Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Review of a Quality Department

5.4.1 Quality Department">Harmonizing to Introduction of ISO 9000 ( 2007 ) and Crosby ( 1994 ) , writer built a administration sturcture of Quality Department for JG. ( see Figure 14 ) The Quality Department is straight charged by GM. Figure 14 Quality Department map Sturcture The chief map of the Quality Department includes Quality Assurance ( QA ) , Quality Engineer ( QE ) and Quality Control ( QC ) . 1 ) Quality Control The original QI Department will be kept and responsible for the Final Quality Control ( FQC ) . FQC is responsible for inspecting concluding merchandises. It is the last measure of the production. Income Quality Control ( IQC ) is responsible for the material quality control and review. This responsibility originally is a portion of responsibility of Warehouse and Supply Purchase Department. JG has to choose the materials from those sections and set up these forces to IQC. The chief duty of In Process Quality Control ( IPQC ) and Line Quality Control ( LQC ) is touring the production line and fabrication procedures on a regular basis to do certain the production processes move good. Once they found any issues, they will instantly describe it. Materials from IPQC and LQC could be selected from the other sections. These employees should hold work experiences in quality review and fabrication section and besides familiar with production line. 2 ) Quality Assurance Supplier Quality Assurance ( SQA ) is responsible for sing the supply material’s quality. JG will delegate an inspector in Supply company for trying trial. The material who responsible for SQA is originally belong to the Supplier Purchase Department, and he will be arranged to the SQA. Document Control Centre ( DCC ) is responsible to Documents filing and agreement. Such as ISO 9000 paperss and Enterprise Standard Documents. Forces who charge with the paperss will be selected from the General Affairs Department. The inspectors in Process Quality Assurance ( PQA ) inspect the merchandises sample in the production line. This review activity is harmonizing to the merchandises choice criterion. PQA Inspector need to warrant whether to let go of the merchandises to the following procedures. This responsibility will delegate to the original QI section, which have related experience and cognition. Final Quality Assurance ( FQA ) in JG is assigned to an external Quality Audit Company. 2 ) Quality Engineering The map of QE involves: †¢ Defects Analysis System ( DAS ) †¢ Failure Analysis ( FA ) †¢ Continuous Process Improvement ( CPI ) †¢ Equipment Inspection †¢ Customer Service ( CS ) †¢ Training The materials that charge the CS will be selects from the Sale Department. The Equipment Inspection workers are from the original Electromechanical Department. The DAS, Training and FA will be assign to the people who have work experiences in quality review and fabrication section and besides familiar with production line. Harmonizing to the Quality Department map, the employees naming agreement will be assign to the Human Resource Department. They need to disscuss with the senior director and the concluding consequence will be decided by the General Manger and Board of Director. A Skill Gap Chart will be applied to place the accomplishment spreads of every freshly naming materials The company might necessitate to see engaging some new employees for the Quality Department every bit good. A simple procedure of organizing the Quality Department is showed in Figure 15. Step1 Step2 Step3 Step4 Step5 Step6 Figure 15 Puting up Quality Department 5.4.2 DMAIC Processes Improvement undertaking 1 ) Define The aim of the define stages of the operation direction betterment model is to specify the needed for bettering the production processes of mark house. The undermentioned subdivision explained the activities performed within each stage of the bettering attack, and the tools applied within each stage.Define procedure betterment demandBefore analyzing this procedure, nevertheless, a brief program needs to be drawn of what precisely JG require. In this stage, JG has to place and sort the demand to optimize and streamline the fabrication processes. This undertaking will be assigned to the Manufacturing Manager who is the undertaking title-holder. A Gap Analysis will be conducted to analysis the current province procedures and identified the demand to betterment.Establish section ends, undertaking range, aims and undertaking programIn order to understand the fabrication section ends, the undertaking range and aims, the Team Quality Assistant, the Process Analyst, and the Consulting Manage r will interview the Manufacturing employees. Then the betterment squad set up the betterment undertaking program, undertaking agenda and available resource.Form procedure betterment squadA procedure bettering squad will be built to implement this programme. A squad mission, function and duty are showed in Table 5. The squad make a undertaking program with activities, a timeline, and resources.Team MissionDocument the bing fabrication procedures to bring forth processs and to place and implement fabrication procedure bettermentsFunctionDutyManufacturing material as procedure proprietorProvides procedure cognition and identifies and implements betterment chancesManufacturing Manager as Project ChampionEstablishes squad mission and ends. Provides project team resources and support.Team Quality Assistant as Black BeltProvides squad aid. Provides proficient TQM and Lean tool cognition. Provides best pattern for fabrication procedures.Process AnalystPrepares certification. Collects procedure informations. Identifies betterment chances.Consulting Manager?Provides concern cognition and way. Manages advisers.Table 10 Procedure Improving Team Mission, Role and Responsibility The squad members include Manufacturing Manager, Manufacturing Stuff, and a Team Quality Assistant, a Process Analyst and a Consulting Manager. Because JG does non hold quality and lean-six sigma accomplishment forces, the Team Quality Assistant, the Process Analyst and the Consulting Manager will be employed from an outside consulting house. 2 ) Measure The end of the step stage of the procedure betterment model is to understand and document the processes’ bing position. The undermentioned subdivision will explicate the activities performed within each stage of the bettering attack and the tools applied within each stage.Profile current provinceThe Manufacturing materials need to discourse and map the current province procedures of their fabrication procedures. The Manufacturing Stuff could utilize procedure Map to profile the current procedures. These Process Maps will place the phases involved in the Manufacturing Department activities related to the fabrication processes. And the Manufacturing Stuff besides need to happen out the written and unwritten regulations that administrated the procedures, the procedure existed and un-existed appraisals. Team besides need to place the responsible people of each procedure. Manufacturing Stuff who familiar with the current flow and the sequence of procedures need to roll up and gauge the mean procedure clip and related informations with the Process Analyst. These informations will be used to understand the current public presentation and the farther analysis of the procedures. Some Data Sheets Collection could be used here to document the informations, a sample showed below.Procedure NameProcedure OwnerDurationActivityTimeTable11 Sample of Data aggregation sheet Then an initial VSM will be drawn to show the current province procedures. After pulling the current VSM, a vision of the full fabrication procedure could be known and jobs that contribute to treat inefficiencies and mistakes, such as, inefficient determination and deciding defectives will be initial realised in this stage. Through analyzing and mensurating the public presentation position, the utile statistics will be collected and documented. In add-on, in order to understand the degree of accomplishments and preparation of the employee, appraisal and profile of the personal and cultural province is necessary. A TPS-Lean Six Sigma Implementation Quick Scan could be used to measure the degree of credence to alteration of personal.Identify spreads from best patternQuality facilitator will present best pattern processes to the bettering squad, and so they have to look into some efficiency pattern fabrication procedures. Then compare the current province procedures to the efficiency pattern processes. Team could carry on a simple Gap Analysis to place the spreads. A preparation matrix can be used here to place the spreads of the forces preparation.Identify jobs that contribute to treat inefficiencies and mistakesVSM could be used to place non-valued added activities, particularly related to unneeded work and rework. VSM can place the firm’s belongingss and engineering and link them with the procedure of presenting the value, supplying an auditable nexus between assets, operational action and value ( Mills et al. , 2003 ) . A brainstorming will be used to happen out the jobs in the procedures every bit good. Then a list of jobs will be made in this subdivision. After the Measure stage, current province procedures of fabrication will be profiled and the jobs of procedures will be identified. 3 ) Analysis The end of the analysis stage of the operation direction betterment model is to place the jobs of procedures that are doing inefficiencies and mistakes and their root grounds. Besides, they need to analyze the jobs and procedure inefficiencies and define betterment chances. Part of the analyse stage is to implement a cost-benefit analysis and Force Field Analysis to understand whether the betterments are excessively expensive compared with the estimated benefits to better efficiency and quality.Identify root causes of jobsHarmonizing to the jobs found in the step stage, fabricating material demands to place the root causes of the jobs of the list. These jobs of the fabrication procedures will be classified into different facets. For illustration, people ( deficiency of quality consciousness ) , methods ( deficiency of systematical quality direction ) , environment and so on. A Fishbone Map will be used to place the root causes.Analysis the spreads and jobs of the proceduresIn order t o happen out the spreads of procedures, squad demand to compare the current province procedures of JG with the other pattern instances. Besides through compared the procedure maps, the non-value added activities will be identified. Then a Pareto Chart and SPC will be applied to understand the cardinal factor of the procedures.Find out bettermentchancesand do an betterment programHarmonizing to the issues, which were found in last stages, Manufacturing Stuff, Process Analyst and quality facilitator will place betterment chances of the procedures. A Procedure FMEA will be conducted here to capture the failures and issues of the procedures and discourse the effects and possible actions to decide the jobs. Then an betterment program will be developed this subdivision. Some TQM and Lean tools can be used to decide the jobs.Assess feasibleness andanalysiscosts-benefit of betterment programAfter developed betterment program, Team members need to discourse and analysis whether this program is deserving implementing or non. A Force Field Analysis and Cost-benefit analysis will be conducted in this subdivision. They have to seek to eliminated reinforce of the betterment undertaking and beef up the impulsive force. 4 ) Better The end of the improve stage of the operation direction betterment model is to implement the betterments, step the impact of the betterments and record practises and train employees on the improved practise.Implement betterment programThen a fabrication procedure betterment program will be implemented. First, they need to make an execution program for each betterment and detailed the costs and benefits of each betterment activity. This betterment undertaking should be included redesign appropriate procedures and optimize the procedures flow. A hebdomadal position studies which include the complete assignments and current position during that clip and assessed accomplishment day of the month is a portion of the undertaking. Unresolved jobs should be documented every bit good.Evaluate impact of the bettermentsAfter the chief betterment undertaking is applied, Process analyst and Manufacturing Stuff need to measure the impact of the betterment for each procedure. Takt Time, SPC and other Thin tools can be used to measure the betterment procedure. A signifier to show the estimated initial processing clip, estimated optimised processing clip and proportion lessening of treating times could be used in this subdivision.Documenting processsProcess analyst demand to utilize computing machine to document the optimised and standardized procedure, which included elaborate procedure stairss and the procedure informations. The optimised procedure should be displayed to the employees in their workshop, so the employees would non confou nd about the procedure they involve. 5 ) Control The aim of the control stage of the operation direction betterment model is to implement public presentation rating and other methods to command and continuously better the procedures.Design and implement procedure public presentation stepsQuality facilitator will urge some procedure public presentation steps to assist mensurate the productiveness and quality of the fabrication processes. Some TQM and Lean tools will be introduced in this subdivision, such as Pareto Chart, SPC and Affinity Diagram.Implement auninterrupted procedure betterment procedure to go on bettermentA PCDA theoretical account will be recommended to the squad to better continually.Observe the successes, wages andplacethe undertaking squad membersThe last and important measure of the control stage is to take the clip to observe the betterment attempt. They can put up a wages to undertaking and publish a certification to the member or merely something every bit simple as traveling out to lunch to observe. The purpo se of celebrating is animating the enthusiasm of the employees, but besides to make an ambiance, which makes the employees have more active spirit. 5.4.3 Defective Prevention Approach The following measure to better JG’s operation is forestalling and extinguishing the defectives of production. FMEA Risk Management is recommended to JG to understate the opportunity of merchandise ‘s defectives. Cross-function squads will be needed to put to death the attack. The followers is a brief description of the attack. 1 ) Form a cross map squad The cross map squad includes four members. Team member is selected based on their cognition and work experience. Writers recommend one involves in the production line every twenty-four hours. One is from IPQC, and the other two could be from the Engineering and Sale Department. All of the squads are charged by the production VC. A quality expert who helps JG with DMAIC processes bettering undertaking will back up this undertaking every bit good. The expert will present some tools to the squad, such as Brainstorm, Fishbone map. 2 ) Set the undertaking and FMEA preparation The squad will be introduced the aims of the attack. Task will be identified clearly. Then quality expert will take the squad through a short preparation of FMEA after constructing the cross-function squad. Map the procedure and do an stock list of all relevant procedure stairss. 3 ) Maping the Procedure In the DMAIC processes betterment undertaking, all the procedures in fabrication have been identified already. So the Team members merely need to choose the critical procedures that they think will bring forth defectives. 4 ) Identify the failures Team member could utilize the insight to place the where faulty merchandises occurred and expected occurred in the daily procedures. Then they need to associate the faulty merchandises with exists procedure activities. These defectives are caused by the failures. Brainstorm could besides be conducted to find the possible failure manners for each procedure measure. Then Anticipate possible failures in the procedure in relation to the remainder of the procedure stairss. 5 ) Analysis the hazard Indicate the cause of each failure manner is and the effects of the failure manners of the procedure. A Fishbone Map will be conducted here to happen out the root causes of the failures.Judge the hazardsCalculate the failing in the procedure by measuring the chance of happening ( P ) and the badness of the failure ( S ) for the failure manners. ( Rampersad and El-Homsi, 2007 ) The hazard factor is the generation of these two factors. R=P ? S The opportunity of detecting the mistake on clip is expressed in the factor S. If the faulty merchandise is difficult to detect, its S factor will be high. Some faulty merchandises have occurred before. Team can utilize Pareto Chart and SPC analysis these defectives and so assist them mensurate the chance of happening and badness of the failure. 7 ) Pickings Measure Determine for each failure mode the actions necessary to better the weak points in the procedure. The failures with the highest Roentgen factors have the highest precedence ( for illustration R & A ; gt ; 20 ) . Delegate a responsible individual of each issue to work out the bad possible failure. Table 12 is the hiting standards of P and S. Team members will make up one's mind whether to take action harmonizing to the hazard factor or do a precedence for each betterment program harmonizing to the hazard factor. For illustration, they can make up one's mind non to take action when the hazard factor was less than 10. 8 ) Find out the solution Team members need to happen out the solution to forestall each defective. It includes placing the responsible job convergent thinker to work out each job. Finally, a signifier of FMEA will be finished ( See Table 13 ) . Harmonizing to the R factors, a program will be made to forestall the possible failure. This program will be describe the program to Production VC.Factor P ( Probability of Occurrence )Factor S ( Severity of the Failure )0 = Impossible/ barely of all time0 = Not a job1 =Very depression1 =Very low/hardly a job2 =Low2 =Low/to be solved easy3 =Not as low3 =Less serious4 =Less than norm4 =Less than norm5 =Average5 =Average6 =Above norm6 =Above norm7 =Rather high7 =Rather high8 =High8 =High9 =Very high9 =Very high10 =Certain10 =Catastrophic/Dangerous to peopleTable12 Factor of P and S ( Source: Rampersad and El-Homsi, 2007, pp 381 ) 10 ) Implement program Harmonizing to the program, the actions will be implemented to forestall the possible jobs. Operators of each production line need to cognize all of the possible hazards and possible failure of the procedure, which they are affecting. The squad will hold a meeting with the production line leader. Failures will be introduced to the production lines. Besides, the FMEA signifier will be placed in the workshops. 11 ) Result Review Give the feedback to the squad about the position of execution. A Defectives information aggregation and Defective merchandises analysis will be done by the DAS and FA after the chief betterment undertaking is applied and represent to the squad. The concluding FMEA signifier will be documented by the Quality Department.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Best Colleague I Ever Worked with

