Wednesday, July 31, 2019
According to Wayne K. Anderson, Dean, State University of New York, School of Pharmacy, Ã¢â¬Å"statistically, if you take six different drugs, you have an 80% chance of at least one drug-drug interaction. Ã¢â¬ The drug regimen of Mrs. Brown includes six drugs that may interact with each other if not administered and monitored carefully. This is the reason why healthcare providers should be aware of the possible adverse affects that may happen related to her drug regimen. Necessary precautions should be observed to get the full benefits of the needed drugs and minimize possible drug-drug interactions. Nursing Management Mrs. Brown has a history of seizure, therefore, necessary measures should be provided to ensure the patient's safety. It is also known that seizure is one of the many side effects of the drug metronidazole (Drugs. com, 2010). To prevent injury to patient, the nurse should provide comfort and safety measures if the CNS effect occurs such as siderails, and assistance with ambulation if dizziness and weakness are presentÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 170). Since Mrs. Brown has numerous risk factors and health conditions, the nurse should Ã¢â¬Å"monitor for drug-drug interactions to arrange to adjust dosages appropriatelyÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 47). The drug regimen of Mrs. Brown may present several adverse effects that should be observed, the nurse Ã¢â¬Å"monitor adverse effects and provide appropriate supportive care as needed to help patient cope with these effectsÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 347). To achieve therapeutic effects, it is also important that the nurse is aware how to Ã¢â¬Å"administer the drug as prescribed in appropriate relationship to mealsÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 572). The nurse should provide supportive management to the drug regimen so she should Ã¢â¬Å"monitor the patient's clinical status closely especially during the initial stages of treatmentÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 34). This includes daily monitoring of serum lithium and phenytoin levels, blood glucose, prothrombin time (PT) and hepatic functioning. It is essen tial to promote compliance to the patient. The nurse should Ã¢â¬Å"provide thorough patient teaching, including drug name and prescribed dosage, as well as measures for avoidance of adverse effects, warning signs that may indicate possible problems and the need for monitoring and evaluation to enhance patient knowledge about drug therapyÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 347). Some of the teaching points that should be included are any sign of blood loss ( petechiae,bleeding gums, bruises, dark colored stools, dark colored urine) to evaluate the effectiveness of warfarin and symptoms of phenytoin toxicity, including drowsiness, visual disturbances, change in mental status, nausea, or ataxia. Indications and Actions The indications and actions of Mrs. Brown's regimen is presented to help verify the purpose of the drugs and their effects on the overall condition of the patient. Metronidazole (Flagyl, MetroGel, Noritate) Metronidazole is used for the treatment of intestinal amebiasis, trichomoniasis, inflammatory bowel disease, H. pylori infection causing peptic ulcers, bacterial vaginosis, and anaerobic infections and perioperative prophylaxis in colorectal surgeryÃ¢â¬ (Kee & Hayes, 2006, p. 470). In this case, it is also used to treat abscesses in the pelvis caused by susceptible anaerobic bacteria. It is classified as Ã¢â¬Å"an antiprotozoal agent that acts to inhibit DNA synthesis in susceptible protozoa, leading it to unable to reproduce and subsequent cell deathÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006,p. 169). Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) Acetaminophen is indicated for the treatment of pain and fever associated with a variety of conditions, including influenza; for the prophylaxis of children receiving diptheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT) immunizations; and for the relief of musculoskeletal pain associated with arthritisÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 241). Paracetamol was prescribed for the presence of pain in the client's perineal area. Metformin (Glucophage) Ã¢â¬Å"Metformin is a biguanide compound used for the management of type 2 diabetesÃ¢â¬ (Kee & Hayes, 2006, p. 787). In this case, the patient was known to have diabetes. This medication could be considered as a new mechanism for the management of her type 2 diabetes. This oral diabetic agent Ã¢â¬Å"acts by decreasing hepatic production of glucose from stored glycogenÃ¢â¬ (Kee & Hayes, 2006, p. 787). It is said to diminish the increase in serum glucose after meals and lessen the degree of postprandial hyperglycemia. Phenytoin (Dilatin) Ã¢â¬Å"Phenytoin is the protoype hydantoin used in the treatment of tonic-clonic seizures and status epilepticus, as well as in the prevention and treatment of seizures after neurosurgeryÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 342). Since the patient has a history of seizure disorder, this medication was prescribed for maintenance. It acts as Ã¢â¬Å"an anticonvulsant drug that works by suppressing sodium influx through the drug binding to the sodium channel when it is inactivated, thus prolonging the channel inactivation and thereby preventing neuron firingÃ¢â¬ (Kee & Hayes, 2006, p. 341). Warfarin ( Coumadin) Ã¢â¬Å"Warfarin (Coumadin) is an anticoagulant drug in oral form that is used to maintain a state of anticoagulation in situations in which the patient is susceptible to potentially dangerous clot formationÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 38). The patient was given this medication since she has a history of atrial fibrillation that makes her susceptible to thrombus and embolus formation. The drug Warfarin inhibits the formation of thrombus and embolus formation by decreasing certain clotting factors. Ã¢â¬Å"Warfarin causes a decrease in the production of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors (II [prothrombin], V II, IX and X) in the liverÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 740). Lithum Carbonate Ã¢â¬Å"Lithium is used as a mood stabilizers which is used to treat bipolar affective disorderÃ¢â¬ (Key & Hayes, 2006, p. 399). Mrs. Brown has a bipolar mood disorder so this drug was prescribed to control her periods of mania and depression. It is said to function in several ways, Ã¢â¬Å"it alters sodium transport in nerve and musle cells; inhibits the release of norepinephrine and dopamine, but not serotonin, from stimulated neurons; increases the intraneuronal stores of norepinephrine and dopamine slightly; and decreases intraneuronalcontent of second messengersÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 330). Common Drug Interactions Drug to Drug Interactions Metronidazole (Flagyl, MetroGel, Noritate) This drug is known to produce interactions with phenytoin, oral