PR manager to create awareness of a new product

PR manager to create awareness of a new product

DQ2: the CEO of your company has asked you, her PR manager to create awareness of a new product it is launching.  This is the first you’re hearing of the new product. According to your text and other research, Discuss the steps you would take in terms of  1) internal communication with management; 2) research; and, 3) contacting the media.  In your discussion, include the PR tools and strategies you would choose in each of the steps, and explain why you chose them.

Communication with CEO and Management

During the internal communication, I will sell the concepts of the new product to the senior management to get their commitment for the resources during the launch. Additionally, I will ensure I win the support of many departments to form part of the process of the product launch. For instance, designing, manufacturing, development, research, marketing and distribution (Cutlip et al, 2005)

Research Steps

  • Internal Company Research

During the internal communication research, I will do communication planning which entails gathering of information and analyzing the company and the situation. This will enable me draw the needed information for the product that will drive the decisions that may come later in the process of planning.

  1. Step1-I will do analysis of the situation to ensure all stakeholders of the new product are in agreement.
  2. Step 2-I will conduct analysis of the company. This will include the company’s internal environment, the public perception and the external environment
  3. Step 3-I will conduct analysis of the key publics which interacts with the company (Morley, 2008).
  • External Media Vehicles Research

I conducting the research on the external media vehicle, we will ensure the most popular media vehicles that reach many people, that is cheap cost wise and uses minimal staff of the company. The most popular media vehicles include the broadcast, the print media and the online media.

Communication with the Media

  • Do’s and Don’ts with the media.

Do’s

  1. Develop many newsworthy scenarios to showcase the message
  2. Build a good working relationship with the media
  3. Have a good kit for press like timely information on the company,management and sales figures
  4. Use every effort in spreading the word in all media rooms
  5. Keep promises especially on scheduled interviews

Don’ts

  1. Do not decide on the story the reporter should write even before getting the show
  2. Do not snub the little guys
  3. Do not pad the press kit with exaggerated information or gimmicks
  4. Do not hold a press conference with nothing newsworthy
  5. Do not make assumptions that the reporter knows everything of the company (McQuail, 2002).

What PR tools and strategies you’d use

  • Building awareness

Creation of awareness will make the potential market be interested in purchasing the new products. I will use the following tools in strengthening my efforts; press releases, press outreach, website updates, twitter announcements, endorsements and advertisements.

  • Building demand

I will use the following tools to create demand for the new product; email campaigns, referrals and tradeshows.

Media vehicles you would select and why

  • Online advertisement

Online advertisement will place adverts of the new product in the internet. With the large traffic number of the internet users, many will get to see our product and buy it online (McQuail, 2002).

  • Broadcast

Broadcast will entail radio and TV broadcast that reaches many viewers across a wide regional area. This will make the product popular in the area.

  • Print

The print media that will be used include the popular magazines, news papers and the Dailies. This will enable the information of the product to reach many people (McQuail, 2002).

References

Cutlip, S. M., Center, A. H., & Broom, G. M. (2005). Effective public relations. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall.

Morley, J. (2008). Launching a new product. London: Business Books.

McQuail, D. (2002). Media performance: Mass communication and the public interest. London: Sage Publications.

 

 

Preparation of Newly Graduated Nurses through Residency Programs and their role in Emergency Department

Newly graduated nurses

Preparation of Newly Graduated Nurses through Residency Programs and their role in Emergency Department

Nursing Training

Nursing is a type of health provision that looks into the management, coordination and delivery of care services using different programs within the domain of patient-care. Nurses use the nursing process to provide care for individual patients or defined population in different health facilities or hospitals. Nursing education begins with student have to either cover different levels in nursing education that starts from a Diploma, Degree and finally Baccalaureate degree in nursing. A diploma courses are is trained in hospital that offers sponsorship training programs just within the facility and in other cases a student works as an attaché. Baccalaureate students are well placed to receive advanced working positions such as tutoring diploma students, health-care administration and patient-care.

Nursing Action

Graduate nurses are usually ready to take up different challenges in health care whereby they can work in any department such as emergency rooms or administration. New RN graduates finds themselves getting direct employment without necessarily need for orientation to different working positions. Hence, nurses need to be competent with enough knowledge to assist then in using healthcare system whereby a nurse need to think about how to use then while administering to patients needs.

Role of Residency Programs in Promoting Nursing Competency

The residency programs has been helpful in promoting health in emergency departments as it highlights importance of creating a healthy public policy ,strengthening of nursing actions, development of personal skills and reorientation of health services (Nelson et al,. 2001). Graduate nurses in a public setting or in a community they are likely to promote health through mobilizing the communities, training on health related and environmental aspects that affects health and health policies. The promotion of nurses education is an important component of health practice in form of care is the ability to physically provide diagnostic services.