I chose to speak on the topic The Best or Worst person I ever worked with. It required me to take a good look at my work history. So far, I have been fortunate to work with good people and for good management as a whole. One manager; however, stands out in my mind as superlative and worthy of the title â€Å"Best person I ever worked with. † His demeanor was calm, he enabled individuals to act autonomously, and he acknowledged hard work and achievements. For this presentation I will address this person as Bob, so he may remain anonymous.Bob’s position was director of materials and handling, and I worked for him as the departments purchasing manager. It’s been said that first impressions are lasting impressions. I remember meeting Bob during the second half of my interview. He was a tall, stocky gentleman around my father’s age with gray hair, and wore wire framed glasses. He was dressed casually in khaki pants, a striped shirt and a blue cardigan sweater. In one hand he held a manila folder, and in the other a large coffee mug. He sat down, introduced himself and asked me how I was doing today.While a social pleasantry he seemed genuine with his question. His persona was as relaxed as his attire. I had been laid off from the airline industry for five months and my benefits were running out. At this time I had a pending job offer, but figured it couldn’t hurt to go on one more interview. Keep in mind I was thoroughly burnt out on interviewing, and mostly certain I was going to accept that offer. Bob’s next question for me was if I was laid off. I replied â€Å"Yes. † He then shared with me that he too was from industry and that he came to this company after being laid off.The company I was interviewing with was a health related business and I honestly didn’t see myself working for them. When he shared this information about himself it allowed me broaden my thinking. We continued to talk about the company an d job position, my work experience and goals, even outside interests and family. Our conversation with each other came very natural. Bob then took me on a tour of the building and their department. We concluded our interview and I left feeling very positive about the whole experience.A couple days later the company called and made me an offer. I accepted, and it was the best decision I made in five months. Upon taking the job I would find that my first impression held true and that Bob’s calm demeanor transferred to managing the materials and handling department. No one in the department dreaded coming into work. He was always friendly and polite. We knew that we weren’t going to have unnecessary stress while completing our work. In fact, this manager was so well liked that staff from other departments would seek out his opinion and guidance.His calm demeanor allowed him to be rational and offer sound advice. Bob enabled me to operate autonomously. He never told me how to do my work and respected my opinion on matters that affected the department. In a one-on-one meeting he told me that he hired me because he knew I could do the job. It was up to me how to get it done. He wasn’t concerned with every step I took to accomplish it, so long as it was done right. Everyone in the department knew their responsibilities and held themselves accountable. Hard work did not go unnoticed.Bob acknowledged my efforts in the department. After 90 days with the company, which was family owned, he gave me a bonus. He felt I was working above and beyond normal contributions. He made sure that I was adequately compensated at my annual review time and happy with my work/life balance. Bob communicated the departments plan. He was committed towards achieving that plan by leading by example. And he was dedicated to the people performing the work. Because of this he was an asset to the company, and the best person I have worked with.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Research paper Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words - 12

Research paper - Essay Example Most of them lived in difficult conditions and sacrificed their lives for others. Their life was tempered with the values of socio-spiritual values. Sacrifice is a great virtue of humankind. Firstly, there should be cause for the sacrifice; secondly there should be the heart fort the sacrifice; thirdly there should be the will, the grit and the stamina to do the sacrifice; and finally one must accept the rewards and punishments of the sacrifice with a balanced mental attitudes-- again ask Kate for the veracity and truthfulness of this statement. Her viewpoint is why women only are asked to do sacrifice? In the hectic pace of activities of her personal life how Kate Chopin was able to fight for the cause of women through her powerful literary creations? â€Å"Kate Chopin was born on February 8, 1850. She was blessed by having many female mentors throughout her childhood; either the strong and independent widows in her family or the intellectual nuns of her school, who taught Kate to live a "life of the mind as well as the life of the home."(Search....)She was admitted to the Academy of the Sacred Heart at the young age of five and a half. Her father Thomas OFlaherty was a successful businessman. Her stint at the Sacred Heart lasted for just for two months. She came home and her great-grandmother became her teacher. Eliza Faris OFlaherty, Kates mother,was just 27 when her 50 year old husband died. Eliza did not remarry after her husbands death. Kates grandmother Madame Charleville mothered fifteen children. Her husband, Joseph Charleville was a merchant. Apart from teaching music, history and French, she taught Kate the true perspectives of life, to live clearly and fearlessly. By the time Kate was 24, she was witness to many family tragedies, her half brother George died of typhoid fever,her grandmother passed away, lost all sisters and brothers and she was the only survivor. Such grim experiences one after another, would make

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Food & Beverage Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words