coagulants and lithium. Ã¢â¬Å"Coadministration with a nitromidazole may increase the serum concentration of phenytoinÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). It is known to induce microsomal liver enzyme activity such as phenytoin that may accelerate the elimination of metronidazole resulting in reduced plasma; impaired clearance of phenytoin has been reportedÃ¢â¬ (DailyMed, 2009). In this case, pharmacologic responses and serum phenytoin should be checked frequently whenever metronidazole is being administered to the patient. The drug dosage should be adjusted as necessary. Another thing to do is to educate the patient the signs and symptoms of phenytoin toxicity for immediate physician notification. Ã¢â¬Å"Metronidazole has been reported to potentiate the anticoagulant effect of warfarin and other oral coumarin anticoagulants, resulting in a prolongation of prothrombin timeÃ¢â¬ (DailyMed, 2009). Mrs. Brown should be advised to report any signs of bleeding to her physician. INR should be checked frequently for adjustments in warfarin dosage, specifically after starting or discontinuing metronidazole. And lastly, lithium is said to produce interactions when administered with metronidazole. Ã¢â¬Å"Concurrent use of metronidazole with lithium may provoke lithium toxicity due to reduced renal clearanceÃ¢â¬ (Rxlist, 2010). Since Mrs. Brown has a bipolar mood disorder, lithium is a long drug regimen. The serum lithium and creatinine levels should be monitored after the initiation of metronidazole. Phenytoin (Dilantin) Besides the impaired clearance of phenytoin with the use of metronidazole, there are other drug interactions that can happen in reference to Mrs. Brown's drug regimen. It is said that Phenytoin can increase the effects of anticoagulants. Ã¢â¬Å"The hydantoins displace the anticoagulants and aspirin, causing more free drug and increasing their activityÃ¢â¬ (Kee & Hayes, 2006, p. 342). Still, it is important to check on the prothrombin time (PT), phenytoin level and prothrombin time of the patient during the administration of both drugs. Ã¢â¬Å"Signs of an active bleed include coughing up blood in the form of coffee grinds (hemoptysis), gum bleeding, nose bleeds, cola- or tea-colored urine (hematuria), and black, tarry stools (hemoccult positive)Ã¢â¬ . Brown should be observed and notified to the physician. It is also said that the use of phenytoin can lead to Ã¢â¬Å"increased hepatotoxicity with acetaminophenÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 952). Lithium interacting with Phenytoin Ã¢â¬Å"may either increase or decrease the effectiveness of lithium or increase or decrease the effectiveness of the drugÃ¢â¬ (Raber, 2010). Phenytoin level and lithium serum level should be checked frequently to monitor the effectiveness of these drugs. Warfarin (Coumadin). Aside from the drug interactions of warfarin to both Metronidazole and Phenytoin, there is an existing interaction between Metformin and Warfarin. It is said that Metformin Ã¢â¬Å"oral hypoglycemic drugs for diabetes can displace warfarin or dicumarol from the protein-bound site, causing more free-circulating anticoagulantÃ¢â¬ (Kee & Hayes, 2006, p. 663). Due to this possible interaction, it is important to monitor the blood glucose level and prothrombin time (PT). The patient should be informed of the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and bleeding so that she could report it to the health care team immediately. Warfarin also interacts with paracetamol (acetaminophen); it said that Ã¢â¬Å"some investigators advise that the hypothrombinemic response to warfarin can increase when acetaminophen is taken in a dosage of more than 2 g per day for longer than one weekÃ¢â¬ (Ament, Bertolino & Liszewski, 2000). Since Mrs. Brown has a prescription of 1000mg to be taken four times a day, her dosage is more than 2g per day. Ã¢â¬Å"If acetaminophen therapy is needed, the dosage should be as low as possible, and the drug should be taken for only a short period. In addition, the INR should be monitored closelyÃ¢â¬ (Ament et al. 2000). Metformin (Glucophage) Meformin has moderate drug interaction with the drug Phenytoin. It is said to diminish the efficacy of oral diabetic agents and insulin. Ã¢â¬Å"These drugs may interfere with blood glucose control because they can cause hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, new-onset diabetes mellitus, and/or exacerbation of preexisting diabetesÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). There should be close monitoring of Mrs. Brown's blood glucose level in order to observe hypoglycemia in the patient. Lithium (Eskalith) Lithium has drug interactions with Metronidazole and Phenytoin. It is also established that lithium may diminish the therapeutic effects of insulin and oral anti-diabetic agents. Ã¢â¬Å"In one study, 10 psychiatric patients treated with lithium carbonate for 2 weeks demonstrated elevated blood glucose levels and impaired glucose tolerance tests. There have also been isolated case reports of hyperglycemia, impaired glucose tolerance, or diabetes mellitus in patients on lithium, although a causal relationship has not been establishedÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). The blood glucose level should be checked frequently after starting or discontinuing lithium therapy. Drug to Food, Drug to Herbal, Drug to OTC drugs Interactions Metronidazole Metronidazole has a significant interaction with ethanol. Ã¢â¬Å"Use of alcohol or products containing alcohol during nitroimidazole therapy may result in a disulfiram-like reaction in some patientsÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). Necessary precautions should be made in relation to use of ethanol and ethanol-containing products. Mrs. Brown should be instructed not to take alcohol beverages and alcohol-containing products. It is said that Ã¢â¬Å"alcohol beverages should not be consumed for at least a day after completion of metronidazole therapyÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. om). Metronidazole has an interaction to the herb milk thistle. Ã¢â¬Å"Milk thistle has been reported to protect the liver from harm caused by some prescription drugs. While milk thistle has not yet been studied directly for protecting people against the known potentially liver-damaging actions of metronidazole, it is often used for this purposeÃ¢â¬ (Morazz oni & Bombardelli, 1995). Phenytoin Phenytoin has moderate interaction with alcohol and food. The effects of alcohol on the therapeutic level of Phenytoin depend on the duration of its consumption. Ã¢â¬Å"Acute consumption of alcohol may increase plasma phenytoin levels. Chronic consumption of alcohol may decrease plasma phenytoin levelsÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). Phenytoin (oral drug) could be given with or without food in a consistent manner. Give with food if patient complains of GI upset ( Karch, 2007). The bioavailability of Phenytoin is said Ã¢â¬Å"to decrease to subtherapeutic levels when the suspension