apple incorporation. The leadership style at Apple is scientific management and the working environment is friendly and trusty, at Tesco the transformational leadership is implemented and they have created conservative and unfriendly environment at work placement. Employees as team workers in Apple feel trusty and friendly environment and they share their ideas and experience and helped each other that creat quality of work (Lamming, 2011).

Controlling

Controlling means to control the difference resources, organizational management control the resources through their performance and for this purpose managers always collect the information regarding the resources performance and then measured them as per defined standards. At Apple incorporation employees are controlled by their immediate boss and it has the innovative techniques to measure employee’s performance and management at Apple has the more competencies and skills to control the employees and other resources as compared to Tesco Plc (Nicoloulaud, 2012).

Conclusion

Through above data it has been concluded that Apple incorporation is successful organization whereas the Tesco is less successful organization because of management efficiency, the management at Apple is efficient and its function, leadership style and employee’s skills are appropriate as compared to Tesco management. In the organizing function managers at Apple incorporation focus on the organizational structure and they divide the tasks as according to the skills and competencies of the employees to carry out the routine tasks whereas at the Tesco the management is involved in allocating the resources to the employees to achieve their objectives. The efficient way to achieve organizational objectives can be seen at Apple rather than at Tesco. Apple believes in team work whereas at Tesco management believes in group working efficiency. So the success of Apple also depends on the organizing function that is performed by its high qualified team members (Byars, 2012). At Apple management has the main three skills including interpersonal skills, technical skills and conceptual skills and all the managers at all level are fully have these skills to carry out their work. Technical skills are very important for the engineers to carry out special tasks. Technical skills also mean that they must have the ability to train their subordinators and colleagues to motivate them to achieve special tasks. At Tesco the managers have the necessary skills but do not have the technical skills to motivate others and to train their colleagues and subordinators. Conceptual skills are very important for the management because managers must think logically and conceptually to make effective decisions, at Apple incorporation the employees have the conceptual skills to achieve their goals and objectives successfully by making effective decisions. At Tesco managers have the abilities to perform their skills but they need to focus on the corporate level guidelines and managers are not independent to make their own decisions to carry out work (Hutt, 2011). Interpersonal skills are related with the communication efficiency and at Apple incorporation the communication methods are efficient and all the managers and corporate level management remains in touch with each other and share their problems and experience and knowledge. At Tesco managers have the interpersonal skills but they do not have the effective way of communication. Managers at Apple are more motivated and committed as compared to the Tesco managers because of management style and their code of conduct (Freeman, 2012).

References and Bibliography

Apple, Inc. (2014) “Management Functions” Anti Essays [Online] Available at: <http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Apple-Inc-Managment-Functions-219775.html> [Accessed on 17th November 2014]

Asakawa, K. (2012) Overcoming Barriers to Open Innovation at Apple: Nintendo and Nokia. International Journal of Social Sciences, 21(23), pp: 47-67

Bateman, T.S. (2011) Management: Leading and Collaborating in the Competitive World, 11th ed. London: University Press

Byars, L. (2012) Strategic Management, Formulation and Implementation, Concepts and Cases, 5th ed.Manchester: McGraw Hills Publishers

Freeman, R. (2012) Strategic Management, 4th ed. London: Blackwell Publishers

Hutt, K. (2011) Strategies for Management mature Products. Journal of Strategy and Leadership, 32(28), pp: 12-34

Lamming, R. (2011) Strategic Operations Management, 6th ed. Oxford: Pearson Education

Nicoloulaud, B. (2012) Strategy and Competitive Positioning, 7th ed. Manchester: McGraw Hills Publishers

Tesco, Plc. (2014) “Four main functions of Tesco Management” (Online) Available at: <http://www.tesco.com/investorInformation/report111.html&gt; [Accessed on 17th November, 2014]

Thomas, H. (2011) Strategy analysis and Practice, 5th ed. England: Pearson Education

Teaching a Critical Review

1.    Teaching Introduction

There are following types of teaching definition, which includes the identifying, finding out the leaner’s abilities, identifying their needs and actual wants and needs and fulfilling their requirements and equipping them with suitable resources to learn them the education as per their requirement and as per their problem solution. Some students may be disabling and they may require special equipment, medical facilities and additional language to learn (Ashman and Conway, 2007).

2.    Inclusive Teaching

Teaching approach must be rational and logical and the teaching methods must be proactive rather than reactive and defensive (Bandura, 2005).

The teaching methods must have the policy and strategies that make sure that the teaching method will deliver the knowledge and education without any discrimination and the method and way will be based on purely on the equivalent basis, all students and learners will be treated on same basis without any race, colour and religion basis (Bandura, 2007).

The instructor/ teacher must teach the students and learners the subjects and provide them the necessary skills and trainings with specific objectives and the institute must be involved in the process of learning and in the process of delivering the knowledge under the specific circumstances (Gibson and Dembo, 2004).

Before the instructor/ teacher start to teach them it is recommended that the student’s and learners requirements must be identified

With the passage of time the methods and the requirements with the change in technology and resources and other circumstances the requirements of the learners will be changed and the instructor/ teacher must change their way of teaching and learning style and methods should be changed.

In the teaching inclusive method is the best way to teach the disable learners and especially when the instructor/ teacher want to describe the figure or diagram to the blind students then at that time the method must be reviewed, the instructor/ teacher will reassess the available material, teaching methods, policies and strategies to deliver the material and knowledge to the students (Brophy, 2008).

It is also instructor/ teacher’s responsibility to provide the suitable environment to the learners according to the resources and according to their needs and requirements where the learning outcomes must be in positive way and at maximum level the positive outcomes must be sure.

The instructor/ teacher or the education or training providers must design and follow the specific strategies and policies for all the learners to tackle the challenges, problems and hindrances in the way of implementation of learning methods.

3.    Advantages of inclusive teaching

As we are living in the assorted culture so the best and effective way of the teaching is the inclusive (Cheung, 2008).

This way is the best way of teaching and learning because the education can be promoted and quality of education and training can be provide through this way.

 With the time passage the disable students have now complete awareness about their rights and they have the chance to get education through inclusive teaching method and such effective environment can be provided only in the inclusive teaching.