Food & Beverage - Essay Example Being a consultant, I will pay 35% of the total time and energies on people development, due to the very reality that staff members are the identification and uniqueness of an organization, behavior, performance, qualification and professionalism of which means a lot to the organization. It is staff on the basis of which people visit the organization. Second priority would be given to operations department, which will take 25% of total time and energies. Like people, products are also the sign of an organization’s recognition and individuality. If clients are not satisfied with the products and services offer to them, they will never trust an organization. Moreover, if product and services are satisfactory, they will surely leave significant impact upon both sales and profit. Lastly, I will suggest equal concentration to be paid to sales and profit, which will be 20% of the total investment for each. Sales phenomenon is the department that determines future planning and strate gy making of an organization for future. Moreover, profit ultimately soars up provided customers and clients are satisfied with the performance of the staff on the one hand, and quality and excellence of the products and services on the other. Being a consultant of the food chain I aim to pay due heed to the products and services of the organization, which will surely increase the food cost from 26.5% to 31.3% over the same period. One of the main reasons behind such a sudden as well as an imperative jump in the food cost is certainly applying most hygienic products with proper sterilizing of all the crockery including dishes, glasses and cooking range etc, as well as keeping the area extremely neat and clean. Moreover, use of fresh and high meat, vegetables and fruit will also increase the expenditure of the food to be presented to the customers. In addition, presentation and

Saturday, July 27, 2019

New extraction technologies RAKAN Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 250 words

New extraction technologies RAKAN - Essay Example The US has a guarded natural gas and oil pipeline which is obtained through Afghanistan from Central Asia. It is believed that the war in Afghanistan is a key prospect for the realization of this pipeline. Moreover, of the total energy used in the U.S, the residential and commercial buildings consume up to 41%. While of the total electricity energy usage they account for 72%. The energy codes adopted now could have a cumulative potential of saving energy for post 2013- 2014 at around 42.6 quads. Also established is DSIRE which is a program that provides incentives as well as policies which support renewable energy and efficiency in energy consumption (Blass, Vered, et al. 34). Various options exist that would enable growth of healthy economy with a clean environment. They may include: formulating policy approaches as well as programs that provide incentives for energy efficient technologies and renewable energy options; efficient utilization of renewable energy to avoid over use and reduce their scarcity; adopt production methods that ensure maximum utilization of products through out there life cycle through a life cycle assessment; reduce waste generation; adopt recycling and reuse to minimize waste; adopt green economy (Yi

Friday, July 26, 2019

The Way of Telling Lies and the Consequences Research Paper

The Way of Telling Lies and the Consequences - Research Paper Example This is a case comparable to that of sentencing a serial killer to death, so as to avoid their committing more killings or murders. From this example, the sentencing to death is equally causing death, but with the intent of putting an end to the deaths that the serial killer has caused, and those that they may continue to cause. Therefore, in avoiding the further deaths, a single death is justified, showing that in such a case, it is not wrongful to send such a person to death. This paper will discuss the causes and the reasons behind the lies made by different individuals, with the intent of showing that lies are a core part of the daily life of each individual, and a part that cannot be avoided – literally speaking. This will help shed more light on the issues and the challenges or circumstances that force people into making lies, as opposed to following the rightful path of telling the truth. From an analysis of the lies made by individuals, it is clear that the factors and the issues – often leading to the making of lies include solving sticky issues, avoiding trouble, protecting others from the truth that may hurt them and as an effort to make certain cases look better than they are. Other reasons for lying include lying so as to identify with certain groups, so as to act as examples for others, for example the case of a parent who tells children lies – that they were brilliant in school, so that the children can work harder. From this discussion, the writer will clearly show that lying or cheating – as wrongful as it may be – is a principal part of everyday life, and a key into effective living (Bakan 124-127; Brown & Levinson 168-174). Literature Review According to the BBC ethics guide, a website feature, lying is most probably the most common wrongful acts that are committed by individuals on a daily basis. The account explains that some researchers are quoted, as saying that lying is a fully unavoidable part of human nature. According to the account, most people would consent that lying is wrong, except in the case where it is committed for a good reason. Also, among the people that hold that lying is wrong, there is the problem that they shut the possibility of saving a certain course or situation, which may have been saved by making one lie. According to Sisela Bok (78), lying is a type of deception, but not all models of deception can qualify to be referred as lies. The account goes further to account that a lie has three basic characteristics, these including that it is made to communicate some information, that the liar plans to mislead, and that the liar is convinced that the information they offer is not right or truthful. However, the author goes further to account that, opposite to the belief of many, a lie does not have to offer false information, or get presented in a malicious manner – or with a wrongful intent. An example offered, is that of white lies, which are offered for good intentions. The definition of a lie, also includes, the case where an individual presents truthful information taking it to be a lie and in the cases of a known liar, who is not able to lie to others, because they know that they always tell lies. Therefore, from the diversity of the lies told, the source shows that lies form a core aspect of everyday

Financing Trade With Burma Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Financing Trade With Burma - Essay Example Political instability is a great challenge for investors in Burma. The investors also face risks from consumer boycotts. Therefore, Burma is not a favorable investment option for American companies. It becomes apparent that there is hesitation among investors to spend money on projects in Burma, which is the reason why there is a dearth of foreign investment in the country. For making investment in Burma, the companies should get approval from Burmese authorities. The foreign companies can do business only through joint venture with Burmese collaboration. Burma lacks strong economic policies to bring foreign investment. Therefore, it is really a threat for US firms to make investment in Burma. Moreover, the political instability and conflicts in the country are another problem. The country’s governance lies with its military and there no uniform or precise rules in the country to protect the investors. The poor infrastructure facilities are also a major handicap for companies investing the country. Thus, any person who intends to invest there will have to develop the basic facilities. This will entail additional costs to the investor. The fiscal policies in the country also do not favor investment there. Besides, Burmese government imposes huge taxes on foreign investors. â€Å"Foreign investment has risen dramatically over the past year, as international companies cooperate with Burma’s government to exploit the country’s natural resources† (Jared, 2011, para. 1). 2) Since a military government rules Burma, they impose many restrictions on foreign trade and most of their policies are arbitrary in nature. Thus, the country is not investment friendly for foreign investors. America has banned investing in Burma due to the military actions against the civilians. In Burma, government owns all major industries and they place many restrictions on foreign trade. The country has trade relations with Asian countries and they export agricultur al products and import manufactured goods. Burma’s trade with United States accounts only 5% of total foreign trade. Even though Burma has liberalized its economy, they still impose many restrictions on foreign trade. The major earnings in the country derive from oil and natural gas. Therefore, if an investor decides to invest in this country this industry is a better option. If US companies propose to start business in Burma, they will have to face several challenges there. Any person or firm can start business in the country only as a joint venture, in collaboration with a Burmese entity. Due to political instability the country’s fiscal and monetary policies are not good. The inflation rates are high, which will have a direct bearing on the cost of operating a business. Investors may also face problems form the government as they do not encourage foreign investment. The tax rates on foreign traders are also quite high. â€Å"In Burma, however, foreign trade and inv estment helps perpetuate the rule of a repressive, unelected junta. Full foreign ownership of companies operating in Burma is forbidden and almost all large investment in Burma is carried out through joint ventures with the military regime† (Burma: Country in Crisis, 2002, para. 1). 3) Every business involves some part of risk. It may also have to face uncertainty of earnings or risk of loss because of some unexpected developments in

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Development of Literacy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Development of Literacy - Essay Example Indeed, some studies have emphasized that the development of literacy mirrors the individual’s levels of mental development. On this account, it might be necessary for instructional strategies to recognize the variations in the individual capabilities and social forces that determine the general process of mental development. A study conducted by McVee, Dunsmore, and Gavelek (2005) focused on the schema theory in the understanding of the development of literacy from an individual’s point of view. This study distinguished between the schema theory and socio-cultural theories, which have attempted to explain the process of literacy development within the context of social interactions and historical factors. In order to emphasize on the individual initiatives at the center of literacy development, the schema theory cites the example of the individual efforts employed by a child in the development of language and literacy. Children will tend to devise customized methods th at are appropriate to address their peculiar needs in accordance with the kind of challenges that they encounter. This observation is consistent with a range of studies that have shown that language learners from different socio-cultural backgrounds will tend to manifest different capacities in the process of language acquisition. In the determination of the most appropriate instructional strategies, language teachers should consider the fact that language is basically a naming system. It reflects the manner in which cultures, societies, and communities choose to name the world and things around them. Naturally, this naming system is controlled by the traditions, values, norms, and belief systems of the respective groups (Anderson, 1994). The system of naming varies from one society to another. This means that a literacy classroom may not be necessarily homogenous. If language and literacy development represent worldviews, it follows that literacy students from monolingual and bilin gual backgrounds will have different experiences in the course of the learning process. A monolingual learner may encounter clashing worldviews that are essentially different from the world that he or she is accustomed. This may reflect through the challenges of comprehending the various signs and signifiers that a resident in languages (Casson, 1983). On the other hand, a bilingual student may encounter significant challenges that relate to a mismatch in meanings between the two languages. Therefore, this calls for a multiplicity of strategies in order to address both the literacy needs for the groups and individuals across all observable variations. Some studies have pointed out the need to consider the impact of linguistic variations on literacy developments. Linguistic variations are generally diagnosed in the differences in syntax, lexicon, prosody, and phonology (Kucer, 2009). These four elements, syntax, lexicon, prosody, and phonology are central in the process of meaning ma king. As such, it is important for literacy instructors to examine and explore the various differences that manifest between these elements. Usually, linguistic variations may lead to distortion or misrepresentation of the intended meanings in language (Casson, 1983). It might be important to consider the differences in

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

What is Art The Art of Jackson Pollock Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 3750 words