is given concomitantly with enteral feedingsÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). Antacids containing calcium may decrease the blood level of phenytoin while aspirin (more than 1500 mg/dl) may increase the blood level of phenytoin (Epilepsy. om, 2010). Phenytoin also will lower the blood levels of other types of medication like acetaminophen (Epilepsy. com, 2010). Warfarin Patients taking Warfarin should not take Vitamin K-rich foods like Ã¢â¬Å"liver, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, Swiss chard, coriander, collards, cabbage, and other green leafy vegetablesÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com). There are also particular medicines that should not be taken for they m ay cause serious bleeding problems in the stomach and intestines and alterations in blood clotting. These particular medicines are as follows: Ã¢â¬Å"acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, and NSAIDs including celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), indomethacin, naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn),and othersÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). It is also said that the patient should Ã¢â¬Å"avoid eating cranberries, drinking cranberry juice, or taking cranberry herbal productsÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). Warfarin can interact with the following herbal products: Ã¢â¬Å"garlics, gingko biloba, ginseng or St. John's wortÃ¢â¬ . (Drugs. com, 2010). Metformin Drugs that can raise the blood sugar affecting the use of Metformin include medicines to treat colds and allergies while drugs that lower blood sugar include some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, and sulfa drugs (Bactrim)Ã¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). Alcohol should also not be taken concomitantly with this drug. Ã¢â¬Å"Alcohol lowers blood sugar and may increase the risk of lactic acidosis while taking this drugÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). There could be increased risk for hypoglycemia if the drug is taken with Ã¢â¬Å"juniper berries, ginseng, garlic, dandelion root and celeryÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 58). Lithium Patients taking lithium carbonate should Ã¢â¬Å"avoid drinking large amounts of coffee, tea, or cola, which can cause dehydration through increased urinationÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). Besides having interactions with other drugs in the patient's regimen, lithium also interacts with over-the-counter drugs. Ã¢â¬Å"If Eskalith is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugsÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). Ã¢â¬Å"Patients being treated with lithium should be encouraged not to use the herbal therapy psyllium. If combined with lithium, the absorption of the lithium may be blocked and the patient will not receive therapeutic levelÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 333) Possible Adverse Reactions and Nursing Interventions Metronidazole Ã¢â¬Å"Convulsive seizures have been reported in patient treatment with metronidazoleÃ¢â¬ (DailyMed, 2009). Necessary seizure precautions should be implemented. Mrs. Brown has a history of seizure; this is why the healthcare team should take necessary adjustments to the dosage of metronidazole. Aside from this major adverse reaction, the patient can develop Ã¢â¬Å"unpleasant metalic taste, nausea, vomiting and diarrheaÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 86). Nursing care for strange metallic taste should be Ã¢â¬Å"frequent mouth care, sucking sugarless candiesÃ¢â¬ , and for nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, the patient should be advised to Ã¢â¬Å"eat frequent small mealsÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 786). In the case of Mrs. Brown, complains of discomfort in her buttocks, pain in per ineal area and offensive odor could mean that she developed cadidiasis as Ã¢â¬Å"known or previously unrecognized candidiasis may present more prominent symptoms during therapy with metronidazoleÃ¢â¬ (DailyMed, 2009). Treatment with candidicidal agent should be instituted to the patient. Other adverse effect can be Ã¢â¬Å"disulfiram-like interaction with alcoholÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 786). The patient should be always reminded of precautions on ingesting alcohol and alcohol-containing products. Phenytoin Ã¢â¬Å"Nausea,vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and gingival hyperplasiaÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2009, p. 951) could be present in patients taking Phenytoin. The nurse should Ã¢â¬Å"arrange instruction in proper hygiene technique for long-term patients to prevent development of gum hyperplasiaÃ¢â¬ , Ã¢â¬Å"take drug with food, eat frequent small mealsÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 953). Among the other common adverse effects are Ã¢â¬Å"dizziness ,drowsiness, confusion and headacheÃ¢â¬ . The patient should be advised to Ã¢â¬Å"avoid performing tasks requiring alertness and visual acuityÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 953). Warfarin The common adverse effects of Warfarin are Ã¢â¬Å"nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, diarrhea and hemorrhageÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007,p. 1216). Nurse should advise the patient to Ã¢â¬Å"avoid any situations in which she could be easily injured. Ã¢â¬ Necessary care should be provided to avoid bleeding in the patient like Ã¢â¬Å"not giving any IM injectionsÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 1217). The patient should also be asked to Ã¢â¬Å"report unusual bleeding (from brushing teeth, excessive bruising), black or bloody stools, cloudy or dark urineÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 1218). Metformin The most significant possible adverse effects of this drug are Ã¢â¬Å"hypoglycemia and lactic acidosisÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 758). The nurse should Ã¢â¬Å"monitor blood for glucose and ketonesÃ¢â¬ or Ã¢â¬Å"should ask the client any sign of hypo- or hyperglycemic reactionsÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 758). There could also be Ã¢â¬Å"signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throatÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. om, 2010). In this case, it is necessary to Ã¢â¬Å"stop the medication and report to the physicianÃ¢â¬ (Drugs. com, 2010). Lithium The common side effects of Lithium involves CNS manifestions such as Ã¢â¬Å"lethargy, slurred speech, muscle weakness and fine hand tremor; GI manifestions such as nausea, vomiting , diarrhea, thirst; GU effect is polyuriaÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 704). It is important to instruct the client to Ã¢â¬Å"report any signs of toxicity such as diarrhea, vomiting, tremor, drowsiness, muscle weaknessÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 705). The patient should also be prohibited or Ã¢â¬Å"avoid driving or performing