4.    Explain how to provide opportunities for learners to practice their literacy, language, numeracy and ICT skills

 In order to provide the opportunities to the learners and to provide them the practice the skills and involve them in the learning activities towards literacy, language and numeracy and ICT (information communication technology) skills and these functional skills which includes essential knowledge, skills and learning the communication skills with confidence and effectively so that the learners can be able to spend their lives independently at their daily work and in their personal lives, the government has been spending lot of money and providing all the necessary facilities and equipping the education providers all the resources and other facilities so that the knowledge and essential skills must be provided to the learners effectively (Dellinger et al., 2008). Basically functional skills are those enable the individuals and equip the individuals to stand them in such a position to achieve better future opportunities in their lives and they can perform their job, duties and perform their responsibilities in effective way.  

Basically in the functional skills we include English (writing, speaking and listening), mathematics and information communication technology and these functional skills can be achieved and these kinds of trainings and developments can be achieved at their work place. Actually the instructor/ teacher and the students or learners need specific equipments, technology and confidence, competencies and hands on and skills to teach these skills to the learners effectively to the individuals and enable them to compete in the life either at their home or in their jobs (Fives and Buehl, 2009). In order to move further in their lives the learners need the trainings or professional trainings for further developments in their career path to make more progress. In order to deliver the functional skills to the individuals the instructor/ teacher must use the latest technology like power point slides (for presentation) to make most effective interaction with the learners the instructor/ teacher can arrange areas like online classes or conferences and the material could be uploaded for those individuals (Evertson, 2005).

5.    Opportunities to practice literacy

In order to provide the students the opportunities to practice their literacy the instructor/ teacher must provide them chance to the practice their literacy like writing essays, stories, emails, different articles, reports on different topics which includes daily problems, social problems and involve them in the class activities to polish their abilities and improve their skills and competencies and similarly the instructor/ teacher must take out learners and students to the out of class and provide them the necessary opportunities to encourage their confidence to perform their daily social lives and to fulfil other responsibilities (Gibson and Dembo, 2004). In order to create, develop and increasing the numeracy skills, competencies and abilities within the education and on the training the instructor/ teacher must started with the basic mathematical starter activities and must be finished at the Sudoku and involve the learners in the different basic mathematical activities like multiple equation solution to solve different equations which involves addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (Fives and Buehl, 2009).

6.    Explain ways to engage and motivate learners in an inclusive learning environment

The instructor/ teacher can motivate the students and learners in achieving learning environment (Ashman and Conway, 2007).

In order to engage and motivate the students and learner towards achieving learning objectives through inclusive environment, there are the following ways to engage and motivate learners which includes.

First of all clear the objectives of the learning to the learners.

First develop the initial momentum among the learners.

The instructor/ teacher can motivate the students to describe them the outcomes of the learning purpose

The learning outcomes must be concerned with the learner’s interest, and learner’s interest must be involved in the learning process and in learning outcomes.

The feedback must be given to the learners well in time so that the students can contribute more while learning the outcomes (Dellinger et al., 2008).

All learners must take part in questions and answer session and the learners must be appreciated on their answers and the instructor/ teacher do not allow to make a critic on the learners

The instructor/ teacher or trainers never point out any student for any shamed or lack of concentration and must identify their level of communication then choose the proper words to communicate with them (Evertson, 2005).

7.    Summarise ways to establish ground rules with learners to promote respect for others

The role of learning environment has its positive and negative impact on the learners, while positive impact always put positive changes among the learners and in this way the learners can obtain maximum learners outcomes and the learners can achieve the maximum education (Bandura, 2005). The ground rules are set of code of conduct that allows the learners to develop and maintain the environment in the class room and the instructor/ teacher or trainer can produce well standard of the work and reduce the distraction and in this way the learners can gain more attention of the students. And there are following ways to set the ground rules which includes

Trainers or instructor/ teacher set their own rules

The students or the learners set their own rules

Both of them learners and the instructor/ teacher set their own rules to maintain the environment good by mutual understanding (Bandura, 2007).

Instructors and the learners can work together and can design the code of conduct and the designed code of conduct by mutual sharing and understanding will be acceptable by all of them and in this way the ground rules are most effective and the environment created by this way is most effective for learners and the instructors as well (Brophy, 2008).

The learners can write down their own ground rules and in this way the ground rules can be established (Cheung, 2008).

Photography a Critical Analysis

Introduction

One of the distinguishing features of modern life is that it supplies countless opportunities for regarding at a distance, through the medium of photography horrors taking place throughout the world. Images of atrocities have become, via the little screens of the television and the computer, something of a commonplace (http://www.themontrealreview.com/2009/Susan-Sontag-Regarding-the-Pain-of-Others.php).

Aim of Book

Her aim, it seems, is not so much to answer the above questions but to provoke us by her statements, urging us at least to think about what happens when suffering is viewed third hand; because after all, she reminds us, we see only what the photographer wanted us to see. When scenes of violence are as close as our morning papers or TV screens, Sontag’s is an important debate (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2003/aug/03/society). This is also a book about how war itself is waged and understood in our time, replete with vivid historical examples and a variety of arguments advanced from some unexpected literary sources. Plato, Leonardo da Vinci, Edmund Burke, Wordsworth, Baudelaire, and Virginia Woolf all figure in this passionate reflection on the modern understanding of violence and atrocity. It includes as well a stinging attack on the provincialism of media pundits who denigrate the reality of war, and a political understanding of conflict, with glib talk about a new, worldwide society of spectacle just as on photography challenged how we understand the very condition of being modern, Regarding the Pain of Others will alter our thinking not only about the uses and meanings of images, but about the nature of war, the limits of sympathy, and the obligations of conscience (http://www.susansontag.com/). Susan Sontag examines the manner in which war is perceived, taking into account such factors as sex, culture and status. She contends that war imagery is open to both interpretation and manipulation. Sontag rejects the notion that war imagery will necessarily compel a repudiation of war, instead arguing that war is itself perennial. Sontag claims that a photo’s meaning is based on interpretation, perhaps formed of ignorance. Images make events seem real to viewers, even as they seem unreal in their similarity to art. Images, however, have impeccable veracity to the human mind, representing as they do the basis of empirical truth. Sontag reminds the reader, however, that images are first filtered through image takers. Sontag explains that a picture’s meaning is derived through a synthesis of artifice, context and experience (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2003/aug/03/society).

Theme

The author is centrally focused on how people engage the pain and suffering of others. Of particular interest to Sontag, in part due to its particular interest to people in general, is the pain caused by war. Not she being from a war-torn country, Sontag, like many Americans, draws upon secondary sources for her understanding, secondary sources such as art, photography and film. Sontag uses her once-removed experience as an opportunity to examine the manner in which she, and other like herself, understands the world. She realizes that, as an American, she is privileged. Most of the privileged world has little experience with war, and thus are ill equipped to understand the pain it brings. What little they know is gleaned from the newspaper or the nightly news: discrete, disembodied images that fail to convey the harrowing truth beyond (http://www.susansontag.com/).