What is Art The Art of Jackson Pollock - Essay Example This statement can be limited to just the expression of an emotion about something of interest to the author, or it can be the expression of a specific social topic that someone feels is important. A good example of art is the cave paintings that primitive man made (Getlein 5). The reason this is art to me is because someone is capturing the event of hunting as they saw it. They are recording something about their everyday life and it is on the cave for anyone to see. These paintings have been seen by many different people over many years. In one sense, this art has lasted through time. Stonehenge (Getlein 6) is also a fascinating aspect of art because it is similar to architecture . It is much like the Pyramids because people are wondering how these were built and why. Stonehenge makes people think and wonder about who put these stones together and why. This is another essential part of art in my opinion: It must make people think and wonder why the artist created this piece. I thin k that art must make people feel something, even if it is something small. In the example of the cave paintings, I wonder why these hunters thought it was important to make the drawings. Were they bragging about the hunt that day? Were they counting their hunts? Only they would know. Stonehenge makes me wonder about why these stones were dragged to this particular spot and arranged in the way they are arranged. It is interesting to me that the book said that this was a graveyard and that it marked about 240 graves (Getlein 6); this is much like our cemeteries today. Many people go to our graveyards and do etchings of the older gravestones because they consider it art. When I pick art myself, I look for symmetry and the way it feels to me. Some pieces of art speak to me differently than others. As an example, I may pick a piece of art for my wall that has vibrant colors that are symmetrically placed in a abstract form. I also have picked pieces because they look interesting or becaus e the scene describes something that is interesting to me. I cannot say that I like the kind of art that the Masters created. I am not sure why, but I think it is because it is usually of some scene, people or subjects that I find uninteresting. I can say that I like some of Picasso’s work because it was very strange and it does make a person wonder why he did what he did. Was the fractured way that he looked at this the way that he saw the world? I do believe that anything can be art. The unfortunate issue is that there are art critics who decide what art is and what art is not. I think that everyone becomes an art critic when they look at a piece of art and they do not need others to define what art is for them. In other words, there are so many different ways that art can be interpreted, that it seems a shame that art critics are allowed to define art. I enjoy looking at art and I hope that this class will bring me more knowledge about what I am looking at on a deeper leve l than I have seen in the past. Essay 2: Discuss Two-Dimensional Media. Give example of artist, media and a piece that appeals to you. The book describes two-dimensional art as something very simple and easy to read. The media can be anything from drawing with pencil and ink on paper to creating images on clay or the cave wall. The book mentions many media that include graphite, metalpoint, charcoal, pastels and more. I have seen many artists pencil drawing (graphite) which creates an interesting effect when the artist uses shading and contrast in their drawing. I think metalpoint provides a beautiful array of interesting and eye-catching symmetrical shapes. I can understand why most people do not use this method

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Regulating Soldiers Body Temperature, Uniform Technology Summary Essay

Regulating Soldiers Body Temperature, Uniform Technology Summary - Essay Example A soldier may end up experiencing different health issues as a result of changes in climate in the areas they train and operate. These health issues can be divided into heat and cold based health issues. Heat related issues include heat cramps, syncope, fatigue and stroke and cold related health issues include hypothermia as well as frostbite. There are various technologies that can help monitor and change the body temperature of the soldiers with the changes in the climate. These technologies including phase change, hybrid, and evaporative as well as circulatory cooling technologies. Phase change material is a technology that can help in managing soldier’s body temperature if this technology is used to design the uniforms of the soldiers. This technology has several benefits including reduction of sweat, feeling of cold and decrease body temperature if the soldier is experiencing excessive warmth. While managing the temperature of a soldier’s body, this technology even provides soldiers with comfort. The technology is useful for soldier’s clothing because it does not causes issues when it comes in contract with the gears used by the soldiers. The technology lacks toxins; it is not flammable, is quite long lasting and can be reused. In order to use this technology along with uniforms the technology needs wires to function. This can restrict the acceptability of this technology, but if soldier’s uniforms have the ability to create electricity then this technology can easily be used. Another issue associated with this technology is fabric tearing but this problem may be experienced in the long run. Outlast is an existing clothing brand that has already developed uniforms for army professionals with the help of phase change material (PCM) ( 1). The company operates throughout the globe and is developing products that are made with PCM and these materials have been tested and approved by

Monday, July 22, 2019

Design Studio Overview Essay Example for Free

Design Studio Overview Essay Purpose The design studio component of this course aims to help you develop your collaborative design skills, as well providing setting to practice use the modelling techniques taught in the course. Each design studio will be based around a mini-case describing a realistic business scenario. You will work in groups to analyse the key business processes in each scenario and identify how technology can be used to improve those processes. Each week, group members will take on the roles of business analysts, systems analysts and project manager and work together to produce a system design using a specific modelling approach. The design phase will be followed by a critique phase that will give you experience in analysing other people’s designs, as well as helping you to improve your own designs. Agenda Each design studio will run for two hours, broken into the phases below. You will need to follow the timing to complete a sufficient proportion of the studio to use it for Assignment 1. 1. Group formation: (5 minutes) Groups should have 3-5 members. You should try to swap groups each week.   2. Role assignment: (5 minutes) Your group will need: a.  Business analysts: to identify the key business processes in the minicase b. Systems analysts: to identify which business processes can be improved by technology and how this can be achieved. c. A project manager: to manage the team and keep to the schedule You should try to swap roles each week 3. Requirements gathering (10 minutes): You will be provided with a printed mini-case each week, which you should use to develop your list of requirements. 4. Design (30 minutes): Create a system design using the required modelling technique. 5. BREAK (10 minutes) 6.  Design presentation (10 minutes per group including questions): Each group will be assigned a partner group. Each group needs to present their design to their partner group. 7. Critique preparation (20 minutes): Once you have studied another group’s design, prepare a critique of their design. Remember the rules of a good critique! Identify both strengths and weakness and suggest how the design can be improved. 8. Critique presentation (10 minutes per group including questions): Each group will present their critiques to their partner group.

