Mr. Speaker: Debating Business Issues in Less than 200 Words

The third of three debates that I wrote for a business class a few years ago. The purpose of the assignment was to debate a business issue in less 200 words. I hope some Business Administration students will find this helpful.

Debate 3: Should the House Bail Out Big Businesses

Mr. Speaker, we are here today to debate the resolution that the House should bail out big business. As side government, we support this resolution and believe strongly that it must stand.

When the failure of a major corporation would reverberate through not only its own sectors but across several sectors, causing wide-spread unemployment, the government should intervene, buying shares in the company and monitoring its operations. Moreover, as a condition of its investment in a troubled corporation, the government should conduct a thorough investigation and audit to ascertain whether the company’s financial shortfalls result from criminal fraud or negligence, prosecuting managers and executives as evidence against them warrants.

“We used to say, ‘As GM goes, so goes the nation,’” North American GM President Mark Reuss quoted the old adage as he spoke with reporters in January. In General Motors, we see a compelling example of a government bail-out’s benefit. Within eighteen months of the government’s investment in GM, the company streamlined its operations, sold-off its unsuccessful ventures, won wage and benefit concessions from the unions, and returned both to profitability and market leadership. Emerging from bankruptcy and bailout as an industry leader, the “new” General Motors repaid its debt to American taxpayers with substantial interest. Timely government intervention in a large corporation’s troubled finances has exactly the remedial effects workers and shareholders want.

Side government, Mr. Speaker, would like to thank the House for its time and, for the reasons stated, reiterate that we believe strongly this resolution must stand.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

References:

Calello, P. & Wilson, E. (2010). From bailout to bail-in. Economist, 394(8667).
Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=47815765&login.asp&site=bsi-live

Morley, R. (2011, January 24). The Subprime Nation. The Trumpet.
Retrieved from http://www.thetrumpet.com/?q=7246.5799.0.0

Ruggles, D. (2010). How, Why We Saved Detroit?. Ward’s Dealer Business, 44(7). Retrieved from
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=52593968&login.asp&site=bsi-live.

The Waterview Resort Case Study

The Waterview Case Report

Another case study I did for a business management class. I hope business students find this post useful.

Executive Summary

Located on the waterfront property of a premier resort, The Waterview snack bar had been the leading tourist destination in the Muskoka District of Northern Ontario for decades. Along time employee Michael Welland – who was recently promoted to snack bar supervisor – had a few heated arguments with his manager Rebecca Boddington.  The arguments revolved around: Boddington assigning Michael to tasks that weren’t in his job description; paying him less than he was promised when he was promoted; and not taking the time to address his job-related problems and concerns. Welland was convinced that his manager held a personal grudge against him. He hated working at The Waterview and wasn’t sure if he should finish the remaining four weeks of his contract.

There were obvious issues with the organization processes, individuals and tasks at The Waterview snack bar.  Welland arrived to start work at the snack bar as supervisor, to his dismay; Boddington assigned him to work as a part-time server. To add insult to injury, when Welland received his first paycheque, he was shocked to find out that he was paid at the minimum pay rate. On a later occasion, while reviewing the employee timetable, Welland found out that Boddington had taken him off the schedule for the following weeks. These incidents led to a conflict between Boddington and Welland.  Welland and Boddington’s mannerisms were unprofessional, to say the least. Boddington always gave Welland the cold shoulder every time he approached her with a problem or concern. She often told him that she did not have time to address his issues. This kind of employee attitude is a recipe for an unhealthy and unproductive work environment.

The cause of the above mentioned problems can be attributed to the lack of communication between management and employees. Welland grew frustrated with the way Boddington treated him. His frustration manifested in the way he behaved. With Boddington’s indifference to her employees’ problems and with Welland’s disrespectful attitude, the lines of communication between them were severely strained.  Boddington never took the time to address employees problems and concerns. This left the employees feeling neglected, which in turn affected their performance at work.  Wellands disrespectful attitude and lack of motivation contributed to the problems in the work environment. Welland never fully enjoyed working at the The Waterview, he only did it to save money for his education. Wellands lack of motivation has negatively affected his performance, and quality of service.