tasks requiring alertnessÃ¢â¬ and should be instructed to Ã¢â¬Å"eat frequent small mealsÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 705). Health Education Metronidazole It is impotant to instruct the client to Ã¢â¬Å"not drink alcohol (beverages or preparations containing alcohol, cough syrups)Ã¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 786). The nurse should also mention to the client that she may experience Ã¢â¬Å"urine with darker color , dry mouth with strange metallic taste, nausea, vomiting and diarrheaÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 786). Intervention to relieve these side effects should be taught like Ã¢â¬Å"frequent mouth care, sucking sugarless candies for dry mouth; eating frequent small meals for nausea, vomiting and diarrheaÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 786). Phenytoin Patients taking Phenytoin should be advised to Ã¢â¬Å"take this drug exactly as prescribed with food to reduce GI upset or without food Ã¢â¬â but maintain the consistencyÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 953). Mrs. Brown should be advised to Ã¢â¬Å"not discontinue this drug abruptly or change dosage, except on advice of health care providerÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007,p. 953). Since Mrs. Brown has diabetes, it should be advised that she should Ã¢â¬Å"monitor blood or urine sugar regularly, and report any abnormality to health care providerÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 953). She should be advised that she should Ã¢â¬Å"maintain good oral hygiene to prevent gum disease and arrange frequent dental checkupsÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 953). Warfarin It should be advised to the patient to Ã¢â¬Å"not start or stop taking any medication without consulting her health care providerÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 1217). She should Ã¢â¬Å"carry or wear a medical ID tag to alert emergency medical personnel about the drugÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 218). She should be instructed to Ã¢â¬Å"avoid situations that may cause injury and have periodic blood tests to check on drug actionÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 1218). Lastly, the patient should be instructed to Ã¢â¬Å"report unusual bleeding, black or bloody stools and cloudy or dark urineÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 1218). Metformin Some of the instructions t hat should be given to the patient are Ã¢â¬Å"not to discontinue the medication without consulting health care provider and avoid using alcohol while taking the drugÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 758). She should also be advised to Ã¢â¬Å"monitor blood for glucose and ketones and report any hypo-or hyperglycemia reactionsÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 758). Lithium Health teaching about this drug should include the following: Ã¢â¬Å"take the drug exactly as prescribed, after meals or with food or milk; eat a normal diet with normal salt intake and maintain adequate fluid intake and arrange for frequent checkups including blood testsÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2007, p. 705). Mrs. Brown has numerous risk factors and health conditions that may produce drug interactions that may worsen her health. It is known that Metronidazole can produce seizures as its side effect. Considering this, safety precautions should be made since she has a history of seizure. This drug can also impair the clearance of the drug Phenytoin in her system and potentiate the anticoagulant effects of Warfarin. These things should be monitored by the healthcare team for them to make necessary adjustments. Phenytoin can also increase the anticoagulant effect of Warfarin and may either increase or decrease the efficacy of lithium. Necessary drug dosage adjustments should be made to minimize these interactions. Daily blood glucose monitoring should be done and symptoms of hypo- or hyperglycemia should be reported. This is necessary because Warfarin can increase the effects of oral diabetic agents such as Metformin. However, Phenytoin and Lithium can diminish the efficacy of this drug. Thus, it is really important to monitor the client's clinical status and the possible adverse effects of the drug regimen. It is also important to Ã¢â¬Å"offer support and encouragement to help the patient cope with the drug regimenÃ¢â¬ (Karch, 2006, p. 334).
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Pandemonium. Elena whipped her head up, confused as to whether she was supposed to be the repentant slave any longer. The community leaders were all babbling at one another, pointing fingers, throwing up their hands. Damon had physically restrained the Godfather, who seemed to regard his part in the ceremony as concluded. The crowd was hooting and cheering. It looked as if there would be another fight; this time between Damon and the Godfather's men, especially the one called Clewd. Elena's head was whirling. She could catch only disjointed phrases. Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â only six strokes and promised me that I could administer Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬ Damon was shouting. Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â really think that these little flunkies tell the truth?Ã¢â¬ someone else Ã¢â¬â probably Clewd Ã¢â¬â was shouting back. But isn't that exactly what the Godfather was, too? Just a bigger, more frightening, and, undoubtedly, more efficient flunky who reported to someone higher up, and didn't cloud his mind with dope-smoke? Elena thought; and then ducked her head hastily as the fat man glanced toward her. She could hear Damon again, this time clearly above the hubbub. He was standing by the Godfather. Ã¢â¬Å"I had believed that even here there was some honor once a bargain was struck.Ã¢â¬ His voice made it obvious that he no longer thought negotiations were possible and that he was about to go on the attack. Elena tensed, horrified. She had never heard such open menace in his speaking voice. Ã¢â¬Å"Wait.Ã¢â¬ It was in the Godfather's lackadaisical tones, but it caused an instant of silence in the babble. The fat man, having removed Damon's hand from his arm, turned his head back toward Elena. Ã¢â¬Å"I will waive, for my part, the participation of my nephew Clewd. Diarmund, or whoever you were, you are free to punish your own slave with your own tools.Ã¢â¬ Suddenly, surprisingly, the old man was brushing bits of gold out of his beard and speaking directly to Elena. His eyes were ancient, tired, and surprisingly discerning. Ã¢â¬Å"Clewd is a master at whipping, you know. He has his own little invention. He calls it the cat's whiskers and one blow can flay the skin from neck to hip. Most men die from ten lashes. But I'm afraid he'll be disappointed today.Ã¢â¬ Then exposing surprisingly white and even teeth, the Godfather smiled. He extended to her the bowl of golden sweetmeats he'd been eating. Ã¢â¬Å"You might as well taste one before your Discipline. Go on.