A Review On Alcoholic Detection From EEG Signals

A Review On Alcoholic Detection From EEG Signals Abstract: This review covers advances of the past decade, in the development of EEG signal processing algorithms for alcoholic detection. In recent years, various computational approaches have been proposed to detect alcoholism from EEG recordings. In this paper, we review some of those approaches, and discuss their limitations and potential In part I, an introduction to the effect of alcohol on EEG is discussed briefly. We review some of the known effects of alcohol on EEG signal in part II. Some of the exiting state of the art signal processing techniques for alcoholic detection in EEG recordings are discussed in part III. A review of various signal processing methods used to classify alcoholics and controls is done. The potential and limitation of such computational approaches are discussed in part IV. A discussion on the potential use of EEG as a biomarker for alcoholism and as a mass screening tool is also discussed .At the end of the paper, we conclude by briefly addressing the future challenges and open problems in part V. PART I Introduction Alcoholism is a social bane that is affecting the human life in all aspects. Not only it causes damage to the human brain and other organs of the body in various ways, it also brings about a lot of difficulties and discomfort to an alcoholic person in his/her social life. A lot of research has gone into finding the ill effects and the extent to which it damages the human body. Some of the harmful effects include lack of coordination between body and mind, loss of vision, imbalance in walking, incoherent speech, memory slips, depression to name a few. These effects can be observed after only a few drinks and they may vanish once the person gives up drinking. However a person who is addicted to drinking large quantities of alcohol for a long time may be affected with these effects that persist for a longer time and severely damage one or more organs of the body. The way in which alcohol affects the brain and the probable reversal of the ill effects caused by heavy drinking on the brain still remain as hot topics in alcohol research [1]. Some of the factors that determine the extent to which alcohol affects the brain are: i) quantity and how frequently a person drinks ii) the age of the subject at which the habit of drinking started and how long it is being continued iii) subjects age, education, gender, genetic predisposition and family history of alcoholism iv) possibility of prenatal exposure and the overall health condition[47]. Heavy drinking not only affects the human brain but it also damages other vital organs of the body. It is also found that females are more affected than males in the way the alcohol consumption damages the various organs of the body. For example, a few years of heavy drinking in women cause cirrhosis [48] cardiomyopathy [49] and nerve damage [50] than in alcoholic men. However, the studies on sensitivity of females brain to alcohol-induced brain damage as compared with males, have not shown any conclusive results [1]. Alcohol intake combined with poor general health condition or with severe liver disease causes damage to the human brain in an indirect manner. For example, thiamine deficiency is common in people with alcoholism which is a result of poor overall nutrition [1].  A large percentage of alcoholics suffer from thiamine deficiency and some may even develop severe brain disorders such as [51] Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) [52]. The symptoms of WKS include mental confusi on, oculomotor disturbances and difficulty with muscle coordination, forgetfulness and frustration and have difficulty with walking and coordination [53] . One of the organs that severely gets affected by long term alcohol consumption in large quantities is the liver. In a person with a history of heavy long-term drinking, the liver s function is to breakdown alcohol into harmless by-products and flush them out of the body. However, the liver may get damaged due to excessive alcohol intake, leading to liver cirrhosis. This condition of the liver can harm the brain, leading to a potentially fatal brain disorder called hepatic encephalopathy [54].Some of the effects of Hepatic encephalopathy are disturbances in sleep patterns, mood swings, personality changes, anxiety, depression, attention deficits, difficulty in coordination like shaking of the hands ( asterixis). In the worst case, patients may slip into coma ( hepatic coma), which can lead to death. It is indeed difficult to diagnose these effects as related to hepatic encephalopathy. New imaging techniques assist researchers to study specific regions of brain in such patients, which helps them in knowing exactly how hepatic encephalopathy progresses. The studies have confirmed that at least two toxic substances, ammonia and manganese are responsible for the development of hepatic encephalopathy. The severely damaged liver cells allow these harmful toxic products to enter the brain, which in turn harms the brain cells. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy may lead to physical, learning, and behavioural problems in the developing fetal brain. The most serious of these problems is the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Children with FAS may have distinct facial features [1]. FAS infants growth may be lesser than average. They may suffer from microcephaly. In infants with this syndrome, only a fewer neurons may be present or a fewer neurons may function properly. This will lead to problems in learning and behaviour for a long term. All alcoholics do not experience the ill effects of alcohol consumption in a similar manner to the same extent. The source of the disease may be different for different patients. This makes it difficult to pinpoint any one parameter as responsible for the brain disorders found in alcoholics. That is why, one of the active areas of research is to study why some patients are vulnerable to brain deficits while others are not [55]. Most alcoholics suffering from cognitive disorder improve in the structure and functioning of the brain within a year of abstinence [56-58].This may not be true in all cases. Therefore clinicians must devise different types of treatment methods to cater to different patients. They use brain-imaging techniques to determine the course and progress of treatment over a period of time. Researchers use imaging methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), positron emission tomography (PET), and electrophysiological brain mapping. These methods provide precise and accurate information on structural, functional and biochemical changes in patients brain over time. Sometimes, two or more brain imaging methods are used together to correlate the results and monitor when a chronic alcoholic patient stops drinking and again after long periods of sobriety ,the possibility of relapse of the drinking habit in the patient [59]. The process of memorization and retrieval depend on factors such as attention and motivation [60]. MRI of brain assist the physicians to study the effects of long time abstinence from alcohol on memory and attention, as well as changes that take place when drinking habit relapses. The aim of these studies is to differentiate between the alcohol-induced permanent effects on the brain and those which are reversible with abstinence. PET imaging assists researchers to visualize, in the living brain, the damages associated with heavy alcohol consumption [61]. This also enables scientists to analyse alcohols effects on neurotransmitter systems, brain cell metabolism and blood flow within the brain. These studies on alcoholics have shown the frontal lobe disorders, which are responsible for various functions associated with learning and memory and deficits in cerebellum which controls movement and coordination. PET can also be used for monitoring the effects of alcoholism treatment on the a ffected parts of the brain and may give new directions in developing medications to rectify the chemical deficits found in the brains of people with alcohol dependence. Numerous studies have shown the ill effects of alcohol on the human brain by observing and analysing the electroencephalogram (EEG) of the alcoholic subject and compared with that of a control subject. Electroencephalography (EEG) is a simple non invasive tool that records the brains electrical signals by placing electrodes on the scalp. These signals show real-time activity as it occurs in the brain. Many studies have shown that the effect of alcohol on the human brain can be perceived by processing the recording the EEG of an alcoholic subject. The single channel EEG recordings of a control and an alcoholic subject are as shown in fig 1.It can be observed that the time series EEG data of both control and alcoholic subjects are not clearly perceptible to the bare human eye. However, with the help of certain signal processing techniques either in the time domain or frequency domain or time-frequency domain or spatial domain techniques, the latent features can be extracted to identify the effects of alcohol on the human brain. As an illustration, the PSDs of the EEG of both control and alcoholic subject are as shown in fig2. From this it is very clear that the power contained in various frequency components are different for both control and alcoholic subjects. C:UsersMUDocumentsMATLABeeg_epilep_codestime_series_data.jpg C:UsersMUDocumentsMATLABeeg_epilep_codespsd_c_a.jpg Fig 1.Time series EEG data of control Fig2. PSD plot of EEG of control and alcoholic subjects and alcoholic subjects Many alcoholic men have low amplitude of their P3 components (fig 3). P3 amplitudes in alcoholic women reduce to a lesser extent than in men. The uniqueness of the reduction in P3 component among other symptoms is that even after the patient drops the habit of drinking alcohol, this reduction in P3 persists[63].Therefore this parameter can be thought of as a biomarker for alcohol dependence rather than an effect of alcohol consumption. There are many studies conducted on the reduced P3 amplitudes of young people who are not exposed to alcohol but their fathers being alcoholics [64, 65].Therefore, P3 can be used as biomarkers to help recognizing people who may be at greatest risk for developing problems with alcohol. graph Fig 3 . P3 amplitude in control and alcoholic subjects (Courtesy:[1]) Compared to other imaging methods discussed above, electrophysiological methods such as EEG processing for detection of alcoholics has a lot to offer in terms of mobility and cost involved. Hence it can be used as a mass screening tool for the underprivileged with a history of alcoholism. PART II Effect of Alcohol on EEG recordings Studies have shown that some of the major effects of alcohol on EEG are: i) enlargement of frontal negative occipital wave component ii) increase in ventricular and sulcal CSF volumes iii) Reduction in p300 component iv)Reduction in pre frontal cortical excitability v)Reduction in the amplitude of Error related negativity vi) Binge drinking effect on ÃŽ ´ and fast ÃŽ ²waves vii) Reduction in the power of EEG signal in frontal region and enhancement of ÃŽ ¸ waves . viii) high ÃŽ ² and ÃŽ ¸ power in the resting EEG, abnormalities in eye movements, in saccadic inhibition during antisaccade tasks. These effects, however, are not always easily detectable. There tends to be a large variability from patient to patient. As a result, none of these phenomena allow at present to reliably detect the effect of alcohol at an early stage. Many recent studies have concentrated on how to improve the sensitivity of EEG for detecting alcoholism. In the following we briefly review some of these studies. A. Enlargement of frontal negative occipittal wave component Way back in 1990, Jerald Varner et al., reported a study of alcoholic organic syndrome patients using the occipital wave components of the event related potential (ERP) as an electrophysiological parameter [3]. The study was conducted on normal, Korsakoff, and alcoholic dementia patients. The frontal negative occipital wave was observed to be increased in alcoholic organic brain syndrome patients and it was concluded that it was probably due to an attention deficit, indicating a probable frontal lobe dysfunction. B. Increase in ventricular and sulcal CSF volumes Adolf Pfefferbaum et al., [4] quantified brain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volumes derived from computed tomography (CT) in alcoholics and controls. The results showed that the ventricular and sulcal CSF volumes in alcoholic patients were greater than was expected for their age. This also proved the previous results obtained from a similar study using CT and MRI showing greater vulnerability of the aging brain to alcohol. The absolute ventricular volumes were similar in MRI and CT, while MRI results showed larger sulcal volume estimates than the CT. It was concluded that MRI slice thickness and its resolution to partial volume effects led to this increase in sulcal volume estimate. C. Reduction in p300 component Shirley Y. Hill et al., studied the effect of alcohol on the p300 component [9] .According to this study , it was found that only patients(female) with comorbid depression had a reduced p300 amplitude ,while there was no difference in other alcoholic and control subjects(male and female) . From this study, it was also concluded that the P300 amplitude reduction seen in children prone to developing alcoholism seems to represent a delay in neuron development that normalizes as they grow into adulthood. In another similar study, Michio Hada et al., used bootstrap analysis method in which P3a current source density (CSD) maps showed distinct topographic mapping between alcoholics and control subjects in all the brain regions [10]. More sources and sinks were seen in the alcoholics than in the control subjects for P3a. The reduced P3a amplitude and sinks in alcoholics coupled with less specificity in their CSD maps, suggested disorganized less efficient functioning of the brain. This suggests a probable underlying CNS hyper excitability in alcoholics due to cortical disinhibition . D. Reduction in pre frontal cortical excitability Seppo Kahkonen et al. [13], reported the effects of alcohol on the prefrontal cortex in nine healthy subjects using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) activated electroencephalogram (EEG) signals. Changes in EEG activity lasting up to 270 ms post stimulus were observed as a response to activation by TMS. The changes were observed more prominently at anterior electrodes suggesting the reduction in excitability in the prefrontal cortex due to alcohol. E. Reduction in the amplitude of Error related negativity A study by Clay B Holroyd et al., indicated that alcohol consumption reduces the amplitude of the error-related negativity (ERN)[14] component of the event related potential(ERP), a sharp negative going signal that occurs in the EEG at the instant when an incorrect motor response starts ( ie.,error commission). F. Binge drinking effect on ÃŽ ´ and fast ÃŽ ² waves Kelley E Courtney et al. evaluated the spectral power in the ÃŽ ´ and fast ÃŽ ² waves of EEG recordings of young undergraduate university students who varied in their binge drinking history [18].The aim of the study was to characterize the effects of binge drinking on central nervous system(CNS) neuroelectric