History of Photo Journalism

She also gives a brief history of photo journalism, from the Crimean and civil wars to the almost instantaneous transmission of images from operation Iraqi freedom. In chapters that sometimes seem to disagree with one another, she plays the devil’s advocate and views the idea of photographs of suffering from all directions. And if a war photo is posed a corpse moved for a better shot or a battle scene restaged to make it more dramatic is the effect enhanced or decreased (http://www.susansontag.com/). She considers the impact of candid photos versus those technologically manipulated. She discusses how photos, and their impact on us, change when the names of the victims are revealed. Sontag’s statements about photographs of suffering might also help us think about the function of writing and reading about others suffering. When she says “No we should be taken for granted when the subject is looking at other people’s pain” I thought of how differently a patient’s suffering might be written about by a doctor, a nurse, a lover, the patient himself, those of different cultures or beliefs. When Sontag says “The photographs are a means of making real or more real matters that the privileged and the merely safe might prefer to ignore” I thought of how we attempt to use literature to guide the healthy caregiver to a more visceral understanding of suffering. She says that when we look at a photo, we should ask ourselves what atrocities are not being shown (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2003/aug/03/society). Compelling and profound, Susan Sontag’s essay deploys her considerable skills of cultural criticism to engage crucial questions that matter to everyone disposed to think, feel, respond, and act in ways that flow out of our sense of humanity a sense, moreover, that can only continue to develop in response to regular reflection upon such questions. This essay exemplifies how the humanities shape and sharpen habits of thought that allow us to discern a sense of purpose in life. Regarding the Pain of Others can be thought of as a continuation of the line of thought that Sontag pursued in on photography (http://www.themontrealreview.com/2009/Susan-Sontag-Regarding-the-Pain-of-Others.php). Consequently, the brilliant observations and rather flawed conclusions that mark that particular work exist here as well. Susan Sontag writes about the moral implications of photography in war and questions our perceptions which impact our actions. It’s a pleasure to read because she writes simply and clearly without jeopardizing on her well thought through arguments. I liked her thoughts on the subject of the photograph that are the photographed, what are their perception of the picture, the impact after the picture is taken, and the pain felt by their families and friends (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2003/aug/03/society).  

Bataille’s Photograph

Bataille’s photograph is a horrifying picture of a man suffering the “death of a hundred cuts,” as he is flayed and dismembered while still alive.

Krieg dem Krieg

Krieg dem Krieg, or “War against War,” is Ernst Friedrich’s uncompromising photo album covering the destruction of World War I.

Newspapers

Newspapers are the standard of mass media, defining the baseline for taste and decorum. Due to politics and propriety, newspapers seldom print photographs of war casualties.

Tabloids

Tabloids, in accordance with the guideline “If it bleeds, it leads” are more likely to present scenes of death and destruction than their more credible counterparts.

Vietnam

Vietnam was the first nation, and war, to experience the continuous war coverage of modern journalism.

Concentration Camps

Sontag points out that the German concentration camps at the end of World War II were photographed and filmed outside the context of the camps operation, thus failing to capture their heartless efficiency.

Image Creators

Sontag separates image creators into two groups (http://www.susansontag.com/). The first group, the image makers, is unquestionably subjective. They do not reproduce reality so much as they represent it. Goya’s Disasters of War, for example, does not offer objective proof of the war crimes the artist witnessed. Rather, Goya represents, through images, an experience similar to what he has seen. The made image is filtered entirely through the eyes of its creator. The second type of image creator is the image taker, one who creates images through the use of film. The word take here refers to an image taken directly from life, suggesting that film serves as an objective reproduction of reality. The veracity of a photograph is widely regarded as above reproach, so much so that photographs are admissible as evidence in a court of law (http://www.themontrealreview.com/2009/Susan-Sontag-Regarding-the-Pain-of-Others.php).

Photography

Sontag is concerned with photography’s prurient intrusiveness, its surreal dislocation of reality it is irrelevant aestheticism. Actual photographs are of less interest to her, and are mentioned, in stern verbal paraphrase, only to be reproved for their untrustworthiness. Her earlier book concluded with a call for “an ecology of images”, censuring and perhaps censoring the visual stimuli with which a consumerist society assaults us. She remembers that resonant, impotent demand in Regarding the Pain of Others, and admits that it will never happen. No “Committee of Guardians” is going to reform news media that enjoy disaster, gloat over horror and operate on the principle that “If it bleeds, it leads”. Those media have trained us only too well, and we now, instinctively transform an intolerable, unintelligible reality into fiction. People who watched the planes slice through the World Trade Centre, or witnessed the collapse of the towers, agreed that the scene was ‘unreal’ and compared it with an action movie; the Pentagon caters to this craving for scenarios that are apocalyptic but ultimately harmless by deciding in advance on blockbusting titles for its wars, such as Operation Desert Storm. Sontag retells the familiar stories about photographs that sanitise or falsify the conflict they are supposed to be documenting. In the Crimea, Roger Fenton represented war as a “dignified all male outing”, avoiding all evidence of carnage: in the valley through which the Light Brigade charged, he supervised the placing of cannonballs on the road. In 1945, the Russian victors hoisting the Red Flag over the Reichstag in Berlin took direction from a Soviet war photographer who dreamt up this iconic moment (http://www.susansontag.com/). In our “culture of spectatorship”, have we lost the power to be shocked? The pain of others titillates us, so long as it is kept at a safe distance (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2003/aug/03/society). The victims of famine and massacre are always, as Neville Chamberlain dismissively said of the Poles, people we do not know; when genocide recurred during the Bosnian war, we were reminded that the Balkans should not be considered part of Europe. The young Afghan refugee photographed by Steve McCurry for National Geographic became, a poster girl for atrocity; we could see her pain but not feel it. Sontag blames the eyes indiscriminate lust, claiming “the appetite for pictures showing bodies in pain is as keen, almost, as the desire for ones that show bodies naked”. Her book, unillustrated, caters to neither hunger though she does tantalisingly describe a photograph that obsessed the perverse philosopher Georges Bataille, in which a Chinese criminal, while being chopped up and slowly flayed by executioners, rolls his eyes heavenwards in transcendent bliss (http://www.themontrealreview.com/2009/Susan-Sontag-Regarding-the-Pain-of-Others.php). Words are Sontag’s antidote to images. Hence her arguments that the war photographs of Robert Capa or David Seymour belong in newspapers, where they are surrounded by words, rather than in magazines, which juxtapose them with glossy advertising images: the explanatory verbiage is a bulwark, and turns the fickle viewer into a reflective, questioning reader. People unconvinced by her contention that images can easily be conscripted as the “totems of causes”, because sentiment is more likely to crystallise around a photograph than around a verbal slogan. At the end of the book, she proposes that ‘photographs with the most solemn or heart-rending subject matter Matthew Brady’s dead soldiers from the Civil War, the walking cadavers at Buchenwald and Dachau photographed by Margaret Bourke White and Lee Miller, perhaps also Nicholas Nixon’s Aids victims should not be exhibited in galleries or museums, where like all wall hung or floor supported art they become incidental to a stroll, displayed as if they were plates on a sushi railway which we can sample or ignore as we please (http://www.susansontag.com/). The “weight and seriousness” of images like these is more aptly honoured privately in sober silence, she believes, in a book. Regarding the Pain of Others is serious enough, but hardly weighty. It is short, and by rights should be a good deal shorter: it derives from an Amnesty lecture, and labours to amplify and relentlessly repeat its original argument. Readers can find it on the inside back flap of the jacket, and it shows Sontag herself a mater dolorosa whose grieving face is framed by a sleek cascade of time defying jet black hair posed next to a wall beside the Seine near the Ile de la Cite. The photographer is her close friend, Annie Leibovitz, who specialises in the glamorous consecration of celebs for the covers of Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. In her starchy text, Sontag says that beautifying is one classic operation of the camera, and regrets the vanity of people who are “always disappointed by a photograph that is not flattering”. By including Leibovitz’s portrait, she has exempted herself from her own rule (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2003/aug/03/society).