Retention of graduate nurses in the health facility not addressed the shortage of staff in hospitals and health centers dealing with facing different complications. Graduate specialists such as psychiatrists and nurses are often few in numbers compared to the population that requires their services in an emergency room. Therefore, many need to be trained for NLN competency to be able to handle different challenges in emergency rooms which are currently originating from lack of adequate personnel (Happel K, 2007). There is need for reform on fundamentals health system through education and change of governance in order to be in a position to offer better services. This way, practitioners will be able to address the aspect of changing service delivery in the health sector by making integrated care more accessible to the patients. Moreover, there is the need to improve the infrastructure in hospitals by hiring competent nurses to handle these facilities (Brady, 2009). More information should be given to trainees as it is believed that the stigma surrounding health is a cause for low level of health practitioners’ interested professional fields. With an adequate working force, the health system would be better equipped to deal with the emergency crisis. 

REFERENCES

Brady. W. (2009). Comparison of traditional and nontraditional new Graduate RN’s in a NICU (1st ed.)

Happell . K. (2007). Employment through residency program: A strategy to address the workforce crisis in Psychiatric Nursing. Psychiatric Nursing Archives, 21(3), 126-131.

Nelson. M. Olson & Yougn, L. Kleinsasser. A. (2001). Nursing Student Residency Program: a model for seamless transition from Nursing Student to R.N. Journal of Nursing Administration, 31(1), 40-48.

Marketing Analysis of CSR Corporation.

Marketing Analysis of CSR Corporation.

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.. 3

1.0.     INTRODUCTION.. 4

2.0 CSR’S IT7*2-BLUETOOTH STEREO HEADPHONES. 5

2.1. Aims and objectives. 6

2.2. The scope. 6

3.0. OPPORTUNITIES for the CSR Company. 7

3.1. Social responsibility. 7

3.2. Quality management 7

3.3. Investing partners. 8

4.0. CONSUMER BEHAVIOR.. 9

5.0. MARKETING STRATEGY.. 10

6.0. MARKETING MIX.. 12

7.0. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. 14

7.1 recommendations. 14

REFERENCES. 16

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This paper titled the marketing analysis of CSR, a global company that manufactures designs and distributed personal sound equipment. The company is credited for some the newest revolutionary technology in the form of personal sound equipment.

This paper analyses some of the internal and external challenges that face the company which has led the market in distribution of consumer sound applications and equipment. The paper summarizes some of the challenges such as market trends, changing technology, competition and environmental that the organization is exposed to in the industry. In addition, the paper discusses the consumer characteristics including behavior and psychology of the clients who come to the company.

The paper also discusses the details of applying the marketing mix which is the Four C’s, created by Schmizu. Furthermore, the paper analyses the market segmentation strategy, positioning and targeting for purposes of improving the product sales.

The study concludes that the CSR company:

  • Is a next generation company, with high chances of growing larger and becoming a benchmark in the industry
  • Leadership is vital for purposes of steering the company and its products towards maximum profitability.
  • Research is important in the market; to determine where there exists a gap to be filled by the company products.
  • The diversification of the CSR products, makes the company unique, thereby ensuring that clients are constantly treated to the newest and best technology available.

1.0.            INTRODUCTION

The CSR company is the focus of this paper, and specifically one of the newest and most profitable products of the company that is the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones.

The CSR Company is an internationally acclaimed developer and inventor of consumer electronics ranging from appliances used in the home to carry around appliances. The company is registered is Wales and England, where it is licensed to research into, develop and manage the distribution of the personal electronic appliances. The company founded by a group of creative innovators, has in the short while that it ahs existed become a leader in the industry (Calkins 2008).

According to Calkins (2008), the CSR Company is renowned for unveiling products with unmatchable technology, new and savvy in the market.  Its products employ dynamic technology continuously adapting with the market trends to ensure that the products are not only savvy but in fact serve the consumer better than previous products. Each product introduced by the company is an improvement to previous versions, meeting and resolving the challenges faced by clients with previous products.

Recently the company has expanded its interests to the voice applications, music and gaming applications. This expansion has included partnering, purchasing and acquiring companies involved in these developments (Calkins 2008).

2.0 CSR’S IT7*2-BLUETOOTH STEREO HEADPHONES

The blue tooth application is often used to connect devices such as smart phones and tablets for purposes of exchanging and sharing files and documents.

The IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones is enabled to work with both devices and can be used on low energy stereos.  The headphones work in much the same way as any blue tooth device, while allowing the consumer to listen to the stereo, they also allow for continued sharing of information from the devices in close range.  The low energy standard integrated into the device allows it to transform, recode and transfer files without needing much energy. The low energy use is a signature of the CSR Company allowing a variety of consumers who previously were deterred by the size of the Bluetooth devices it makes use of a more convenient version (Ferrell 2012).

The IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones, are equipped with the revolutionary home automation technology. This implies that they can automatically be used to select and record files, information such as programs, even when the home owner is not near the area. Home automation can be automatically set on the device and changed or edited to the tastes of the client.

Ferrell (2012) pointed out that the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones, is unique because of its size. Compared to other blue tooth headphones, this device is smaller and therefore easier to manage. The device can be easily transported in pockets and carried around when one is engaged in various activities. Its small nature makes it unique, and once gain a pioneer in the market for the CSR.