Ã¢â¬ Afraid to try one, afraid not to, Elena took one of the irregular pieces and popped it in her mouth. Her teeth crunched pleasantly. A walnut half! That's what the mysterious sweets were. A delicious half walnut dipped in some kind of sweet lemon syrup, with bits of hot pepper or something like that clinging to it, all gilded with that edible gold stuff. Ambrosia! The Godfather was saying to Damon, Ã¢â¬Å"Do your own Ã¢â¬Ëdiscipline,' boy. But don't neglect to teach the girl how to cover her thoughts. She has too much wit to be wasted here in a slum-brothel. But then why do I not think she wishes to become a famous courtesan at all?Ã¢â¬ Before Damon could answer or Elena look up from her genuflection, he was gone, carried by palanquin bearers to the only horse-drawn carriage Elena had seen in the slums. By now the arguing, gesticulating civic leaders, egged on by Young Drohzne, had come to a sullen agreement. Ã¢â¬Å"Ten lashes, and she need not strip, and you may give them,Ã¢â¬ they said. Ã¢â¬Å"But our final word is ten. The man who negotiated with you has no more power to argue.Ã¢â¬ Almost casually, one lifted by a tuft of hair a bodiless head. Absurdly, it was crowned with dusty leaves in anticipation of the banquet after the ceremony. Damon's eyes flared with true rage that set objects around him vibrating. Elena could feel his Power like a panther rearing back against a leash. She felt as if she were speaking against a hurricane which cast every word back into her throat. Ã¢â¬Å"I agree to it.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"What?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"It's over, Da Ã¢â¬â Master Damon. No more yelling. I agree.Ã¢â¬ Now, as she prostrated herself on the carpets before Drohzne, there was a sudden keening of women and children and a fusillade of pellets aimed Ã¢â¬â sometimes badly Ã¢â¬â at the smirking slave owner. The train of her dress was spread behind her like a bride's, the pearl overskirt making the underskirt a shimmering burgundy in the eternal red light. Her hair had fallen free of its high knot, making a cloud around her shoulders that Damon had to part with his hands. He was shaking. From fury. Elena didn't dare look at him, knowing that their minds would rush together. She was the one who remembered to say her formal speech before him and Young Drohzne so this entire farce would not have to be reenacted. Say it with feeling, her drama teacher, Ms. Courtland, had always excoriated the class. If there was no feeling in you there could be none in the audience. Ã¢â¬Å"Master!Ã¢â¬ Elena shouted in a voice that was loud enough to be heard above the women's lamentations. Ã¢â¬Å"Master, I am but a slave, not fit to address you. But I have trespassed and I accept my punishment eagerly Ã¢â¬â yea, eagerly, if it will restore to you but one hairsbreadth of the respectability you enjoyed before my unwonted evildoing. I beg you to punish this disgraced slave who lies like discarded offal in your gracious path.Ã¢â¬ The speech, which she had shouted in the unvarying glassy tones of someone who had been taught each word by rote, hadn't actually needed to be more than four words, Ã¢â¬Å"Master, I beg forgiveness.Ã¢â¬ But no one seemed to have recognized the irony that Meredith had put into it, or to find it amusing. The Godfather had accepted it; Young Drohzne had already heard it once, and now it was Damon's turn. But Young Drohzne wasn't finished yet. Smirking at Elena, he said, Ã¢â¬Å"Here's where you find out, Missy. But I want to see that ash rod before you use it!Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â stumbling to Damon. A few practice swishes and blows to the cushions surrounding them (which filled the air with ruby-colored dust) satisfied him that the rod was all that even he could want. Mouth visibly watering, he settled on the gold couch, taking in Elena from head to toe. And finally the time had come. Damon couldn't put it off any longer. Slowly, as if every step was part of a play that he hadn't rehearsed properly, he sidled alongside Elena to get an angle. Finally, as the gathered crowd became restless, and the women showed signs of losing themselves in drink, rather than in keening, he picked his spot. Ã¢â¬Å"I ask forgiveness, my master,Ã¢â¬ Elena said in her no-expression voice. If left to himself, she thought, he wouldn't even have remembered the necessities. Now, indeed, was the time. Elena knew what Damon had promised her. She also knew that a lot of promises had been broken that day. For one thing, ten was almost twice six. She wasn't looking forward to this. But when the first blow came, she knew that Damon wasn't one of the promise-breakers. She felt a dull thud, and a numbness, and then, curiously, a wetness which had her glancing up through the latticework of boards above them for clouds. It was disconcerting to realize that the wetness was her own blood, spilled without pain, running down her side. Ã¢â¬Å"Make her count them,Ã¢â¬ Young Drohzne slurred in a snarl, and Elena said Ã¢â¬Å"OneÃ¢â¬ automatically, before Damon could put up a fight. Elena went on counting in the same clear, unaffected voice. In her mind she wasn't here, in this foul-smelling horrible gutter at all. She was lying with her elbows propped up to support her face, and looking down into Stefan's eyes Ã¢â¬â those spring-green eyes that would never be old, no matter how many centuries he accumulated. She was dreamily counting for him, and ten would be their signal to jump up and begin the race. It was raining gently, but Stefan was giving her a handicap, and soon, soon she would scramble off him and run away through lush green grass. She would make this a fair race and really put her muscle into it, but Stefan, of course, would catch her. Then they would go down on the grass together, laughing and laughing as if they were having hysterics. As for the vague, far-off sounds of wolflike leers and drunken snarls, even they were gradually changing. It all had to do with some silly dream about Damon and an ash rod. In the dream, Damon was swinging hard enough to satisfy the most exacting of onlookers, and the blows, which Elena could hear in the increasing silence, sounded more than hard enough, and made her feel a bit nauseated when she reflected that they were the sound of her own skin splitting, but she felt no more than dull cuffs up and down her back. And Stefan was drawing up her hand to kiss! Ã¢â¬Å"I'll always be yours,Ã¢â¬ Stefan said. Ã¢â¬Å"We belong together every time you dream.