activity in male and female undergraduate subjects. The EEG recordings of these subjects showed enhanced spectral power in the ÃŽ ´ (0-4 Hz) and fast- ÃŽ ² (20-35 Hz) bands for the high-binge drinkers. Although the dependence of fast- ÃŽ ² power on binge drinking still remains unclear, the change in fast- ÃŽ ² power indicates that EEG spectral pattern of high-binge drinkers is similar to that of alcoholics. This study indicated that the relative enhancement in fast- ÃŽ ² power may be used as a biomarker for potential future alcoholism even in the absence of familial alcoholism. G.Effect on ÃŽ ²,ÃŽ ¸ ,ÃŽ ³ waves ,eye movement disorders and saccadic inhibition Wu Di et al., discussed the change in the power of EEG signal in various parts of the brain after consuming alcohol , resulting in harmful effects on different parts of the brain and the body[19]. It was observed that while in the frontal region the power of the EEG signal decreased with the increase in the quantity of alcohol intake, the power of the EEG signal in central, occipital region increased. This study also revealed that while in the frontal region, the alcohol intake caused a transformation in the fast wave with decrease in the power of EEG signal, the fast wave reduced with an increase in the power of EEG signal in the central and occipital region. It was also observed that while the effect of alcohol in the frontal region indicated nerve stimulation of alcohol in this part, making drinkers to become excited after alcohol intake, in the central and occipital region, the effect of alcohol consumption led to an inhibitory action on the neuron cells, resulting in the weakeni ng of the body coordination and eyesight. Further it was noted that increase in alcohol intake resulted in ÃŽ ¸ waves generation and gradual enhancement as the subjects were in state of drowsiness and the central nervous system(CNS) of the subjects was inhibited. At the same time, ÃŽ ± and ÃŽ ² waves were seen to gradually enhance and the region of these waves expanded after consuming alcohol. The study also indicated that the correlation between parts of brain decreased gradually because the clustering of the EEG signal was separated gradually into small clusters with increased alcohol intake. From this observation, it was concluded that too much drinking may lead to the decrease of balance, stability between the parts of the brain. S. Campanella et al., [41], studied various physiological parameters such as continuous EEG, oculomotor measures, cognitive ERPs and event-related oscillations that are affected in chronic alcoholic patients compared to healthy controls. This study was aimed at identifying links between these physiological parameters, altered cognitive processes and specific clinical symptoms. The result of their study showed:(1) high beta and theta power in the resting EEG, suggesting hyperarousal of CNS (2) abnormalities in smooth pursuit eye movements, in saccadic inhibition during antisaccade tasks, and in prepulse inhibition, suggesting disturbed attention and abnormal prefrontal inhibitory cortical dysfunction; (3) decreased amplitude for cognitive ERPs situated along the continuum of information processing, suggesting that alcoholism is associated with neurophysiological deficits at the level of the sensory cortex and not only disturbances involving associative cortices and limbic structures; and (4) decreased theta, gamma and delta oscillations, suggesting cognitive disinhibition at a functional level. Ajayan Padmanabhapillai et al.,[71] investigated the early evoked gamma band response in male adolescents at high risk and at low risk groups for a visual stimulus. The results indicate that the deficient early evoked gamma band response may indicate the risk of development of alcoholism and could be a potential bio marker for future addiction to alcoholism. David A. Kareken et al., [72] used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine how family history affects the brains response to subjects preferred alcoholic drink odours (AO) as compared to appetitive control odours (ApCO). This study suggested that a family history of alcoholism and brain exposure to alcohol odour in heavy drinkers differentially affect the way in which brain responds to alcohol cues. H.Whole-genome association study on EEG waves Variation in resting EEG is associated with common, complex psychiatric diseases such as alcoholism, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders although it can not be used as a diagnostic tool for any of them. Such traits appear to be dependent on the underlying molecular processes than on clinical symptoms, and points to an alternative method for the identification of genetic variation that characterize complex psychiatric disorders. Colin A. Hodgkinsona et al.,[39], performed a whole-genome association study on alpha (ÃŽ ±), beta (ÃŽ ²), and theta (ÃŽ ¸) EEG power in a Native American cohort of 322 individuals to maintain the genetic and environmental homogeneity of this population. Three genes SGIP1, ST6GALNAC3 and UGDH were nominally associated to variability of ÃŽ ¸ or ÃŽ ± power. SGIP1 was estimated to account for 8.8 % of variance in ÃŽ ¸ power and this association was replicated in US Caucasians, where it accounted for 3.5% of the variance. Bayesian analysis of prior probability of association based upon earlier linkage to chromosome 1 and enrichment for vesicle-related transport proteins established the genuineness of the association of SGIP1 with ÃŽ ¸ power. It was also found that the association of SGIP1 with alcoholism provides validation of the use of EEG as an endo phenotype for alcoholism. I.Effect of alcohol on facilitation effect The aim of this study by P. Maurage et al., [32], was to study cross modal (auditory-visual) processing while the subjects were given an emotional stimuli and specifically the auditory-visual facilitation effect. Twenty patients suffering from alcoholism, and 20 healthy controls were asked to identify the emotion (anger or happiness) displayed by auditory, visual or auditory-visual stimuli. The stimuli were designed to elicit a facilitation effect (namely, faster reaction times (RTs) for crossmodal condition than for unimodal ones).It was observed that the alcoholics showed less significant facilitation effect compared to their healthy counterparts.This lack of facilitation effect may be used as a biomarker for an impaired auditory-visual processing in alcoholics. PART III I. Signal processing techniques for detection of alcoholism in EEG signal The Electroencephalogram (EEG) is a bio signal containing information about the state of the brain. The latent information present in the EEG signal may not be visible for the human expert and any subtle variations hence cannot be observed and monitored as and when it occurs. Especially in the time series EEG data, subtle variations can not be perceived by human eye. In such a situation the computational approach becomes very important to extract any such micro variations in the EEG recording, containing significant information about the status of any pathology present. Also, since EEG is an inexpensive method and due to its portability, it can be used as a powerful mass screening tool. EEG signals are the signatures of neural activities. They are captured by multiple-electrode either invasively or non-invasively, over the cortex under the skull, or certain locations over the scalp, and can be recorded in different formats. The signals are normally presented in the time domain, but by applying simple signal processing tools such as the Fourier transform to perform frequency analysis and some imaging tools to visualize EEG topographies , the brain activities can be visualized in frequency or spatial domains respectively. Various time domain, frequency domain, time-frequency methods, statistical signal processing technique such as Wavelet transform [5], Recurrent Neural network [6], nonlinear systems [7], logistic regression [8], spectral densities of DWT coefficients [16], etc., and chaotic signal processing techniques [2] are used to study the pathology of brain such as epilepsy. These techniques are also used to classify between alcoholic, non-alcoholic and epilept ic subjects. In recent years, several research groups have started investigating the potential of electroencephalograms (EEGs) for detecting alcoholism and study the short term and long term effects on the brain. There have been many algorithms developed so far for processing EEG signals. Some of the operations include time-domain analysis, frequency-domain analysis, spatial-domain analysis, and multiway processing. Also, several algorithms have been developed to visualize the brain activity from images reconstructed from only the EEGs. Separation of the desired sources from the multisensor EEGs has been another research area. This can later lead to the detection of brain abnormalities such as epilepsy and the sources related to various physical and mental activities. In this section, some of the signal processing techniques applied to EEG signal for the detection of alcoholism is reviewed. A. Extraction of spectral band power and parametric methods Ong, Kok Mang et al, have shown that VEP (visually evoked potential) could be influenced by long term alcohol abuse [20]. The power spectral density of the recorded VEP was estimated using Burg algorithm (parametric analysis) and the extracted Gamma band power was used as features to train the neural network to classify the alcoholics and non-alcoholics. The authors claim that classification result of 97.50% accuracy has been achieved, to discriminate alcoholics from non-alcoholics.Kok-Meng Ong et al., have proposed Principal Component Analysis (PCA) method for the optimization of the selection of a subset of channels for single trial Visual Evoked Potentials (VEP) signals [23]. The proposed method was successful in optimizing a subset of channels that guaruntees high classification accuracy of alcoholics and non-alcoholics Another similar study by Ramaswamy Palaniappan et al., show that the difference of VEP signals between alcoholics and non-alcoholics can be observed using two spectral power ratios in gamma band (37-50 Hz) extracted from seven channels. This result implies that gamma band spectral power could be used as a biomarker on the lasting effects of long-term use of alcohol on visual response though the studied alcoholics have been abstinent for a minimum period of 1 month. Here Genetic algorithm (GA) is used to optimize the selection of subset of the feature set and classification is done with Fuzzy ARTMAP (FA) classifier [11], using VEP signals. The seven spectral bands of VEP signals are extracted using infinite impulse response (IIR) band-pass filters with constant gain and uniform bandwidth. Spectral power in these bands is calculated using Parsevals theorem and used as features to train the FA and ML-BP classifiers. The proposed technique discriminates alcoholics from non-alcoholics wit h high accuracy. In continuation of the previous work, Ramaswamy Palaniappan et al., in their work have derived second order autoregressive (AR) coefficients [21] to discriminate alcoholics using single trial gamma band Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) signals using 3 different classifiers: Simplified Fuzzy ARTMAP (SFA) neural network (NN), Multilayer-perceptron-back propagation (MLP-BP) NN and Linear Discriminant (LD) function . Here elliptic filtering was used in the gamma band spectral range on single trial VEP signals. The average classification errors of 2.6%, 2.8% and 11.9% were obtained from LD, MLP-BP and SFA classifiers. The high accuracy of LD classification results show the effectiveness of the proposed method to discriminate between alcoholic subjects and controls. Several improvements were proposed to previous work of automated classification of alcoholics and non-alcoholics [24] by the same author. In the previous paper, MLP-NN classifying energy of gamma band VEP signals gave the best cla ssification performance using 800 VEP signals from 10 alcoholics and 10 non-alcoholics. Here, the dataset was extended to include 3560 VEP signals from 102 subjects: 62 alcoholics and 40 non-alcoholic. The classification performance was improved by i) increasing the gamma band spectral range ii) Multiple Signal Classification algorithm was used to obtain the power of the dominant frequency in gamma band VEP signals for feature extraction iii) the use of the k nearest neighbour classifier. The performance was validated by a 10-fold cross validation classification. Modification resulted in an improvement in the classification percentage from 94.49% to 98.71% in maximum averaged CVC accuracy. In this paper by Ramaswamy Palaniappan [30], a method is proposed to discriminate chronic alcoholic from non-alcoholic subjects while the subjects were sober. Energies of EEG signals in multiple gamma bands were used as features while the subjects were asked to do a picture recognition task .A neural network was used for classifying chronic alcoholic subjects from controls. Leave one out cross validation strategy revealed that alcoholics could be discriminated from non-alcoholics with accuracy of 94.55%. This study shows that the energy in gamma band spectral energy can be used as a biomarker for screening of alcoholics. The classification of chronic alcoholics from non-alcoholics using the EEG is studied in this paper by A Shahina et al., [27].Weighted Linear Prediction Cepstral Coefficients were extracted from the VEP and used as discriminating feature vectors. Auto associative neural network was used to classify these vectors into alcoholics and non alcoholics. A recognition accuracy of 52.5% is achieved. This shows that all the 64 channels do not have the same discriminatory attributes causing a reduction in the accuracy levels. Hence the authors conclude that in order to improve the classification performance, there is a need for the optimization of the number of channels to be considered for classification. In this study by Tugce Balli et al., [31], they investigated the electrophysiological differences between alcoholic and control subjects using two different approaches namely complexity and energy analysis. The EEG data used in this study were recorded from 77 alcoholic and 44 control subjects while the subjects were performing delayed matching to sample object recognition task for three types of stimuli. The experimental paradigm evokes object recognition, visual short-term memory and decision making abilities. The results indicated that all regions (i.e. frontal, central, temporal, parietal and occipital) in the brain exhibit more complexity and less energy for alcoholic subjects as compared to controls. When different visual stimuli pairs were compared among alcoholic and control subjects, the results from energy analysis showed group wise differences in occipital and parietal regions. These results provide a strong indication on the impairment in brains electrophysiological activ ity for alcoholic subjects due to a history of long term alcohol abuse. Chronic alcoholism is classically associated with major deficits in the visual and auditory processing of emotions. However, the cross modal (auditory-visual) processing of emotional stimuli, which occurs most frequently in everyday life, has not yet been explored.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Shareholder Activism Business