The CSR Bluetooth deices are renowned for their simplicity. Where other products making use of the Bluetooth smart application are much more complex, the CSR device is simple, easy to use. As such the customers are more attracted to using this device, which they can install, manage and run much easily (Ferrell 2012).

2.1. Aims and objectives

  • Provide background information on the CSR company
  • Educate on the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones produced and distributed by CSR
  • Understand and explore the marketing strategies employed by the company
  • Explore the nature of consumer behavior and trends in the market
  • Understand the social responsibility ventures undertaken by the company

2.2. The scope

This paper focuses itself on the CSR company and its product the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones.  This is the limit of the study. The paper does not explore in an in-depth manner any other products by the company or other companies related to CSR.

3.0. OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE CSR COMPANY

3.1. Social responsibility

Social responsibility has been identified as one the growing strategies for improving a company image. Consumers are willing to be associated with companies that are constantly involved in giving back to their community (Luther 2011). Companies that make huge profits and are not involved in improving the community surrounding them, find that they lose consumers and even employees. The CSR Company has invested heavily in ensuring that communities where the company is located has improved greatly. From the improvement of the local heritage such as management of zoos, to building of schools, the CSR Company is giving back to the communities around them.

Luther (2011) asserted that the social responsibility efforts of the company have diversified and grown in the recent past greatly, very much that the organization has established a department and budget to deal only with creating opportunities for social responsibility. The projects have been quite successful so that the company’s image is unequaled in the industry.

3.2. Quality management

The CSR Company has set up a quality management system which has been licensed with the ISO 9001. The quality management system is directed at ensuring that a mutually beneficial and satisfactory relationship exists between the customers and the company. The customer receives quality services from the company products which have been actively tested, and for which they are willing to pay. This in turn translates to high income and profits for the company (Luther 2011).

According to Westwood (2002), the quality management department is filled with experts who not only comprehend and understand the functional abilities of the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones, but are also in constant consultation with experts who understand the consumer and customer needs. In addition, the department ensures that the company enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with suppliers, receiving the best raw materials, at good prices and in time. Production is therefore not deterred by a lack of supplies.

3.3. Investing partners

Westwood (2002) indicated that the CSR Company is involved in partnering with high quality and successful companies with products that are easy to market. Revolutionary companies with high quality products are often sought for purposes of partnering and purchase of such products. Many of the products that have been invested by the CSR company have been supported with software and development products from purchased and partner companies.

The company leadership is able to identify the best companies to partner with, those companies with products that could easily jell with the products being offered by the company. With the company undertaking new ventures, there has been increased mergers and partnering with small, innovative and pioneer companies. Such mergers have allowed the CSR Company to venture even further into new markets and continue to be a leader within the industry (Calkins 2008).

4.0. CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

Understanding consumer behavior is important for companies, in turn to find out the best method to market its products, manage the products already in the marketplace and build up the right products for the clientele.  Consumer behavior refers to buyers’ reaction to the firm’s strategy and products (Calkins 2008).

Understanding the consumer behavior involves a three part process. The first stage of the process involves understanding how consumers come across their information. There are various channels for accessing information and if the CSR company is to market the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones, the marketing information must be placed in places where consumers are likely to see it.  For example, for some people, newspapers are a good source of information but with the advent of the internet they are fast being phased of in favor of online news (Calkins 2008). Therefore, the newspaper may not reach the required target market for the company.

The second stage involves understanding how consumers evaluate the product they are purchasing. This means understanding what consumers are looking for in the product that they would like to purchase, (Westwood 2002). Different consumers are concerned with different issues when purchasing the product. While some could be concerned with price, others could be more concerned with the features in the device. Understanding what consumers consider when purchasing a product means that the company can focus itself on ensuring that the product meets these requirements.

Ferrell (2012) indicates that the third stage of the process, involves influencing the purchasing decision of the consumer. While the previous two stages are concerned with creating background for the decision of purchase, this stage involves influencing the actual purchase. Sometimes the intention or desire to purchase the product, does not exactly mean or translate to the actual purchase. Once the consumer has evaluated all the alternatives, they pick the product that actually closely meets third needs.

5.0. MARKETING STRATEGY

The marketing strategy forms the foundation for the marketing plan. The company requires to choose the right strategy, in turn to make sure that the establishment is laid for the right marketing plan. Marketing strategies are not static, but they are in fact much more dynamic. They are required to change constantly, adapting to market trends (Ferrell 2012).

The CSR Company operates in a market that is constantly bombarded with new technology. The changes in technology that are happening at an astonishing speed, and therefore the company needs to adopt constantly. Consumers’ tastes and preferences are constantly changing and evolving themselves.

According to Ferrell (2012), the marketing strategy takes into consideration the internal and external market environment under which the company operates.  The internal factors affecting the sale of the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones, include the marketing mix employed by the company. On the other hand, the exterior or external factors include the consumer behavior, competition in the markets and the general economic environment that could easily influence the success of the product.