Ã¢â¬ I'll always be yours, Elena told him silently, knowing he would get the message. I may not be able to dream of you all the time, but I am always with you. Always, my angel. I'm waiting for you, Stefan said. Elena heard her own voice say Ã¢â¬Å"Ten,Ã¢â¬ and Stefan kissed her hand again and was gone. Blinking, bewildered, and confused by the sudden inrush of noises, she sat cautiously up, looking around. Young Drohzne was hunched into himself, blind with fury, disappointment, and more liquor than even he could stand up under. The wailing women had long ago gone silent, awed. The children were the only ones who still made any noise, climbing up and down on the boards, whispering to one another and running if Elena should happen to glance their way. And then, with an entire lack of ceremony, it was over. When Elena first stood up the world made a complete double circle around her and her legs folded. Damon caught her, and called to the few young men still conscious and inclined to look at him, Ã¢â¬Å"Give me a cape.Ã¢â¬ It wasn't a request, and the best-dressed of the men, who seemed to have been slumming, tossed him a heavy cape, black, lined with greenish blue, and said, Ã¢â¬Å"Keep it. The performance Ã¢â¬â marvelous. Is it a hypnotist's act?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"No performance,Ã¢â¬ Damon snarled, in a voice that stopped the other slummers in the act of holding out business cards. Ã¢â¬Å"Take them,Ã¢â¬ Elena whispered. Damon snatched up the cards in one hand, ungraciously. But Elena forced herself to toss the hair off her face and smile slowly, heavy-lidded, at the young men. They smiled somewhat timidly back. Ã¢â¬Å"When you Ã¢â¬â ah Ã¢â¬â perform againÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You'll hear,Ã¢â¬ Elena called to them. Damon was already carrying her back to Dr. Meggar, surrounded by the inevitable entourage of children plucking at their cloaks. It was only then that it occurred to Elena to wonder why Damon had asked for a cloak from some strangers, when he, in fact, was already wearing one. Ã¢â¬Å"They will be having ceremonies somewhere, now that there are this many of them,Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers said in genteel distress as she and Matt sat and sipped herbal tea in the boardinghouse parlour. It was dinnertime, but still quite light outside. Ã¢â¬Å"Ceremonies to do what?Ã¢â¬ Matt asked. He had never made it to his parents' house since he'd left Damon and Elena more than a week ago to come back to Fell's Church. He'd stopped by Meredith's house, which was on the edge of town, and she'd convinced him to come by Mrs. Flowers's first. After the conversation the three of them had had with Bonnie, Matt had decided it was best to be Ã¢â¬Å"invisible.Ã¢â¬ His family would be safer if no one knew that he was still in Fell's Church. He would live at the boardinghouse, but none of the children who were making all the trouble would realize that. Then, with Bonnie and Meredith safely gone to meet Damon and Elena, Matt could be a sort of secret operative. Now he almost wished he'd gone with the girls. Trying to be a secret operative in a place where all the enemies seemed to be able to hear and see better than you could, as well as to move much faster, hadn't turned out to be nearly as helpful as it had sounded. He spent reading most of the time the Internet blogs that Meredith had marked, looking for clues that might do them some good. But he hadn't read of the need for any kind of ceremonies. He turned to Mrs. Flowers as she thoughtfully sipped her tea. Ã¢â¬Å"Ceremonies for what?Ã¢â¬ he repeated. With her soft white hair and her gentle face and vague, amiable blue eyes, Mrs. Flowers looked like the most harmless little old lady in the world. She wasn't. A witch by birth, and a gardener by vocation, she knew as much about black magic herbal toxins as about white magic healing poultices. Ã¢â¬Å"Oh, doing generally unpleasant things,Ã¢â¬ she replied sadly, staring into the tea leaves in her cup. Ã¢â¬Å"They're partly like pep rallies, you know, to get everyone all worked up. They probably also do some small black magic there. Some of it is by way of blackmail and brainwashing Ã¢â¬â they can tell any new converts that they are guilty now by reason of attending the meetings. They might as well give in and become fully initiatedÃ¢â¬ ¦that sort of thing. Very unpleasant.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"But what kind of unpleasant?Ã¢â¬ Matt persisted. Ã¢â¬Å"I really don't know, dear. I never went to one of them.Ã¢â¬ Matt considered. It was almost 7:00, which was curfew for children under eighteen. Eighteen seemed to be the oldest that a child could be and become possessed. Of course, it wasn't an official curfew. The sheriff's department seemed to have no idea of how to deal with the curious disease that was working its way through the young girls of Fell's Church. Scare them straight? It was the police that were frightened. One young sheriff had come tearing out of the Ryan house to be sick after seeing how Karen Ryan had bitten off the heads of her pet mice and what she had done with the rest of them. Lock them away? The parents wouldn't hear of it, no matter how bad their child's behavior was, how obvious it was that their kid needed help. Children who were towed off to the next town for an appointment with a psychiatrist sat demurely and spoke calmly and logicallyÃ¢â¬ ¦for the entire fifty minutes of their appointment. Then, on their way back they took revenge, repeating everything their parents said in perfect mimicry, making startlingly real-sounding animal noises, holding conversations with themselves in Asian-sounding languages, or even resorting to the clich but still chilling backward-talking routine. Neither ordinary discipline nor ordinary medical science seemed to have an answer to the childrens' problem. But what frightened parents the most was when their sons and daughters would disappear. Early on, it was assumed that the children went to the cemetery, but when adults tried to follow them to one of their secret meetings, they found the cemetery empty Ã¢â¬â even down to Honoria Fell's secret crypt. The children seemed to have simplyÃ¢â¬ ¦vanished. Matt thought he knew the answer to this conundrum. That thicket of the Old Wood still standing near the cemetery. Either Elena's powers of purification had not reached this far, or the place was so malevolent that it had been able to resist her cleansing. And, as Matt knew well, the Old Woods were completely under the domination of the kitsune by now. You could take two steps into the thicket and spend the rest of your life trying to get out. Ã¢â¬Å"But maybe I'm young enough to follow them in,Ã¢â¬ he said now to Mrs. Flowers. Ã¢â¬Å"I know Tom Pierler goes with them and he's my age. And then so were the ones who started it: Caroline gave it to Jim Bryce, who gave it to Isobel Saitou.Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers looked abstracted. Ã¢â¬Å"We should ask Isobel's grandmother for more of those Shinto wards against evil she blessed,Ã¢â¬ she said. Ã¢â¬Å"Do you think you could do that sometime, Matt? Soon we'll have to ready ourselves for a barricade, I'm afraid.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Is that what the tea leaves say?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Yes, dear, and they agree with what my poor old head says, too. You might want to pass the word on to Dr. Alpert as well so she can get her daughter and grandchildren out of town before it's too late.