Shareholder Activism Business This paper looks at the issue of shareholder activism from an Irish and International perspective, in the context of understanding agency theory and corporate governance which acts as catalysts to this new phenomenon. This is done by looking at past and current published papers that revolve around the subject matter. Theoretical concepts within the business and finance literature are explained in relation to how agency theory and corporate governance are practised worldwide. Three countries namely, the OECD countries (European Union as one whole entity), Ireland, and China, are assessed to identify how these concepts are practiced to gain a better insight into this new problem known as shareholder activism. Finally a critical review of matches and mismatches is used to compare and contrast similarities between the theoretical concepts and the empirical evidence within the literature review that is gathered for this paper to identify whether this problem is a worldwide problem or it is at the growth stage of becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Chapter 1: The Concept of Shareholder Activism Shareholder activism has begun to play a role in reshaping the corporate governance in companies all across the globe. In industrialised or advanced countries, institutional investors or financial intermediaries serve the function of active shareholders. In general, shareholder activism has become one of the most important and highly debated issues of the 21st century. The issue of shareholder activism (shareholder revolt against management objectives) can be said to have arisen due to the recent collapse of huge international organisations; in theoretical terms it is known as Corporate Governance. Now, Corporate governance refers to structures and processes for directly and controlling companies. Collectively, these constitute a set of rules that govern the relationships among management, company shareholders, and other stakeholders including consumers, creditors, employees, the general public, neighbouring people and suppliers. The rules of corporate governance aim to ensure that managers act in the best interests of their shareholders rather than simply acting in their own interests or those of a majority shareholder. Good corporate governance can provide companies in emerging markets in particular, better access to outside capital by making them more attractive targets for portfolio investment. The impact of recent corporate scandals, which has opened the debate as to the validity of corporate governance, has been felt all across the world and Ireland is no exception. Domestic scandals such as the fallout from the Inquiry into no-collection by certain banks of applicable tax on deposit accounts prompted a report on auditing standards which eventually resulted in the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act (2003), essentially is Irelands Sarbanes- Oxley Act. Until relatively recently, meanwhile, there was scant compliance with corporate governance and companies legislation which led to government committee report on the matter in 1997 and ultimately to the enactment of company Law Enforcement Act, 2001. This Act established the Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement, which now has responsibility for ensuring compliance with the Companies Acts (1963 -2003) in Ireland. This government body has significant powers of investigation and prosecution, which are being exercised vigorously. In the European Union (OECD), although this had been a subject of thought for over a decade, it was originally developed in response to a call by the OECD council meeting at ministerial level in 1998, to develop, in conjunction with national governments, other relevant international organisations and the private sector, a set of corporate governance standards and guidelines. Since the principles were agreed in 1999, they have formed the basis for corporate governance initiatives in both OECD and non-OECD countries alike. Accordingly, they form the basis of the corporate governance component of the World/IMF Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC). Aims and Objectives The aim of this paper is to address the issue of aligning management objectives with the objectives of shareholders and help identify why this has not been successful. I.e. this genesis has led to shareholder activism at annual general meetings, which management have found it very unpleasant to bear with within organisations all across the globe. The objective of this research paper is to first look at the genesis (beginnings) of this problem pertaining agency theory and corporate governance with regard to their relevance in satisfying shareholder objectives. Secondly, to explain the current trend in relation to shareholder activism within organisations and also how companies are preparing and dealing with this phenomenon at AGMs. I.e. The right information is given to shareholders as to the accurate financial earnings and gains of the organisation which they were appointed to manage. This will be looked at from an Irish and International perspective. Finally, a critical appraisal of the validity of published material so far covering agency theory and corporate governance within organisations will be addressed. Chapter 2: Existing Literature Review The need to understand and deal with shareholder activism is one that has come of recent due to the collapse of major international organisations around the world within the past decade. According to Grace (2004), in Ireland, the role of the institutional shareholder and the extent of their responsibilities as such, insofar as these differ from those of individual shareholders, are governed by practice rather than legislation. In addition, she adds that in Irish incorporated companies the overall management function vests in a board of directors, although the directors may delegate functions to certain executives or committees of the board. There is no statutory limit on the number of directors (hence wasting company funds on management) that can comprise a board, although limits may be imposed in the Articles of Association. Current legislation (Companies Act 2003) in Ireland requires a minimum of two directors, both of whom must be natural persons and one of whom must be an Irish resident. Grace (2004) also argues that the Articles of Association set out the requirements for the convening and holding of board meetings, while the corporate governance requirements for listed companies ensure that regular meetings are held. Written notice is usually required, including an agenda and all relevant documents to be considered at the meeting. All minutes of board meetings must be kept in the register of minutes but these are not generally available to shareholders, a major reason for shareholder activism. Daily et al.(2003) suggest that the overwhelmingly dominant theoretical perspective applied in corporate governance studies is agency theory. This serves as an explanation of how the public corporation could exist, given the assumption that managers are self-interested, and a context in which those managers do not bear the full wealth effects of their decisions. The theory responds to the observation 70 years ago of some of the key problems inherent in the separation of ownership and control. Daily metal. (2003) also add that in nearly all-modern governance research, governance mechanisms are conceptualised as deterrents to managerial self-interest. Corporate governance mechanisms provide shareholders some assurance that managers will strive to achieve outcomes that are in the shareholders interests. Shareholders have available both internal and external governance mechanisms to help bring the interests of managers in line with their own. They also argue that internal mechanisms include an effectively structured board, compensation contracts that encourage a shareholder orientation, and concentrated ownership holdings that lead to active monitoring of executives. The market for corporate control serves as an external mechanism that is typically activated when internal mechanisms for controlling managerial opportunism have failed. Abelson (2001) argue with regard to the collapse of Enron, that what made the Enron case different is how sudden and final the companys fall was for its shareholders, was the shareholders that lost out and not management, adding that how can someone (people on the board of directors in Enron) who cannot own stock in a company serve on its board. In Europe, the OECD principles of corporate governance (2004) state that corporate governance is one key element in improving economic efficiency and growth as well as enhancing investor confidence. Corporate governance involves a set of relationships between a companys management, its board, its shareholders and other stakeholders. Corporate governance also provides the structure through which the objectives of the company are set, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance are determined. Good corporate governance should provide proper incentives for the board and management to pursue objectives that are in the interests of the company and its shareholders and should facilitate effective monitoring. In addition the OECD (2004),also argue that while a multiplicity of factors affect the governance and decision making processes of firms, and are important to their long-term success, the principles focus on governance problems that result from the separation of ownership and control (agency theory). However, this is not simply an issue of relationship between shareholders and management, although that is indeed the central element. In some jurisdictions , governance issues also arise from the power of certain controlling shareholders over minority shareholders. In other countries, employees have important legal rights irrespective of their ownership rights. The OECD (2004) also suggests that corporate governance is affected by the relationships among participants in the governance system. Controlling shareholders, which maybe individuals, family holdings, bloc alliances, or other corporations acting through a holding company or cross shareholdings, can significantly influence corporate behaviour. As owners of equity, institutional investors are increasingly demanding a voice in corporate governance in some markets. Individual shareholders usually do not seek to exercise governance rights but may be highly concerned about obtaining fair treatment from controlling shareholders and management. Creditors according to the OECD (2004) play an important role in a number of governance systems and can serve as external monitors over corporate performance. Employees and other stakeholders play an important role in contributing to the long-term success and performance of the corporation, while governments establish the overall institutional and legal framework for corporate governance. The role of each of these participants, OECD (2004), and their interactions vary widely among OECD countries and among non-OECD countries well. Adding that these relationships are subject, in part, to law and regulation and, in part, to voluntary adaptation and, most importantly, to market forces. Bebchuk (2003) also argue that in theory, if directors fail to serve shareholders, or if they appear to lack the qualities necessary for doing so, shareholders have the power to replace them. This relates to a document presented to the securities exchange commission in New York, considering the improved rights of shareholders. Bebchuk (2003) also states that this shareholder power, in turn, provides incumbent directors with incentives to serve shareholders well, making directors accountable. He suggests that although shareholder power to replace directors is supposed to be an important element of corporate governance system, its largely a myth. Attempts to replace directors he states are extremely rare, even in firms that systematically underperform over a long period of time. By and large, directors nominated by the company run unopposed and their election is thus guaranteed. This varies from country to country. Hamid (2005) argues with regard to the International Financial Corporation, which is part of the World Bank in relation to corporate governance models in China. It states that corporate governance is a new concept in China and most managers and boards remain unaware of basic governance procedures, often confusing governance with general management. As a result, bridging the gap between rhetoric and reality is required. It adds that the private sector in China has clearly become the engine of growth, seemingly offering enormous investment opportunities. But the structures in place at private companies are often immature, reflecting the newness of the private sector. Most small and mid-sized enterprises in Chinaware run informally. They are family owned, they dont have checks and balances, and their financial reporting is not transparent. It goes on to argue that the state-owned enterprises on their way to becoming private enterprises suffer from a different set of governance problems. When these companies take on private ownership, they carry the legacy of the state-dominated decision making regime. They often have complex and opaque corporate ownership structures, overlapping new and traditional bodies of corporate control, and reporting practices that are focused on satisfying the information requirements of the authorities rather than the needs of investors. Stutchbury (2001) states that in Australia, when AMP handed down its 1999 results showing a $1.2 billion abnormal loss from the GIO takeover, the AMP chairman was nowhere to be seen. He did not deem it necessary to front up to the cameras or to face media questioning to explain himself to shareholders. He left it to the relatively new CEO, who was required to dead bat the many serious questions about the companys board, its relationship with top management, and the departure of its former CEO. These were questions, which the new CEO could not properly answer. They had to be answered by the Chairman, if they were to be answered at all. This shows across misconduct of rules and guidelines with regard to corporate governance. Although CSR has only become one of the most heated topics of the new millennium, its roots undoubtedly go back to some of the key philosophical debates over ethics, values, equity and equality, Smith(2003). However, the systematic treatment of business ethics has been neglected in most advanced economies, which directly relates to CSR. Hartley (1993), for example, suggests that the interests of a firm are actually best served by scrupulous attention to the public interest and by seeking a trusting relationship with the various stakeholders with which a firm is involved. In the process, society is also best served because the firm is forced to consider a whole range of competing objectives and to move away from activities, which are derived from short-term performance indicators. Hartley (1993) also adds that any philosophy or course of action that doesnt take the public interest into consideration is intolerable in todays society. Todays firms face more critical scrutiny from stakeholders and operate in a setting, which is becoming more regulatory and litigious. The Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) (2000) in the UK, argue that the law should require all proxy votes are brought to bear on the business of a companys annual general meeting, which should encourage institutions to vote their proxies. Adding that they do not consider that abolishing the show of hands would act as a disincentive for small shareholders to attend and vote as they are aware of their lack