Since the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones are newly being introduced into the market, the company has two strategies to choose from and these are penetration and niche. With penetration, the company works to insert the product, setting it apart in the market from other products. Penetration is often much more aggressive, with the company employing advanced techniques which aggressively diminish the products that are of the competitor and highlight the advantages of the new product. In addition aggressive measures could also include severe price cuts to ensure mass sales. On the other hand, niche marketing involves marketing to specific clients. Ferrell (2012) the marketing is directed to clients who have much higher chances of purchasing the product. Niche marketing involves researching to understand the nature of clients who would be more open to purchasing the product, and therefore targeting these clients only. The company aggressively markets to this group of clients, with little attention being given to others.

5.1. Market Target

Luther (2011) observed that the market target will be identified through much consumer research. Targeting is important to the company so that the right marketing message can be created for the right people. Targeting allows the company to market to those customers who have a higher likelihood of going to purchase the products. Targets are chosen by identifying the following distinguishing characteristics:

Demographic characteristics, which are the common features found in a population such as gender and age. Each of these groups responds to different products and messages. It is important to identify who among them have a higher likelihood of buying the product and target that group (Luther 2011).

Socio-economic status: whereas for some products, the socio-economic status does not factor in, for luxury products, the socio-economic status is important. The company must ensure that the consumers being marketed to have the ability and resources to invest in their product. Otherwise the marketing tools and channels employed all do to waste.

Lifestyle: finally and most important is the consumer lifestyle that is the tastes and preferences of the consumer. These tastes and preferences , beliefs and attitudes define the consumer’s desire to engage with a particular company and purchase a particular product.

6.0. MARKETING MIX

The marketing mix that the CSR company employs for the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones product is virtually known as the four C’s by schimizu. Although not as popular as the Four P’s mix, this marketing mix has proved to be as unique as the product being offered by the CSR Company.

The fours C’s begins with designing the right commodity for sake. This means that the marketing mix begins with the product development, where the company ensures that it has the right product for the market, (Calkins 2008). Designing products that offer no unique value to the consumer end up frustrating the company in terms if low sales and therefore diminishing profits. The IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones have several advantages offered to the consumer, top among them being the size and simplicity of the device.

The second c, stands for the cost that is, pricing of the product. Even with the right product and its unique features, if the price of the product is wrong the sales will definitely be affected. The IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones, is not a necessity but a luxury product in today’s world. With the global economic trend heading downwards, many of consumers are watching how they spend their money. The company therefore has a responsibility to ensure that the consumers understand and feel that the process set by the company is right, (Luther 2011).

Thirdly, the four C’s marketing mix also considers the communication that is passing the right information in just the right way to the targeted customer. The IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones client needs not just to see the information, but understand and internalize the information being sent by the company. Communication involves creating the right message, using the right words so that the right information reaches the client. A breakdown in communication could cost the company a large number of clients. When clients misunderstand what the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones does for them, they end up frustrated and reduce their purchases not just of the product, but also other products in the company (Westwood 2002).

Finally, the last C in the mix stands for choosing and electing the right channel to ensure that the flow of goods is constant and timely.  Competitors for the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones are many, and should consumers find a way to access the company’s products faster and easier they are likely to stop purchasing the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones.  All channels of distribution should be properly explored and utilized to ensure that the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones are enough for consumers who are seeking them and that the process of acquiring them is easy (Westwood 2002).

7.0. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

CSR, is a revolutionary company that is progressing heavily instead in personal technology, with a wide range of products.  The organization employs a wide range of individuals who are talented who constantly develop new products that are advanced in technology terms.  The company is constantly changing and improving on previous products, ensuring that challenges faced with the previous products are resolved to the satisfaction of the clients.

Calkins (2008) indicated that the company enjoys a wide customer base. The variety of customers targeted by the company range in terms of demography, behavior and trends. The company with each product seeks to meet the needs of all these clients. The IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones, for example are suitable for each gender, coming colors and designs that are pleasing to both makes and females. In addition, they are also suitable for people of all ages, whether young or old.

The CSR Company proposes to employ a marketing mix which begins at product development, designing the product to satisfy the needs of the clientele, and thereby using this as the foundation for the marketing message. The marketing mix is also concerned with the right price, the right message and the right channel of distribution (Ferrell 2012).

7.1 Recommendations

The CSR Company requires investing slightly more in understanding the client behavior than expanding blindly. The technological industry and especially that concerned with personal and home use appliances are constantly affected by changing trends and preferences which the company should be able to predict in order to take advantage of the same.

The marketing mix requires that the company understands the proper channels through which they can maximize the sale of the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones.  Use of the wrong channel could lead to a shortage of the product and in turn affect the sales.

Finally the company leadership needs to invest properly in making sure that customers are provided with quality support even after they have purchased the IT7*2-bluetooth stereo headphones. This creates a ready market for improved versions of the same product.