References and Bibliography

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2003/aug/03/society [Accessed on 10th March 2013]

http://www.susansontag.com/ [Accessed on 10th March 2013]

http://www.themontrealreview.com/2009/Susan-Sontag-Regarding-the-Pain-of-Others.php [Accessed on 7th March 213]

Financial Ratio Analysis

Introduction

Financial statements are the documents of any company or organisation which gives the clear picture of the historic financial statements (Preve, 2011). The financial document includes all the details and the accurate assets and the liabilities such as income, expense and the cash flow. Financial statement help to communicates with the investor and give them the detail of the company where the company stands and tell them the economic history performance and the future planning and decision making that what decision they can take (Lazaridis, 2011). Financial statement is based on the three main things which are

Balance sheet

Income sheet

Cash flow sheet

These are steps which help to make the financial statement and it will in the decision making for the managers.

The source of the business finance is the investor does some investment in the company this is the source of finance to the company (Garcia-Teruel, 2011). There are two kind of finance internal and external finance. When the business is well established and there growth is good and the company capital will also increase by retaining the term of profit that the business earns. This is called internal source of finance. There are external source of finance also in which if the company go for expansion and they don’t have sufficient internal source of finance then they use external source of finance (Gill, 2013).

Task 1

Using a set of published accounts from a real business organisation, carry out ratio analysis for two years (note: usually two years figure will be given in a set of published accounts)

Financial ratio analysis is the selection, interpretation, of financial data along with other pertinent information, to assist in investment and financial decision making (Emery, 2011). It is also used internally to evaluate issues such as employees performance, the efficiency of operation and credit polices and externally to evaluate the potential investment and the credit worthiness of borrowers, among other things. The ratio analysis play very important role the organisation by using the ratio analysis the company know its position and where they stand. Making of financial statement balance sheet plays very important role in the organisation (Bougheas, 2009).

A statement prepared with a view to measure the exact financial position of a business on a certain date. All the assets and the liabilities of the company are clearly shown in the balance sheet. Balance sheet tells us clearly that what are their Capital, Current Assets, Current liabilities, Long term liabilities, short term liabilities, Fixed Assets (Deloof, 2010).

I have chosen the company Tesco for my assignment. Tesco is a giant in the UK super market and it is at the No.1 position. There is two years financial statement of Tesco 2010 and 2011.

There are six aspect of operating performance and financial condition and it can be calculate the financial ration (Bastos, 2012).

Liquidity Analysis Ratio: Liquidity ratio analyses are the short term debt which is rapidly converted into cash. Every organisation has those short term assets which will easily converted into cash and help the company. Here are some formulas to find the liquidity analyses ratio of Tesco (Berry, 2010).

Current Ratio = Current Assets/Current liabilities

= 11392/4250 = 2.68

= 11438/5862 = 1.95

Quick Ratio = Quick Assets/Current liabilities

= 8663/4250 = 2.03

= 8276/5862 = 1.41

Quick Assets = Current Assets-Inventories

= 11392-2729 = £8663M

= 11438-3162 = £8276M

Net working Capital Ratio = Net working Capital/Total Assets

= 7142/14681 = 0.48

= 5576/16623 = 0.33

Net working capital = Current Assets-Current Liabilities

= 11392-4250 = £7142M

=11438-5862 = £5576M

Interpretation of liquidity ratio: In year 2011 the current ratio of Tesco has remarkably fallen down at 1.95 as compare to previous year in 2010 it was 2.68. The main reason for decrease in current ratio is due to increase in current liabilities. If we see the figure in 2010 the current liabilities were £4250 and in 2011 current liabilities are £5862 which is 16 % more. If we breakup the current liabilities the main increase is trade and other payables which increased 10%.

If I analyse the quick ratio I will that quick ratio are decrease by 1.41 in 2011 as compared to year 2010 which was 2.03. There are two main reasons for this decrease in 2011. Quick assets decrease by 3%, the major decrease in cash and cash equivalent which is decrease by 10%. The second reason is current liabilities is increased by the 16%.

To find the net working capital ratio of Tesco in 2011 has fallen down at 0.33 as compare to the year 2010 which was 0.48. There are two effects in this ratio first is decrease in net working capital and the second is increase in total assets. The reason for decrease is increase in current liabilities for the net working capital. The second major reason for the increase in total assets in 2011 it is 19% more

Profitability Analysis Ratio: Profitability ratios also (refers to as profit margin ratio) compare content of income with sales. Profitability ratios give the new ideas to the company to increase their sales. This ratio is used for external Investors, Bankers and borrowers. Profitability ratio for the company can be calculated by these formulas.