of voting power under current UK law arrangements. The show of hands is largely symbolic. The PIRC (2000), also state that if the annual general meeting (AGM) is not made the focus of the decision making process, but merely one moment in the process, companies would be tempted to lobby shareholders after the AGM, thus undermining the value of the AGM. They emphasise that such a proposal gives companies an ability to evade accountability to their shareholders. The OECD (2004) states that shareholders have access in a number of countries to the companys proxy materials, which are sent to shareholders, although sometimes subject to conditions to prevent abuse. The OECD (2004) also states that co-operation among investors could also be used to manipulate markets prior to proxy voting, and to obtain control over a company without being subject to any takeover regulations. For this reason, in some countries, the ability of institutional investors to co-operate on their voting strategy is either limited or prohibited. Shareholder agreements may also be closely monitored. On the other hand although corporate governance around the world varies with regard to successes and failure, Reuters(2004) stated that News Corp, one of the worlds largest media empires, had a proxy vote, in which more than 90 present voted in favour of the Chairmans plan to reincorporate the organisation in the United States, where it generates more than 75 present of its earnings. This can be seen as very good reaction from the shareholders of the company, in which corporate governance in this case has been a success. It is worthwhile noting that the adherence and practice of corporate governance to avoid shareholder activism does vary from country to country and so the rules, guidelines, regulations, and procedures governing this concept are subject to different interpretations in companies around the world. Chapter 3: Theoretical Perspectives On Agency Problem, Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance It is often assumed that the role conflict between those who own firms(i.e., who want the firm to maximise the value of their stake in the business) and those who manage them (who want to maximise their own reward) will be detrimental to the pursuit of profit maximisation as an overriding objective. The significance of this separation of ownership and control and the potential problems it can cause is known as the agency problem. While, corporate governance deals with how an organisation establishes who it is there to serve, how this should be decided, and by whom. This relates to how managers deal with issues of ethics and corporate responsibility. The following is a detailed elaboration of the agency problem and corporate governance with regard to the concepts acting as a catalyst that leads to shareholder activism. The Agency Problem Potential conflict arises where ownership is separated from management. The ownership of most larger companies is widely spread, while the day-to-day control of the business rests in the hands of a new managers who usually have a relatively small proportion of the total shares issued. This can give rise to what is termed managerialism, self-serving behaviour by managers at the shareholders ‘expense. Examples of managerialism include pursuing more perquisites(splendid offices and company cars, etc.) and adopting low-risk survival strategies and satisficing behaviour. This conflict has been explored by Jensen and Mackling (1976), who developed a theory of the firm under agency arrangements. Managers are, in effect, agents forth shareholders and are required to act in their best interests. However, they have operational control of the business and the shareholders receive little information on whether the managers are acting in their best interests. A company can be viewed as simply a set of contracts, the most important of which is the contract between the firm and its shareholders. This contract describes the principal-agent relationship, where the shareholders are the principals and the management team the agents. An efficient agency contract allows full delegation of decision-making authority over use of invested capital to management without the risk of that authority being abused. However, left to themselves, managers cannot be expected to act in the shareholders best interests, but require appropriate incentives and controls to do so. Agency costs are the difference between the return expected from an efficient agency contract and the actual return, given that managers may act more in their own interests than the interests of shareholders. Managing the agency problem To attempt to deal with such agency problems, various incentives and controls have been recommended, all of which incur costs. Incentives frequently take the form of bonuses tied to profits (profit-related pay) and share options as part of a remuneration package scheme. Share options only have value when the actual share price exceeds the option price; managers are thereby encouraged to pursue policies that enhance long-term wealth-creation. In reality, the agency problem between investors and directors is more illusory than real for the following reasons: †¢ The principal in the business relationship is the company rather than the shareholder and the directors set the priorities and goals forth business, not the shareholders. †¢ Because directors, in most firms, invariably own shares in their business they will benefit in the same way as the ordinary shareholders from the activities of the firm. Chief executives in a number of large companies have recently come under fire for their outrageously high pay resulting from such schemes. Executive compensation schemes, such as those outlined above, are imperfect, but useful, mechanisms for retaining able managers and encouraging them to pursue goals that promote shareholder value. Another way of attempting to minimise the agency problem is by setting up and monitoring managers behaviour. Examples of these include: †¢ Audited accounts of the company †¢ Management audits and additional reporting requirements, and †¢ Restrictive covenants imposed by lenders, such as ceilings on the dividend payable or the maximum borrowings. To what extent does the agency theory problem invalidate the goal of maximising the value of the firm? In an efficient, highly competitive stock market, the share price is a fair reflection of investors ‘perceptions of the companys expected future performance. So agency problems in a large publicly quoted company will, before long, be reflected in a lower than expected share price. This could lead to an internal response, the shareholders replacing the board of directors with others more committed to their goals, or an external response, the company being acquired by a better-performing company where shareholder interests are pursued more vigorously. Corporate Social Responsibility Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is now on the global policy agenda, with the last 20 years having seen great strides forward inks. Domestically and internationally governmental, business and other organisations are getting involved with CSR initiatives. This relates to the fact that independent legal entities such as pension fund managers, institutional investors, private investors, green peace, and Christian churches are leading the way in attending annual general meetings of organisations, to ask tough and environmental questions concerning the conduct and performance of management within organisations. This has proved difficult to comprehend with in recent times for major organisations such as the Shell, Financial Times(1997), facing its shareholders on the grounds of its ethical approach on human rights grounds in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. At the European and UK domestic levels, the European Commission in 2002adopted a new strategy on CSR, and in the same year the UK government published its second national CSR report. The UK government has now also appointed a minister for CSR. Internationally, organisations such as the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have also taken the lead. Initiatives such as the UN Global Compact, theology Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, and the OECD voluntary guidelines for multinational enterprises now dominate the corporate agenda, thus making CSR important for organisations of all kinds, large and small alike Hopkins (2003). The emergence of business ethics and responsible action on the corporate agenda is, however, more a function of the growing awareness of the social, political, and environmental impact of the modern industrial enterprise. Many of the shifts in political attitudes towards firms, for example, reflect serious abuse by specific companies and specific business leaders. The misappropriation of pension funds, repression of workers in the Third World, environmental incidents, and even the bribery and corruption associated with deals to gain large government contracts is all issues which have hit the headlines over the last few years. One of the major sticking points with regard to the rise in shareholder activism is the fact that corporate decisions are linked to a set of business ethics, and that by considering the structures and procedures which define the ethics of an organisation we ought to be able to say something about the prospects and preconditions for corporate performance. These v arious stakeholders, whom the firm must consider, are its customers, suppliers, values on which stakeholders requirement are based can be, in themselves, contradictory. The traditional way of resolving these issues is for the organisation to assume primacy over individuals, allowing it to pursue objectives dictated by senior management subject to financial constraints imposed by owners and lenders. The notion of public trust is also becoming more important. A clear measure of how far we have come towards a more responsive and responsible business climate is indicates by the fact that if a firm violates public trust, then it is likely to be surpassed by its competitors, who will be eager to please customers by addressing their wants more accurately. Moreover, while the overwhelming majority of business dealings arena-controversial, any abuses increasingly receive considerable publicity, harming the image of business. Once a companys image has been damaged, it often takes a long time to reverse that damage. In order to remain economically active, organisations need to learn from their mistakes or from those of other organisations. They need to take care to avoid situations and actions that might harm their relationship with their various stakeholders. In the worst of all cases, where an organisation faces a catastrophe, suddenly and without warning, its whole market image and business strategy can be destroyed. Examples of such events are increasingly commonplace. For example, in the case of Union Carbide, when one of its chemical plants in Bhopal, India leaked 40 tons of toxic chemicals, the event had (and continues to have) a profound effect on the reputation of that company. Although the company quickly rushed aid to the victims, it was bitterly condemned for complacency and the loose controls that permitted the accident to happen in the first place. Environmental considerations are only one of many issues, which might be included under the umbrella of business ethics. They nevertheless constitute an issue, which has grown in importance. As a result of them any accidents and growing environmental damage caused by organisations, there have been increasing demands from consumers for firms to operate more ethically in this area. The consumer movement has fundamentally shaped and contributed to the significant increase in legislation and regulation at all levels of government. This has been aimed at preventing abuses in the marketplace and in the environment and, therefore, environmental management strategies are increasingly commonplace in leading organisations around the world. To date, however, environmental considerations have not been given enough attention within the framework of business ethics, because dominant ideologies are being shaped more by short-term financial considerations than by the need to do business in a sustain able way. Ethics also vary internationally, due to cultural differences that exist across borders. The Corporate Governance In recent years, there has been considerable concern in the UK and around the world about standards of corporate governance, the system by which companies are directed and controlled. While, in company law, directors are obliged to act in the best interests of shareholders, there have been many instances of boardroom behaviour difficult to reconcile with this ideal. There have been numerous examples of spectacular collapses of companies, often the result of excessive debt financing in order to finance ill-advised takeovers, and sometimes laced with fraud. Many companies have been criticised for the generosity with which they reward their leading executives. The procedures for remunerating executives have been less than transparent, and many compensation schemes involve payment by results in one direction alone. Many chief executives have been criticised for receiving pay increases several times greater than the increases awarded to less exalted staff. In the train of these corporate collapses and scandals, a number of committees have reported on the accountability of the board of directors to their stakeholders and risk management procedures. The principles of Good Governance and Code of Best Practice, which apply to all listed companies from 1999 onwards within the OECD countries, are mentioned below: †¢ Directors and the Board An effective board is required to lead and control the company. It should have a balance of executive and non-executive directors; no individual or group must dominate the board; running the board and running the business are separate activities; no individual has unfettered powers; timely and quality information is given to the board; clear procedures for appointments; re-election at least every three years. †¢ Directors remuneration Executive remuneration is linked to corporate and individual performance; directors are not involved in deciding their own remuneration. †¢ Relations with shareholders Encourage dialogue on objectives with institutional shareholders; seams to communicate with shareholders and encourage participation. †¢ Accountability Reports influencing share price to give a balanced, understandable assessment of the companys position and prospects; a sound system of internal control to safeguard shareholders interests and company assets. Chapter 4: Critical Analysis of Theoretical Perspectives and the Empirical Evidence Gathered In The Literature Review The critical analysis in this chapter covers all aspects relating the theoretical perspectives of agency theory, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance from published books and articles. An analysis is made as to whether there is any consistency from the published material as far gathered and the already established theories. Due to the lack of time attached to this paper the empirical evidence used is one that has been covered in the literature review. One could say that the issue from shareholder activism from an international perspective is one that has come about of recent. Thesis rectified by the new guidelines, which only came into effect in1999, within the OECD countries including Ireland, and in China, it is still seen as a very new concept. The issue of agency theory with regard to the objectives of management and shareholders still varies from country to country. It can be