REFERENCES

Calkins, T. 2008. Breakthrough Marketing Plans. Palgrave Macmillan

Ferrell, O. 2012. Marketing Strategy, Text and Cases: 6th Ed. Cengage Learning

Luther, W. 2011. The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement It. Green Press Publishers

Westwood, J. 2002. The Marketing Plan: A Step By Step Guide. Kogan Page

 

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Competing Values Framework

Competing Values Framework

Competing Values Framework

Introduction

The results from different studies, academic testing and researches for over 25 years shows that Competing Values Framework is a model that is broadly applicable and fosters leaders who are successful, improves effectiveness of an organization and promotes creation of value. Cameron et al (1999) adds that the Competing Values Framework premises contain four competing values within each enterprise: create, collaborate, control and compete. These values tend to compete in a sense for the organization’s limited resources such as time, funding and people.  How the organization’s leadership responds to the created tension between these competing values will eventually shape the practices, culture, products and innovation of the company.

According to Cameron (2006), the Competing Values Framework first emerged during the organizational culture and effectiveness research and ever since many studies has validated it. Organizational effectiveness concept is simple to understand but deceptive. Quinn (1990) asks how we know the effectiveness of an organization than the other. To satisfactorily answer this question, it is important to consider that not all organization leaders and organizations will reach a consensus on the meaning of the effectiveness of their organization. Moreover, how does culture of an organization get assessed and get to understand if one culture of an organization is different from another organization?

According to Belasen et al (2008), managers and different leaders of organizations confront regularly issues such as how to organize and utilize the resources, how to innovate and how to grow collectively and change as one system. Therefore, leaders must learn how to confront these and other related issues while also recognizing that doing so effectively and within the organizational cultures scope require the everyday’s tension’s awareness that is found within their own organizations. Thus, these positive tensions that are competing make up the Competing Values Framework (Cameron et al, 1999).

Cameron (2006) explains that the x- axis or the horizontal axis of the competing values  framework indicates  the organizational focus’ tension as reflected  in a contrast between person oriented and internal focus(towards left) and organization-oriented and external focus (upwards right). Similarly, the vertical axis or the y axis indicates differing perspective tension  on the structure of the organization as shown in a contrast between change and interest in flexibility(toward the top) and  control and an interest in stability(toward the bottom).

Furthermore, Quinn (1990) explains that every quadrant has two quadrants that are complementary-they are on the either sides, and one highly contrasted quadrant that is directly diagonal.

Competing Values Framework and individual outcomes

Belasen et al (2008) explains that the questionnaire for assessment has been developed within the competing values formwork to illustrate three dimensions. They include:

  1. The purposes or the future outcomes that an individual desires to achieve
  2. The current individual practices
  3. Approach of leadership of each individual of a team or an organization

According to Cameron et al (1999), people who are aligned among the dimensions of practices, purposes and people will be effective than individuals or managers who are not aligned at all. The Competing Values Framework illustrates various tensions in the way definition of effectiveness is done. Cameron (2006) further elaborates that the main message of Competing Values Framework is that despite the various ways of giving definition to individuals effectiveness, it is of great importance that people appropriately align themselves to their own definition of effectiveness. Once aligned, individuals can identify their sweet spot of innovation and realize positive outcomes they desire.

According to Quinn (1990), the assessment evaluates only three approaches to innovation, change and growth, that is the purposes, practices and people. It then aligns practices and behavior with the results desired. Belasen et al (2008) points out that if an individual fall the collaborative quadrant which emphasizes morale, cohesion, training and human resource. The quadrant further represents an intersection between person oriented and internal focus. The leadership type is a mentor, facilitator and a team builder and the value drivers are communication, commitment and development.

In the create quadrant, an individual focus broadly on picture and ideas, take risks and is very agile in their resources and actions they cultivate. The leader types are entrepreneur, innovator and visionary and the value drivers are transformation, innovative outputs and agility (Cameron et al, 1999).

The quadrant for compete emphasizes bottom line measures and profit and is underlined by rational action concept. It represents an intersection between individual oriented and external focus. Individuals in this quadrant do things quickly to gain immediately, focus heavily on making profits and acquire resources relentlessly to give them an advantage. The leader types are producer, competitor and hard driver (Cameron, 2006).

The control quadrant is an intersection between process oriented and internal focus. Individuals in this quadrant focus on continuous improvement minimize risks and are strategic in their resources and actions they cultivate. The leader types are organizer, monitor and coordinator and the value drivers are timeliness, effectiveness, uniformity and consistency.

My strengths and weaknesses from the Competing Values Framework assessment

After doing the personal assessment on Competing Values Framework, it showed that my strengths and weaknesses on leadership and managerial skills

My Strengths

  1. Mentor

From my personal assessment, it came out that being a good mentor is one of my strengths because of listening to the employees’ personal problems always. Moreover, treatment to every individual in the organization from me is always caring and sensitive. Similarly, concern and empathy is seen when listening or even dealing with the employees is always shown by me. Therefore, my mentorship roles come out clearly as the needs of the employees and problems are always listened to by me. 