The Waterview management should improve workplace communication, keep employees up to date with the changes that may affect them, and address their problems and concerns in a timely manner. Improve the relationship between employees and management.  Motivate employees to act in the best interest of the business and its customers.

To put an end to the lack of communication, a formal line of communication should be established between management and employees.  Every manager and employee should be assigned to a well-defined set of tasks. They should not be allowed to take up additional tasks or work over hours unless it’s necessary. Giving employees a break from work will increase their productivity and motivation. Employee performance should be evaluated; this will give management the opportunity to reward productive employees.

Boddington should hold regular staff meetings. Regularly scheduled meetings that encourage input on various issues from all staff members can be a great way to improve workplace communication. These meetings also send the message to staff that their opinions are valued, which makes them more likely to share their concerns and ideas. A code of conduct should be set in place to outline acceptable work behaviour. Employees must know that this is a professional work environment and any misconduct will not be tolerated. Management should establish a ranking system based on customer feedback. A reward system like this will motivate employees to do their best, since a better quality of service, means a higher performance ranking and an increased paycheque.

Upper management should establish an open communication line between them and all employees –managers and front line workers- at the The Waterview snack bar and its associated resort. This open line of communication will allow upper management to better evaluate the workplace situation at The Waterview. Upper management should also request for employees feedback.  If the recommendations above prove to be ineffective management should put into place an alternative course of action.

 

The Waterview Case Summary

The Waterview Case Report-v2

Foxy Originals Case Study

Foxy Originals – Expansion into the U.S. Market

I did this case study for a management course a few years ago, I hope BBA students find this post useful. The following is the Executive Summary. The case study and exhibits are attached.

Executive Summary

With the growing popularity of its products, Foxy Originals was running the risk of becoming over-saturated in the Canadian market.  In an effort to avoid this problem, the company decided to enter theU.S.market by January, 2005. To achieve this goal, Foxy Originals had to make a vital decision regarding its distribution strategy: Would the company attend trade shows or hire sales representatives?

Foxy Originals’ strengths reside in its owners’ experience, stylish products, pricing strategy, and its current market presence. The company’s weaknesses include local market saturation, lack of international market experience, and the high cost of securing retail accounts. Tapping into theUSjewellery market creates virtually unlimited opportunities for Foxy Originals. The company will gain a larger customer base, wider brand exposure, and greater international market experience. Although entering theUSmarket presents Foxy Originals with huge opportunities, it also presents significant threats. Threats the company may face are the risk of being eliminated by stronger, better marketed competitors; potentially low demand for its product and expensive marketing and distribution.

Foxy Originals is trying to decide on the best strategy for expanding into theUSmarket. The company must overcome its unfamiliarity with theUSjewellery market, its lack of a solid marketing and distribution strategy, and the high costs of acquiring new retail accounts.

The company currently has three options: Foxy Originals can sell its products at trade shows; or it can hire sale representatives to sell their products; or the company can benefit from using both distribution methods. The company must carefully evaluate expected profits, market-entry time, and the complexity of each alternative

The costs of hiring sales representatives are much lower than any other alternative, and the expected revenues are much higher. Sales representatives have experience and contacts to make quick sales, assuring Foxy Originals a quick introduction into theU.S.market.

By the end of 2004, in majorUScities, with a cost of $19,182.50, Foxy Originals should will and train four sales representatives. Working with recruiters and following its regular employment procedures, the company should hire, train, and equip four ambitious, aggressive, enthusiastic account executives, assigning each to a majorUSmetropolitan area. Because the company will face fierce competition in large urban cities, Foxy Originals should focus on slightly smaller markets with less competition and higher demand. Foxy Originals also must develop a distinctly American collection—stylish and affordable.  By differentiating itself, offering unique and affordable products, Foxy Originals will insure profitable expansion into theUSmarket.

 

FINAL-Foxy Originals Executive Summary

FINAL-Foxy_Originals V2

FINAL- Foxy Originals – Exhibits

 

 

Mr. Speaker: Debating Business Issues in Less than 200 Words

The second of three debates that I wrote for a business class a few years ago. The purpose of the assignment was to debate a business issue in less 200 words. I hope some Business Administration students will find this helpful.