Return of assets (ROA) = Net Income/Average Total Assets

= 2336/45408 = 0.051

= 2671/46212 = 0.057

Average of total Assets = Beginning total assets + ending total assets)/2

= 45166+45650/2 = 45408

= 45650+46775/2 = 46212

Return of Equity (REO) = Net Income/Average Stock Holder Equity

= 2336/374.5 = 6.23

= 2671/400.5 = 6.66

Average Stock Holder equity = (Beginning Stock holder equity + Ending stock holder equity)/2

= 350+399/2 = 374.5

= 399/402 = 400.5

Return On Common Equity (RECO) = Net Income/Average common stockholder equity

= 2336/374.5 = 6.23

= 2671/400.5 = 6.66

Average Common Stockholder Equity = (Beginning Common Stockholder Equity + Ending Common Stockholder Equity)/2

= 350+399/2 = 374.5

= 399/402= 400.5

Profit Margin = Net Income/Sales

= 2336/56910 = 0.041

= 2671/60931 = 0.043

Earnings Per Share (EPS) = Net Income/Number of common share outstanding

= 2336/7985 = 0.29

= 2671/8046 = 0.33

Interpretation of profitability Analyses ratio: In year 2011 return of assets was slightly increase 0.057 and in year 2010 it was 0.051. There are two main factors of increase in return of assets in 2011. There is net income which was increase to 3% in 2011. The increase of 3% of net income in 2011 there are two main factors for the increase of net income. Revenue excluding the VAT increase 40% in 2011 and the second major factor cost of sales which increase to 35% in 2011. These are the main changes which make the cause to increase in net income. The average of total assets increase in 2011 about 8%

Return of equity in 2010 is 6.23 and in 2011 there is slightly increase in 6.66. There is 0.0043% increase in return of equity. Net income has increase to 3% of the Tesco. And on the other hand the average stock holder equity has increase to 0.26% in 2011.

Tesco profit margin was 0.041 in 2010 and now it is 0.043 as compared to last year it increase slightly. Net income and sales are increase in 2011 net income was increase to 3% and on the other hand sales which has a major affect on the profit margin and the sales has a sharp rise to 40% in year 2011.

In year 2010 Tesco earns per share 0.29P and now in 2011 there prices for the share has slightly increase 0.33P per share. The number of common share outstanding has 0.61%.

Activity Analyses Ratio: Activity analyses ratio use to measure how well the assets are being used in the organisation. These activity ratio help to put more investment in work for example Equipment and machinery etc. Activity ratio has four important parts

Assets turnover Ratio = Sales/Average total assets

= 56910/45793.5 = 1.24

= 60931/46614.5 = 1.30

Average total assets = (Beginning of total Assets + ending of total assets)/2

= 45564+46023/2 = 45793.5

= 46023+47206/2 = 46614.5

Accounts receivable turnover = Sales/Average Accounts Receivable

= 56910/1843 = 30.87

= 60931/2101 = 29.00

Average accounts Receivable = (Beginning Accounts Receivable + ending Accounts Receivable)/2

= 1798+1888/2 = 1843

= 1888+2314/2 = 2101

Inventory Turnover Ratio = Cost of Goods Sold/Average Inventories

= 52303/2699 = 19.37

= 55871/2945.5 = 18.96

Average Inventories = (Beginning Inventories + Ending Inventories)/2

= 2669+2729/2 = 2699

= 2729+3162/2 = 2945.5

Interpretation of activity analyses ratio: In year 2010 assets turnover is 1.24 and in 2011 it is increase to 1.30. There are two major factor of increase in ratio sales and average total assets.

If we will compare the sales of 2010 and 2011 there is a major rise of 40% in 2011 and it has a huge impact on the assets turnover. There is another reason average of total assets has been increase 8% and in the average of total assets there is 10% increase in noncurrent assets as compare to previous year.

Tesco accounts receivable turnover in 2010 was 30.87 and there was slightly fall on 29.00 in 2011 and the accounts receivable slightly goes down by 0.0187%. There are two main reason for the accounts receivable turnover ratio one is the cost of sales which has increase of 35.68 and the another reason is

Capital Structure Analysis Ratios:

Debt to Equity Ratio = Total Liabilities/Total Stockholders’ Equity

= 31342.0/14681 = 2.13

= 30582/16623 = 1.83

Interest Coverage Ratio = Income before interest and income tax expenses/interest Expense

= 4016/840 = 4.78

= 4399/864 = 5.09

Income before interest and income tax expenses = Income before income tax expenses + Interest Expenses

= 3176+840 = 4016

= 3535+864 = 4399

Comment on the business structure and the functional structure and explain the relative advantages of the structure of chosen organisation?

Business structure is a type of relationship with the owner of the business and business. Business structure are of many types which are sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability limited partnership, corporation, non profit corporation, limited liability company (Petersen, 2010).

Sole Proprietorship

Sole proprietorship business can be operated by the single person it is not like a limited and corporation business. In sole proprietorship there is no need to fill the documents with the state to begin the company. Sole proprietorship has some financial structure and they have some reporting system also (Lazaridis, 2011). Sole proprietorship has limited access to capital because in sole partnership there is only one partner or they are couple. There source of financing in sole proprietorship can take the small loans from banks, friends, some them have the personal investment, and the credit for suppliers. The sole proprietorship has to report their suppliers, Friends, personal loan and banks to tell where there company stands for (Preve, 2011).

General Partnership

General partnership can be formed when two or more people are willing to do a business together (Gill, 2013). In this partnership there is no local and state fillings are required to create this partnership. In general partnership businesses all the partners are equally responsible for the business they have share are his liabilities, assets and profit within partnership as a separate body (Garcia-Teruel, 2011). General Partnership has some financial structure and they have some reporting system also. General Partnership limited access to capital because in general partnership has one or two partners. There source of financing in general partnership can take the small loans from banks, friends, leasing, hire purchases, some them have the personal investment, additional investment of shareholder, and the credit for suppliers (Emery, 2011).

Limited Partnership

Limited partnership means partnership formed by two or more persons under the laws of the State under which it is formed, having one or more general partners all of which have management rights and responsibilities and one or more limited partners none of which have management rights or responsibilities (Bougheas, 2009). In the limited partnership they have limited access to capital and in this partnership they have some sources of finance which is angles investor, supplier credit, small loans, leasing, and hire purchase. These are the financial structure and the sources of finances and they need to report their financers that are happening in the company and what is current situation of the company (Deloof, 2010).