  1. Facilitator

Facilitation is another of my discovered strengths in my possession. By constantly coming up with consensual resolution in the organization whenever an openly expressed difference among the employees is brought to me or comes to my attention. In such cases by holding open discussions among the groups with conflicting opinions often, examine the key differences among the employees or the group members then conclusively finding a solution with all the parties involved. Furthermore, by encouraging participation of every group member always when making of decisions in a group and lastly building consensus in the unit of work.

  1. Monitor

By keeping track of everything that goes around the work unit and ensuring that rules of compliance are adhered to by the employees makes monitoring one of my strengths. Furthermore, I always make comparisons on reports, record and immediately detect any discrepancy made in the documents in addition to checking of mistakes and errors in the reports.

  1. Producer

Another of my strengths discovered is being producer. This is because of always clarifying the importance of achieving the goals of work unit and pushing the organization to realize its objectives. Moreover, by seeking to improve the technical capacity of the work group and seeing that the organization delivers on the laid down goals. Furthermore, my dedication and strive to maintain the orientation of the results in the organization validates that strength. 

  1. Broker

Lastly, being a broker is one of strengths that came out after the Competing Value Framework assessment. This is because of exerting influence upward in the organization and freely getting access to the mangers of higher levels in the organization. Similarly, persuasively selling of my ideas to the higher leveled managers and influencing decisions at the higher levels is always easy for me.

Weaknesses

As much as discovery of my strengths came out, weaknesses that came out were in coordination, directing and innovation.

  1. Coordinator

The discovery was that am a poor coordinator because of never maintaining tight control on the logistics in addition to maintaining of a well organized and coordinated unit in the organization. Moreover, solving of the problem of scheduling in the work unit has been a problem. By never anticipating problems of workflow to avoid crisis in the organization and therefore, bringing coordination and sense of order in my work unit has been a problem.

  1. Director

From the assessment, the discovery was that one of weaknesses is being a poor director because of never clarifying the purpose of the unit continually and making the role of the unit very clear. Additionally, by never getting the unit to realize the goals expected. Furthermore, by never clarifying the direction and priorities of the unit and never clarifying the unit’s objectives regularly makes me a poor director.

  1. Innovator

By never come up with new inventive ideas therefore makes me less innovative. Furthermore, I rarely search for potential improvements and innovations for the organization. Furthermore, I rarely experiment with new procedures and concepts besides solving the problems in clear and creative ways.

What I can do to fix my weakness

In fixing and improving on my weaknesses, explanation of a cross functional concept to my team and should be done always to help members work effectively together. Furthermore, By trying to understand problems faced by the employees and the management principles of the work unit.

Similarly, it is important to learn how to set clear priorities when having any goals. Moreover, learning to develop measurable goals and learn to identify vertically or laterally that are not aligned in the organization should be done by me. Creation of action plans that are time specific to implement the goals and engage the employees always in the process of goal setting should be done by me.

References

Cameron, K. S., & Quinn, R. E. (1999). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based             on the competing values framework. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley.

Cameron, K. S. (2006). Competing values leadership: Creating value in organizations.     Cheltenham, UK: E. Elgar Pub.

Quinn, R. E. (1990). Becoming a master manager: A competency framework. New York: Wiley.

Belasen, A., & Frank, N. (March 07, 2008). Competing values leadership: quadrant roles and       personality traits. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 29, 2, 127-143. 

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CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE NEED TO BECOME A REFLECTIVE PRACTITIONER

CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE NEED TO BECOME A REFLECTIVE PRACTITIONER

CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE NEED TO BECOME A REFLECTIVE PRACTITIONER

As an employee, it is significant to continually seek ways to improve yourself. The skills and talent that you have, in the changing market can become outdated and in turn translate to less productivity (Wilson 1960). For each company, the human resource is perhaps the best essential and important asset of the organization. However, in order for an asset to continue bringing greater advantage and leading to potential business growth, it must continually develop, becoming more skilled and flexible (Academy of Human Resource Development 1999).

Unlike common belief, CPD is not a process that can be easily defined. In fact, the process is unique to each individual employee. Although employees maybe working together, in the Tesco branches, facing the same challenges and opportunities, the process of CPD according to Wexley & Hinrichs (1991) needs to be differentiated from other training and development needs. The company has developed a strategy where the individual employees, are able to evaluate their own work and skills so that they are able to become better and more productive.

How can Tesco help employees improve CPD and reflective learning

Reflective practice is the most vital part of CPD and includes two fundamental forms of reflection that is the reflection in action and reflection on action. The main difference arises from the time frame, reflection on action, is a backward look at situations, reactions and behavior in the past (Bratton & Gold 2000). Employees draw from the behavior and opt to change or improve for better service delivery. On the other hand, reflection in action requires the Tesco employees interacting with consumers, to think as they act. This is for the employees in the customer care department ho may need to continually explore their own behavior, reacting and attending to the current situation immediately (Torrington 1998).

The process of reflective practice and CPD involves various steps which have been taken into consideration by Tesco, the biggest retail company.