Debate 2: Should the House Stabilize Gas Prices

Mr. Speaker, we are here today to debate the resolution that the House should stabilize gas prices. As side government, we support this resolution and believe strongly that it must stand.

The laws of supply and demand still determine the price of oil on the world market, and the laws of the free market prevail. The government is powerless to regulate them.

But in much the same way the government harmonizes taxes for initiatives in the public interest, it should regulate – or stabilize – the prices consumers pay for refined petroleum products: gasoline, diesel fuel, motor oil, home heating oil, and the full array of petro-chemicals sold for industrial and manufacturing purposes. Specifically, the government should tie consumer prices to the wholesale price of oil in much the same way home mortgage rates are tied to banks’ prime rate; and it should cap oil companies’ profits at a fixed percentage of the difference between the wholesale price of oil and the retail prices of petroleum products.

Government stabilization of petroleum prices has at least three objectives: first, keeping essential fuels affordable for Canadian consumers; second, eliminating the risk of oil companies’ gouging consumers at the pumps; and, third, gradually weaning the nation of its dependence on imported fossil fuels. Stabilizing consumer prices for petroleum products, the government simultaneously keeps the country moving and generates revenue for sustainable energy projects.

Side government, Mr. Speaker, would like to thank the House for its time and, for the reasons stated, reiterate that we believe strongly this resolution must stand.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

References:

Ajuzie, I. S. , & Ike, R. M. (2009). Oil Speculation: The Impact On Prices, Inflation, Interest Rates And The Economy. Journal of Business & Economics Research, 7(10). Retrieved from http://proxy.library.brocku.ca/login?url=/docview/194914223

Mehra, Y. P., & Petersen, J. D. (2005). Oil Prices and Consumer Spending. Economic Quarterly – Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, 91(3). Retrieved from http://proxy.library.brocku.ca/login?url=/docview/204877310

Risk, H. (2009). Commodity crackdown. Risk, 22(9). Retrieved from http://proxy.library.brocku.ca/login?url=/docview/201339289

Mr. Speaker: Debating Business Issues in Less than 200 Words

The first of three debates that I wrote for a business class a few years ago. The purpose of the assignment was to debate a business issue in less 200 words. I hope some Business Administration students will find this helpful.

 

Debate 1: Is it personal? or is it just business?

 

Mr. Speaker, we are here today to debate the resolution that it is not personal, it is just business. As side opposition, we do not support this resolution and believe strongly that it must fail.

“Business is business,” executives say, implying businesses are nameless, faceless, profit-making machines.  “It’s not personal. It’s business,” serves as the all-purpose rationalization for “downsizing,” improving the “ROI,” and fiduciary duty to shareholders.

Is the purpose of a business to make profit with utter disregard to its social responsibilities? Is it in the interest of a business to operate without considering its impact on the environment? Is it beneficial for a business to neglect the welfare of its employees, and the community at large, as long as it’s profitable? The answer is no.

Businesses should be responsible towards their employees, their communities, and the societies of which they are part. A few of the benefits of being socially responsible are enhanced brand image and reputation; increased sales and customer loyalty; reduced regulatory oversight; and more ability to attract and retain employees. Case studies conducted by the IIDS, confirm that communities will reject businesses who are not good neighbours.

Besides being responsible towards their communities, businesses need to be responsible towards the environment. By buying locally, reducing the use of non-renewable resources, using recycled materials and minimizing packaging, businesses will not only reduce their impact on the environment; they will also cut production costs. In a report, the EDA concluded that “Going green can be both environmentally and economically beneficial.”

Side opposition, Mr. Speaker, would like to thank the House for its time and, for the reasons stated, reiterate that we believe strongly this resolution must stand fail.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

References

BusinessLink.gov.uk. Corporate social responsibility and your business.

Retrieved from http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=1075408480

&lang=en&r.i=1075408504&r.l1=1074404796&r.l2=1074446322&r.l3=1075408468

&r.s=m&r.t=RESOURCES&type=RESOURCES

International Institute for Sustainable Development. Corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Retrieved from http://www.iisd.org/business/issues/sr.aspx

Economic Development Agency (2008). Benefits of Going Green.

Retrieved from www.eda.gov/PDF/EDAAmericaSummer2008.pdf