Public sector

Consisting of those industrial, commercial, trading and banking enterprises, the capital for which government provides from the public resources, the government providing the structure, content and control of the management and takes the profit or loss of the enterprises (Bastos, 2012).

Tesco PLC has some advantages as being the public sector

While I had chosen the Tesco organisation they have the different business structures.

Advice a potential investor on investing in the business compared to placing money in a deposit account. (Current deposit account interest rates should be sourced from local banks or Internet for comparison). The investor has £50 000 (or equivalent in other currency) to invest.

I will compare different option for the potential investor.

Invest in any company like John Lewis, Asda.

Invest in any banks.

As an adviser of the potential investor we need to look at the company they want to invest their money and in which way (Petersen, 2010). There is a company like john Lewis this company is very famous in the world and this is a garment industry. To invest in the John Lewis adviser need to see that where is company stand and what is its marketing value in the UK market. As an adviser I need to see that what is its annual profit per year and what are the prices of its market share. As an adviser I will suggest him to be a preferred share holder in the John Lewis. There are many types of share holder and the types are ordinary shareholder, preference shareholder, cumulative preference and redeemable (Berry, 2010).

Ordinary shareholder

Ordinary shares are just the normal shares. Ordinary share holders are the highest risk takers and they have the highest financial giants. In ordinary share if the company get into loss the ordinary share holder is the last person who will be paid (Preve, 2011).

Preference shareholder

Preference shareholder has links with the annual dividends which are distributed to share holder. Preference shareholder only receive the fix dividends which means that if the company earn more profit then normal one the preference shareholder will get his fixed divided he didn’t deal with the loss and profit of the company (Lazaridis, 2011).

Cumulative preference shareholder

Cumulative preference shareholder has a right if the other partners or dividends cant paid one year it will be carried out forward for the successive year. Dividends make sure that the growing preference share holder must be paid to increase the earning level of the business and to give the distributable profit to the business (Gill, 2013).

Redeemable shareholder

These shares come with an agreement that the company can buy them back at the future date. These shares can be a fix date or it can be taken as a choice of the business. A business cannot issue the redeemable shares (Garcia-Teruel, 2011).

As an adviser of the potential investor I will suggest him to invest his money as preference shareholder in the John Lewis if the investor invests his £50,000 money in john Lewis for 4 years. John Lewis is giving preference share holder 7.5% per year

Year                            Calculation                              Profit

1st year                        50000*7.5/100                        53750

2nd year                      53750*7.5/100                        54031.25

3rd year                       54031.25*7.5/100                   54052.34

4th year                       54052.32*7.5/100                   54053.92

Total amount in final Year                                          215887.51

After the four year period as the preference shareholder he invests £200000 in the company for the 4 years and he earns the profit £15887.51 against the original investment which is £200000. As an adviser I will suggest to potential investor to invest in the company to secure your investment. In any of the condition the company went into the loss this loss didn’t affect the preference shareholder investment (Emery, 2011).

Suppose the business requires additional finance of £500 000. Advise on a suitable source of finance giving possible alternatives, implications of each and reasons for your recommendation.

To invest in the bank for the fix deposit account it is a good choice but there are different conditions with the bank. Some of the banks will offer less percentage of money and some have a long time period condition (Deloof, 2010). As a current situation the potential investor has to look for the safe and reliable bank. As an adviser I had chosen the Lloyds TSB. This bank is deposit the money of £50,000 for 4 year with the rate 3.45%per year.

Year                            Calculation                              Profit

1st year                        50000*3.45/100                      51725

2nd year                      51725*3.45/100                      51784.5

3rd year                       51784.5*3.45/100                   51786.5

4th year                       51786.5*3.45/100                   51786.6

Total amount in final Year                                          207082.6

The potential investor does the fix deposit amount of £50000 for the 4 years in Lloyds TSB. The investor invests the £50000 for one year and he will get the profit for one year is £1725 per year and rest of the year the profit will be compounding. The potential investor invests the amount of £200000 and he will get a complete secure profit of £7082.6 for 4 years.

Recommendation as an adviser: As an adviser to a potential investor I will suggest to my potential investor that he has to go with the John Lewis Company as preference shareholder and he will get the 7.5percent per year which is better than the Lloyds TSB. In the John Lewis Company the net profit for 4 year is £215887.5 and in the Lloyds TSB the net profit for 4 years is £207082.6 while the original value for the investment is £200000. So as compare to Lloyds the best preference is John Lewis Company as preference share.

Suppose the business requires additional finance of £500 000. Advise on a suitable source of finance giving possible alternatives, implications of each and reasons for your recommendation.

The company need the additional finance for their company and there are many ways to finance the company (Bougheas, 2009). The short term loan has duration of up to one year for medium term loan its duration is 1 to 5 year period and for the long term period its duration is up to 5 to 15 years.

Short term Finance

Sale of Stock

Sale of stock is a short term loans. In sale of stock the money comes from the selling off the unsold goods. It can be done when the ploughed profit bring back to the company. It has some advantages and disadvantages (Bastos, 2012).

Advantages

It is quick way to raising the finance in the company. By selling the off season stock it reduces the cost which holding with them. By selling this block stock the covered space will be free for the other stock (Berry, 2010).

Disadvantages

It will take a long time to selling the block bulk in the market. It will give the fewer prices for the block stock (Petersen, 2010).

Working capital

Working capital in the organisation can be defined as the sum by which current assets exceed the current liabilities (Preve, 2011). The current assets and the current liabilities are shown in the balance sheet. The current assets in the balance sheet are stock held, cash in bank, debtors, and the short term investment. In current liabilities which must be paid by the company in one year and this include creditors, tax payment, and dividend to share holder and bank overdrafts. Working capital is working like a lubricant in daily transaction in company to run the business (Gill, 2013). When company is going to increase its profit the owner has to make sure that the current assets are more than the current liabilities. If the current liabilities increase over the current assets then the company is going to be in danger (Garcia-Teruel, 2011). This situation can make difficulties for the company and those are company reputation can be damage, its costs of products will be increase and it will affect the operation capacity of the company. If the current assets increase over the current liabilities its working capital will increase. Many of the business man use the delaying payment of trade debt is to increase the working capital over the short term (Lazaridis, 2011).