Feedback

As a retail business, Tesco encourages its own employees to continually seek and receive feedback from the clientele. Such feedback began as a process of helping the company improve on the timeliness and nature of service delivery (Brine 2005). However, today as employees interact more and more with clients, these same clients can be a good source of feedback on behavior and skills that the employees poses. The company needs to provide an environment where the clients are free enough to provide honest feedback to the employees, and where employees take this feedback as positive instead of completely negative. Criticism is not just a reflection on negativity, but an opportunity to improve (Brockbank & McGill 2006p.105).

Harris and Desimone (1994) indicated that Feedback is not only sought from the clients but also from fellow employees. Recent changes in the training and development strategy of the company has led to the introduction of sessions where employees can make positive suggestions to each other on behavior improvement. It is important to ensure that these sessions, however, do not turn into negativity and opportunities to criticize each other unconstructively. For this explanation, it is prudent to hire a professional to direct the feedback; however, once the employees have mastered the basic skills of feedback, these are translated into an everyday activity (Thomson & Mabey 1994).

Objective viewing of experiences

According to Verdict Research (2006p.381), Tesco employees face a wide variety of experiences daily.  A retail store deals with different clientele daily. The workers should be in a position to view their past experiences, objectively breaking them down in order to be able to learn from the same. For example, Swanson & Holton (2009) suggested that the employees can be trained to recall the experiences that they recently had with a customer on the retail zone or in the customer care department, even delivery of goods, then carefully observe and listen to exactly what they said thereby determining what they could have done better. This is a significant part of learning and improving behavior.

Mankin (2009) highlighted that this is one characteristic that also allows employees to develop empathy. They are able to experience emotionally and physically what their clients experienced and, therefore, plan on ways that they can be able to improve the experience of the clients, whether it is by making service delivery faster, easier, and more comfortable or by saying something differently. Companies whose employees have mastered this skill are often rated highly in terms of customer service.

Like developing a properly trained strategy, Stephpenson et al (2012) observed that there are times that the company may need to push and show employees how to reflective objectively. This may require some meetings, training session where the company employees are taken through some experience objectively. The human resource asset is completely based on the commitment of employees. The employees need the tools and resources to go through their past experiences objectively and learn from their mistakes as well as the opportunities that were presented to them (Dessler 2000).

Recording CPD lessons

According to Sergiovanni (1987), few companies understand the value of journal keeping among the employees. While it may seem like a trivial and small exercise, it is a vital stage in recording the lessons that have been learnt during the improvement exercise. Employees can easily learn something but after a while forget how and what they learnt exactly. With a journal, they are able to learn properly, remember bad recall experiences that have contributed to their own learning (Swanson and Holton 2009p.56).

Tesco has elaborate training departments where employees’ skills are improved and new behavior is installed.  With a journal, employees can be able to record exactly what they have learnt and incidences where the lessons have been used at work. This increases the sense of ownership, on the decisions and new characters developed over time (SchöN 1983).

As professionals employees have the task of ensuring that the employees’ skills and knowledge are updated. CPD journals help to keep them accountable so that they are able to make a reflection on what they have learned and situations here they have failed to apply the lessons that they have learned. Johns (2004p.119) recommended that periodically employees come together and do some reflections on what they have ;earned, how applicable the lessons have been and what can be done to improve the lessons in the future for easier application.

Importance of personal strengths

Tesco employs a wide variety of characteristics, skills and talents which differ among the employees. Where one employee is strong, the others may be quite weak. It is significant for employees to appreciate the value that they bring to the business. This works hand in hand with proper management. The managers need to recognize the achievements of the employees. This helps employees to be able to identify their own personal strengths, own them and use them to grow the business. It is important that individuals feel they have contributed and are contributing something to the company (Golding & Currie 2000).

The important thing to do is reflect on the lessons that have been learnt. Even with an elaborate training and skill development strategy such as that developed by Tesco, employees need to continually evaluate what they have learnt, reflecting on the past lessons and gaining new ones through this reflection.  Whereas traditionally and in most of the old time literature, focus more on learning from negative behavior. Thompson and Thompson (2007p.30) insisted on focusing more on incidences where employees were tested by clients, forgot their training, skills and talent and instead, gave in to their own emotions. However, recent breakthroughs in research have shown that the company also needs to focus employees on more positive events, where their skills and talents were put into good use. Even here employees achieved something they considered small, they should be able to reflect and focus on this times and draw lessons from the same. This way the employees are able to decrease and manage their weaknesses using the strength skills and talents that they already possess (Goldstein 1989p.51).

According to Swanson and Holton (2009), the Johns models Identify areas where the need for reflective practice becomes a vital part and leads to Continuing Professional Development. These areas are indicated below as:

  • Finding the experiences that are significant and important to the employees.
  • Identifying some of the personal markings that were developed from these experiences.
  • Identifying the intentions and personal goals of the employees.
  • Learning to empathize especially with clients and consumers
  • Recognizing the strengths, skills and talents of each individual employee
  • Linking the current situations to previous experiences that have reflected on the employee personality.
  • Creating new ideas and alternatives which can be used to improve future behavior
  • Looking at personal ways that the employee can help improve the experience of the clientele.