Bank Overdraft

Bank overdraft is widely source of finance bank overdraft supplies the money by men of over draft and loan facilities (Emery, 2011). Bank gives the big amount of loans to all the companies and loans plays very important role in the organisation. When the banks gives the loans there is a condition of the interest 2-3 percent which is calculated on the daily basses above the base rate. The bank overdraft limit set with the business condition and its credibility. Overdraft facilities are like short term and the contractors are usually grants this for one year balance to the account (Deloof, 2010).

Trade credit

Trade credit arises when a business receive goods or service from supplier without the requirement of immediate cash back payment. It is very specific source of finance which didn’t give cash on the credits but goods and services (Bastos, 2012). Trade credit compromises with the three things which are the discount available on the invoice prices, the discount period start from the day when the invoice is received and the time when the gross amount of the invoice has to be paid. Trade credit is to work when the suppliers must ensure themselves against bad debt (Berry, 2010). Insurance company take some risk against the companies but they put some kind of terms and condition the company which is relating to the amount of goods and services to be advance the customer. The suppliers rate the company based on its past credit record, its reputation and its importance as a customer to suppliers (Bougheas, 2009).

Medium Term Finance

Leasing

If the company own the free hold property or long leasehold than the capital can rise when the owner sell his property or rent his property on the market price. Leasing is one of the easiest solutions for the company to get out of any critical problem and they can still raise their money as much as possible against its property. Company can use the leasing of their land to convert their property into cash to solve out their problem and they can increase their capital and the cash flow problem can be reduces (Petersen, 2010).

Sales

If company goes in critical situation and had a tuff times that company can be closed at any time so the company can sell their fix assets for the sake of the company, by selling the fix assets can make their way easy to stable their organisation. By selling the fix assets it can rise in capital and the cash flow problem can be reducing in the company (Preve, 2011).

Bank loans

Bank loan are very helpful for organisation by using the bank loans they can survive their self in the market (Gill, 2013). Different banks have condition on the loans some of the banks give the loans for one year and some one year rolling contract and some have base rate, fix rate loan and five year commercial fixed rate loan. Loans can be given due to need of the company and loan period can be 1 to 5 years. It is more expensive than the bank overdraft limit and the loans give a lot of confidence to the company over a medium term time and it will make you more aggressive and confident to achieve your goals (Lazaridis, 2011).

Long Term Finance

Retained profit

In this source of finance the some of the profit can be taken out from the company and some of the profit retained by the business for future planning (Garcia-Teruel, 2011). It is an easy source of finance in which you don’t need to pay any interest which you have earned. At the end of the financial year of the company the profit must be paid to the government which is called corporation tax as well as to shareholder and to the dividends. In the balance sheet the retained profit shows as the reserves (Emery, 2011). For the directors of the business it is difficult for them that how much profit they should keep in their business and how much they should give to the dividends. If the directors fail to keep the sufficient amount of retained profit then the company can go for loss and they will lose their competitive edge. Now a day’s many of the companies have their corporate policy and strategy which help them that how much profit can be taken as dividends and how much is retained (Deloof, 2010).

Share issues

Share is usually required to external sources to provide additional finance.

A portion of the financial capital of a limited company which gives the holder an entitlement to a fixed return, in the case of preference shares ,or, in the case of ordinary shares, a variable dividends decided by the board of directors, ordinary share are also known as equity (Bougheas, 2009).

Ordinary shares

Ordinary shareholder is like the owner of the company and they have full right of voting and dividends right. Ordinary shareholder need clear all the dividends like debentures, loan stock, and preference shareholder and at the end he need to take out his dividend share (Bastos, 2012).

Preference shareholder

Preference shareholder has their own preferential rights and they have their fix dividends. They took their dividends (which fix by the company) form the company after clearing the debentures. Preference shareholder has no risk than the ordinary shares which is reflected to the lower rate of returns (Berry, 2010).

Debentures

A debenture is written acknowledgment of a loan. When this acknowledgement made by a company, it is a contract made under the company seal, providing for the fix rate of interest to be paid on the sum loaned to the company specifying terms of repayment of a principal at the end of period. The debentures are long term finance.

I had chosen the organisation Tesco as administration member if I need the additional finance for my organisation. There are some sources of finance which will be beneficial for the company and the sources are debts and bank loans (Petersen, 2010).

As a member of Tesco administration I will go for the banks loans. It is depend on the nature of the loans there are two types of loans secured and unsecured loans. Secured loans have the low level of risk and low interest rate but you need to leave your property as surety to return the loans. An unsecured loan has high level of risk and high level of interest rate but you don’t need to leave your property or your assets to the bank (Preve, 2011). If I am a CEO of the Tesco I need to take secured loans from the bank. Tesco has many banks who are giving finance in the organisation that Bank of England, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, and RBS. Tesco is taking a secured finance loan of £500,000 from the Bank of England for the expansion of the business. Tesco has taken the long term loan and its duration is 5-15 years. The interest rate of bank of England is 0.50% and Lloyds TSB is £3.45. The Bank of England has low interest rate against all of the banks. Tesco can utilize that money of £500,000 for the expansion, make some changes in business which will lead them to success and they can return the loan in the 15 years.

Advice on how working capital can be effectively managed within the business using figures from the accounts and your calculated ratios to illustrate your answer.

Working capital comprises the sum of assets, and it takes into consideration all the current resources of the enterprise, and their application to the current and future activities (Gill, 2013). There are different elements of current assets and the current liabilities which will make a structure of working capital. Both the current assets and the current liabilities are main parts in the working capital. Woking capital is compared as a lubricant in the daily routine life of the business. By working capital the company can meet their daily routine expenses and it will helpful for the company. Tesco two years working capital can be calculate by this formula (Lazaridis, 2011).

Working capital = Current Assets – Current Liabilities

Tesco working capital for year 2010 is calculated by this formula

Working capital = £11765M – £4250M = £7515M

Tesco working capital for year 2010 is £7515M. While Tesco working capital for year 2011 is calculated by this formula:

W.C. = £11869M – £5862M = £6007M

Tesco working capital has decrease as compare to last year 2010 £7515M and in 2011 £6007M and it is big difference of £1508M. Tesco is going to lose his sales slowly because the in year 2011 current assets are increasing and on the other side the current liabilities are also increasing as compare to previous year. Working capital is like lubricant in the Tesco. Working capital can meet the daily recruitment of the Tesco and it can work effectively by taking care of these things, better planning, monitoring capital, budgeting, sales, revenue, expenses and time period (Emery, 2011). By using these methods they can use the working capital in effective way (Garcia-Teruel, 2011).

Task 2

Budget

A statement of financial position for a definite period of time, based estimates of expenditures and proposal for financing them, budgeting generally used to forecast, control and monitor the business for the year (Bougheas, 2009). Budget is a plan which can be expressed in quantitative term. Budget can be prepared for the several reasons. By using the budget it can indicate the position of the company that what to do can monitor the progress of your business, if they see that they need money they can think to borrow money from the bank and the other financial sources (Deloof, 2010).

Cash Budget

ItemsJuly £’000August £’000September £’000October £’000November £’000December £’000
Sales Revenue114+106= 220  1181241049692  
Cost of goods sold646670595452
Salaries & Wages202020202020
Electricity668101212
Depreciation666666
Other overhead444+ 25= 2944+135= 1394
Total Expenses1001021379923194
Profit/ Loss12016-75-1352
Opening Balance909090909090
Opening Balance + Total receipts310208214194186182
Less Total Payments1001021379923194
Bank Balance at the end of Month2101067795-4588

The cash flow forecasting is very important for an organization because if the business runs out of cash and it has no resources to get finance then there are most chances of insolvent (Gill, 2013). For small enterprises cash flow is very important and the administration makes sure that the organization has enough money to survive (Petersen, 2010).

Through cash flow the organizations know that

Potential shortfalls in cash balance in advance

Make sure that business will pay the liabilities (wages, supplies, overhead, utility bills and cost of goods sold.)

Helpful in planning financial statements

Financial plans and budgeting

The most important reason of cash flow is that the stakeholders like financial institutes also came to know about the worth of business operations (Bastos, 2012).

Task 3

 Project 1 £’000Project 2 £’000
Cost (immediate outlay)200100
Expected Annual Operating Profit (loss):  
Year 15836
Year 2(2)(4)
Year 348
Estimated Residual Value of machinery712

When Cost of Capital 10%

To find out the ARR it has its own formula which will help the accountants to find out the average return of rate.

ARR?

Use straight line method to calculate the depreciation

ARR

ARR = Average income (inclusive of operational profits + cash flow) – Depreciation/ average investment on accrual basis

Depreciation

Depreciation = (total property cost – salvage value)/ life of the property.

Payback Period

Time required for the project’s expected after tax incremental cash flow to repay the entire initial investment in the project (Bastos, 2012).

Payback period can be calculated easily by using this formula:-

Payback Period= original cost of the project/Annual cash flow.

Using the payback period it has some benefits also. Payback period is very simple to understand and it is very easy to calculate. By using the short payback period method it can reduces the chances of loss (Bastos, 2011).

Net present values

Difference between the present value of a project’s expected after tax operating cash flows and the present value of its expected after tax investment expenditures. Net present value can be calculated by this formula (Preve, 2011).

NPV = present value of cash inflows – investment

Present value = CF / (1+r) n

CF = Cash inflow

R = discounting rate

N = years

NPV= CF1 / (1+r) 1 + CF2 / (1+r) 2 +………. CFN/ (1+r) n

Net present value has some advantages also. It helps the company to compare two projects requiring the same amount of cash outflow (Berry, 2010).

Discount rate

Discount rate that would make the net present value for an investment equal to zero, if the internal rate of return is more than the required rate of return than your project will be accepted as well as rejected also (Emery, 2011). If the company has one or more projects with the IRR more than the required rate of return and as compare to both projects which will the good IRR that will be selected. Internal Rate of Return can be calculated by this formula (Petersen, 2010):-

IRR= L + P1 – Q/ P1- P2 × D

L = Low discount rate

P1 = Present value of earning at lower rate

P2 = Present value of earning at higher rate

Q = Actual investment

D = Different in rate return

Payback

NPV

IRR

Year0 £0001 £0002 £0003 £0004 £000
Cash Flow(200)58(2)4 
Residual value   7 
Depreciation 64.364.364.3 
Net Cash Flow(200)122.362.375.3 
Discount Factor @ 10%10.9090.8260.751 
 (200)1115157 
Discount Factor @ 15%10.8700.7560.658 
Net Cash Flow(200)1064750 

Discount factor @ 10%

NPV= 111+51+57= -200+213

NPV= 19

Discount factor @ 15%

= 106+47+50= 200-203

NPV= (3)

Payback Period= 2.20 years

Year 1= 200-122.3= 77.7

Year 2= 77.2-62.3= 15.4

Year 3= 75.3

= 15.4/ 75.3= 0.20

So Payback period= 2+.20= 2.2 year

IRR= L% + [NPV L/Npv H + Npv L] x [H% – L%]

=14.3%

Year0 £0001 £0002 £0003 £0004 £000
 (100)36(4)8 
Residual   12 
Depreciation 29.329.329.3 
Net Cash Flow(100)65.325.349.3 
Discount factor @ 10%10.909.826.751 
Net Cash Flow(100)59.0020.637 
Discount Factor 15%10.8700.7560.658 
Net Cash Flow(100)56.819.232 

NPV when Discount factor is 10%

NPV= 17

NPV when Discount factor is 10%

NPV= (8)

IRR= 13.4%

4.        References and Bibliography

Bastos, R. (2012) “Trade credit during a financial crisis: A panel data analysis,” Journal of Business Research, 21(45), pp: 32-78

Berry, A. (2010) “Accounting in a Business Context,” Cengage Learning EMEA, 25(44), pp: 22-56

Bougheas, S. (2009) “Corporate trade credit and inventories: New evidence of a trade-off from accounts payable and receivable,” Journal of Banking and Finance, 31(45), pp: 35-75

Deloof, M. (2010) “Does Working Capital Management Affect Profitability of Belgian Firms?,” Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, 21(53), pp: 44-77

Emery, D. (2011) Corporate Financial Management, 4th ed. England: Pearson Prentice Hall

Garcia-Teruel, P. (2011) “Effects of working capital management on SME profitability,” International Journal of Managerial Finance, 33(45), pp: 12-78

Gill, A. (2013) “The Relationship between Working Capital Management and Profitability: Evidence from the United States,” Business and Economics Journal, 21(56), pp: 21-132

Lazaridis, I. (2011) “Relationship between Working Capital Management and Profitability of

Listed Companies in the Athens Stock Exchange,” Journal of Financial Management and Analysis, 23(68), pp: 34-67

Petersen, M. (2010) “Trade credit: theories and evidence,” Review of Financial Studies, 33(54), pp: 67-90

Preve, P. (2011) “Trade credit and bank credit: Evidence from recent financial crises,” Journal of Financial Economics, 42(56), pp: 56-78