Added Value of the Organization

While there is a slight difference between CPD and reflective practice, being that reflective practice is the most essential part of CPD (Scaife 2010p.227). The significant thing to make note of is that the benefits for both are intertwined and related.  CPD and reflective practice improves the organization in the following areas:

First employees need to reflect on their own skills and talents to ensure that they are able to meet the demands that the job sets upon them (Harris & Desimone 1994). Tesco employees are hired for their skills and training, however, it may be hard for them to translate these skills into success at the job. For this reason, it is vital and important for them to remember how such characteristics can be applied to ease the job and to meet specific goals of the organization.

Humby, Hunt & Phillips (2008) asserted that employees also need CPD to ensure that their skills and knowledge remain relevant in the employment market. Tesco is operating in a market that is continuously changing, and for the company to remain relevant, its employees need to ensure that the skills they poses remain completely relevant at all times. The global economic trend and large competitors have bitten the dust, closed shop and been made irrelevant simply because the company lacked an environment that supported the change of the market (Noe 2006p.303). When employees continue to develop competitive skills in the market, the company is able to adopt better and continue to survive in an ever changing company (Megginson and Whittaker 2007p.213).

Noe (1999) observed that the retail market is flooded with competitors who are continuously developing new strategies to throw out giants such as Tesco. With the much competition, price cutting and other marketing strategies, it is important to maintain and remain as interesting and outstanding as it was before. At the beginning of the past decade, Tesco lost many of its clients to newer, tech-savvy and advanced companies (Jasper 2003p.327).  With CPD, employees have been able to make the company even more interesting, drawing even more interest than before.

Reflective practice and CPD greatly improves job satisfaction and reduces the flow of labor into and out of the company. Job satisfaction is hard for employees, but when the employees experience satisfaction with their work, and find it easy to complete the tasks assigned to them despite the challenges that they may be facing, they are able to become even more productive (Jefferson et al 2009p.112). The retail industry records one of the highest turnovers in the industry and it is important for Tesco to ensure that they remain below the required and profitable turnover level. This can only be achieved if employees show a high level of job satisfaction. A high index of job satisfaction, in fact, also attracts some of the best talents in the market. When a company is attracting the best talent in the market, then profits are assured as well as complete growth of the business (Nadler & Nadler 1989p.419).

The 360 degree appraisal by Tesco which is a vital part of feedback by stakeholders has not only ensured that the company employees are able to improve behavior but has indeed increased the publicity level of the company (Mondy et al 2005). Clients feel that they are appreciated and are part of the business growth. When clients are asked for feedback, they are more likely to return to the business continuously. They feel part of the business, and are glad to remain in a relationship with the business. Since the introduction of the 360 degree appraisal system, Tesco has seen so much growth and profits increase that it has become a benchmark not only for other retailing companies, but even other large international manufacturers (Johns 2004). The systems developed by the businesses works so well, that the customers who are loyal to Tesco are hard to move or even convince to pick up another retailer. The customers are proud to be related and associated with a company that continually seeks their opinion.

Stephpenson and Mills (2007p.229) observed that when employees are engaged in reflective practice they are able to put together a viable personal development plan, which the manager can in turn translate into a growth plan for the employee. The company is not able to support the employee well if they are unaware of where there is a need for improvement, which weaknesses need to be managed and which strengths need to reflect more on. Tesco’s options programme has seen even more growth of the employees than any other program in the business (Laird et al 2003). The options provided to the employees are in direct relation with the company goals. As the employees grow they are able to bring in better skills which ensure that the company remains not just active but highly competitive. Many researchers have shown that one of the reasons other companies are unable to reach the level of Tesco that the company employees are continuously growing and expanding their skills in the market, therefore brining the company to its own levels (Mankin 2009).

CONCLUSION

CDP and reflective thinking lead to personal development which in turn causes the individuals to be highly motivated. The retail business as Tesco has discovered can be highly monotonous with few challenges to incite excitement among the employees.  With personal development employees are able to deal with more challenging situations and take up more responsibilities in the business (Megginson & Whitaker 2007). They are able to create their own environment, requiring less supervision and follow up. Motivated employees are able to work by themselves meeting their goals and developing various strategies through which they can enjoy their skills and talents.

Not many companies understand the importance of reflective practice and CPD in the training and development of special skills by the employees. The growth of Tesco is highly dependent on a skilled and elaborate work force (Mondy et al 2005). Employees need to understand themselves in much the same way they will understand and value the company. Reflective behavior allows improvement of skills and development of new behavior which will ensure that the employees remain productive even in a changing environment. With the strong Tesco training structure, employees can take advantage to learn new lessons and skills, develop their own talents and enjoy high job satisfaction. In return the company would enjoy high standards of delivery service, which will not only ensure that the company maintains its current clients but also attain new ones (Verdict Research 2006).

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