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I'll give her the message, but I think it's going to be pretty hard tearing Tyrone away from Deborah Koll. He's really stuck on her Ã¢â¬â hey, maybe Dr. Alpert can get the Kolls to leave, too.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Maybe she can. That would mean a few less children to worry about,Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers said, taking Matt's cup to peer into it. Ã¢â¬Å"I'll do it.Ã¢â¬ It was weird, Matt thought. He had three allies now in Fell's Church and they were all women over sixty. One was Mrs. Flowers, still vigorous enough to be up every morning taking a walk and doing her gardening; one was Obaasan Ã¢â¬â confined to bed, tiny and doll-like, with her black hair held up in a bun Ã¢â¬â who was always ready with advice from the years she had spent as a shrine maiden; and the last was Dr. Alpert, Fell's Church's local doctor, who had iron gray hair, burnished dark brown skin, and an absolutely pragmatic attitude about everything, including magic. Unlike the police, she refused to deny what was happening in front of her, and did her best to help alleviate the fears of the children as well as to advise the terrified parents. A witch, a priestess, and a doctor. Matt figured that he had all his bases covered, especially since he also knew Caroline, the original patient in this case Ã¢â¬â whether it was possession by foxes or wolves or both, plus something else. Ã¢â¬Å"I'll go to the meeting tonight,Ã¢â¬ he said firmly. Ã¢â¬Å"The kids have been whispering and contacting each other all day. I'll hide in the afternoon someplace where I can see them going into the thicket. Then I'll follow Ã¢â¬â as long as Caroline or Ã¢â¬â God help us, Shinichi or Misao Ã¢â¬â isn't with them.Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers poured him another cup of tea. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm very worried about you, Matt, dear. It seems to me to be a day of bad omens. Not the sort of day to take chances.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Does your mom have anything to say about it?Ã¢â¬ Matt asked, genuinely interested. Mrs. Flowers's mother had died sometime around the beginning of the 1900s, but that hadn't stopped her from communicating with her daughter. Ã¢â¬Å"Well, that's just the thing. I haven't heard a word from her all day. I'll just try one more time.Ã¢â¬ Mrs. Flowers shut her eyes, and Matt could see her crepe-textured eyelids move around as she presumably looked for her mother or tried to go into a trance or something. Matt drank his tea and finally began to play a game on his mobile. At last Mrs. Flowers opened her eyes again and sighed. Ã¢â¬Å"Dear Mama (she always said it that way, with the accent on the second syllable) is being fractious today. I just can't get her to give me a clear answer. She does say that the meeting will be very noisy, and then very silent. And it's clear that she feels it will be very dangerous as well. I think I'd better go with you, my dear.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"No, no! If your mother thinks it's that dangerous I won't even try it,Ã¢â¬ Matt said. The girls would skin him alive if anything happened to Mrs. Flowers, he thought. Better to play it safe. Mrs. Flowers sat back in her chair, seeming relieved. Ã¢â¬Å"Well,Ã¢â¬ she said at last, Ã¢â¬Å"I suppose I'd better get to my weeding. I have mugwort to cut and dry, too. And blueberries should be ripe by now, as well. How time flies.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Well, you're cooking for me and all,Ã¢â¬ Matt said. Ã¢â¬Å"I wish you'd let me pay you bed and board.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I could never forgive myself! You are my guest, Matt. As well as my friend, I do so hope.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Absolutely. Without you, I'd be lost. And I'll just take a walk around the edge of town. I need to burn off some energy. I wish Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬ He broke off suddenly. He'd started to say he wished he could shoot a few hoops with Jim Bryce. But Jim wouldn't be shooting hoops again Ã¢â¬â ever. Not with his mutilated hands. Ã¢â¬Å"I'll just go out and take a walk,Ã¢â¬ he said. Ã¢â¬Å"Yes,Ã¢â¬ said Mrs. Flowers. Ã¢â¬Å"Please, Matt dear, be careful. Remember to take a jacket or Windbreaker.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Yes, ma'am.Ã¢â¬ It was early August, hot and humid enough to walk around in swimming briefs. But Matt had been raised to treat little old ladies in a certain way Ã¢â¬â even if they were witches and in most things sharp as the X-acto knife he slipped into his pocket as he left the boardinghouse. He went outside, then, by a side route, down to the cemetery. Now, if he just went over there, where the ground dipped down below the thicket, he'd have a good view of anyone going into the last remnant of the Old Wood while no one on the path below could see him from any angle. He hurried toward his chosen hide noiselessly, ducking behind tombstones, keeping alert for any change in birdsong, which would indicate that the children were coming. But the only birdsong was the raucous shriek of crows in the thicket and he saw no one at all Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬â until he slipped into his hideout. Then he found himself face-to-face with a drawn gun, and, behind that, the face of Sheriff Rich Mossberg. The first words out of the officer's mouth seemed to come entirely by rote, as if someone had pulled a string on a twentieth-century talking doll. Ã¢â¬Å"Matthew Jeffrey Honeycutt, I hereby arrest you for assault and battery upon Caroline Beula Forbes. You have the right to remain silent Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"And so do you,Ã¢â¬ Matt hissed. Ã¢â¬Å"But not for long! Hear those crows all taking off at once? The kids are coming to the Old Wood! And they're close!Ã¢â¬ Sheriff Mossberg was one of those people who never stop speaking until they are finished, so by this time he was saying: Ã¢â¬Å"Do you understand these rights?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"No, sir! Mi ne komprenas Dumbtalk!Ã¢â¬ A wrinkle appeared between the sheriff's eyebrows. Ã¢â¬Å"Is that Italian lingo you're trying on me?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"It's Esperanto Ã¢â¬â we don't have time! There they are Ã¢â¬â and, oh, God, Shinichi's with them!Ã¢â¬ The last sentence was spoken in the barest of whispers as Matt lowered his head, peeking through the tall weeds at the edge of the cemetery without stirring them. Yes, it was Shinichi, hand in hand with a little girl of maybe twelve. Matt recognized her vaguely: she lived up near Ridgemont. Now, what was her name? Betsy, BeccaÃ¢â¬ ¦? There was a faint anguished sound from Sheriff Mossberg. Ã¢â¬Å"My niece,Ã¢â¬ he breathed, surprising Matt that he could speak so softly. Ã¢â¬Å"That, in fact, is my niece, Rebecca!Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Okay, just stay still and hang on,Ã¢â¬ Matt whispered. There was a line of children following behind Shinichi just as if he were some sort of Satanic Pied Piper, with his red-tipped black hair shining and his golden eyes laughing in the late-afternoon sunlight. The children were giggling and singing, some of them in sweet nursery school voices, a remarkably twisted version of Ã¢â¬Å"Seven Little Rabbits.Ã¢â¬ Matt felt his mouth go dry. It was agony to watch them march into the forest thicket, like watching lambs riding up a ramp into an abattoir. He had to commend the sheriff for not trying to shoot Shinichi. That would really have caused all hell to break loose. But then, just as Matt's head was sagging in relief as the last of the children entered the thicket, he jerked it back up again. Sheriff Mossberg was preparing to get up. Ã¢â¬Å"No!Ã¢â¬ Matt grabbed his wrist. The sheriff pulled away. Ã¢â¬Å"I have to go in there! He's got my niece!Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"He won't kill her. They don't kill the children. I don't know why, but they don't.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You heard what sort of filth he was teaching them. He'll sing a different tune when he sees a semiautomatic Glock pistol aimed at his head.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Listen,Ã¢â¬ Matt said, Ã¢â¬Å"you've got to arrest me, right? I demand that you arrest me. But don't go into that Wood!Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I don't see any proper Wood,Ã¢â¬ the sheriff said with disdain. Ã¢â¬Å"There's barely room in that stand of oak trees for all those kids to sit down. If you want to be of some use in your life, you can grab one or two of the little ones as they come running out.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Running out?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"When they see me, they're going to scatter. Probably burst out in all directions, but some of 'em will take the path they used to go in. Now are you going to help or not?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Not, sir,Ã¢â¬ Matt said slowly and firmly. Ã¢â¬Å"And Ã¢â¬â and, look Ã¢â¬â look, I'm begging you not to go in there! Believe me, I know what I'm talking about!Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I don't know what kind of dope you're on, kid, but in fact I don't have time to talk any more right now. And if you try to stop me againÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â he swung the Glock to cover Matt Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å"I'll cite you for another account of trying to obstruct justice. Get it?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Yeah, I get it,Ã¢â¬ Matt said, feeling tired. He slumped back into the hide as the officer, making surprisingly little noise, slipped out and made his way down to the thicket. Then Sheriff Rich Mossberg strode in between the trees and was lost to Matt's field of vision. Matt sat in the hide and sweated for an hour. He was having trouble staying awake when there was a disturbance in the thicket and Shinichi came out, leading the laughing, singing children. Sheriff Mossberg didn't come out with them.
Monday, July 29, 2019
2. A solely profit based business model would define stockholder theory in which the paramount goal of the business is to produce the most earnings for their stockholders. Prioritizing profits over a positive public image Goldman Sachs becomes an excellent example of stockholder theory. Entitlement and Desert theory can be used to support stockholder theory. 3. When stock is purchased in a company that person is entitled to the profits or loses that those shares in stock are worth, entitlement theory supports stockholder theory in which stockholders are entitled to reap the benefits of stock as long as it has been purchased justly. Desert theory states that if the action is morally right, then the person should be able to reap the benefits and take the loses. Stockholder theory supports this as being a stockholder in a company is morally accepted, but if an unethical act is preformed in buy or selling stock Desert Theory would not support Stockholder Theory. When Martha Stewart was arrested for insider trading she demonstrated that doing an in-moral act voids Desert Theory. 4. Stockholder theory revolves around pleasing one stakeholder, the stockholders; Stakeholder Theory broadens up that view to try and please all of the stakeholders. The Ben and Jerry's company was a good example of Stakeholder Theory as they kept the pay differences between the CEO and lowest paid worker to only ten fold. Utilitarianism and Virtue Ethics Theory can be used to suppon company and benefit from the earnings that stock can bring. 9. Stockholder and Stakeholder Theory being vastly different become the extremes on a business ethics spectrum, between these lie the Kantian Minimum view and Rawlsian Position. Kantian Minimum view lies closer to Stockholder view, but the main difference is to not treat any stakeholder group as a mere means to a end. The Rawlsian Position lies closer to Stakeholder view in which life is not fair, but if you did not have knowledge in what position you would be in, you would choose the situation that would benefit your best interest. Upon overview of the four views the Rawlsian Position would be most ethically justified. It is benefiting from net happiness in which there is no vast difference between stakeholder groups, and there is also room for promotion between groups as all stakeholders are not even.
Sunday, July 28, 2019
Case Study- Wicked - Assignment Example ike the stage manager, the assistant stage manager is an equipped personnel who possess skills such as organization and coordination skills fundamental for the effective communications between various team members. For example the coordination of the backstage member and the stage director is the responsibility of the stage manager or the secondary stage manager. Show producers, such as Marc Platt, have the responsibility of ensuring that all the members are aware of what they are doing. In the case of difficulties, or changes, or improvements needed, (s)he highlights all of them these may regard any changes during the process of presentation or rehearsing, time changes among others. The cast, those who take the role in the performances, are also an essential element of the wicked. There is also the promotions manager who deals with the organization of the sales of the tickets. He also advertises the events, contacts the local media and explains the reasons for the shows being throug h such channels as radio promos. The backstage manager ensures that everything goes as per by the plan. Another important element of the wicked musical is the theatre technical crew. They are a team that is responsible for the smooth running of the production. They intervene in such areas as the audio engineering, lighting operations technicians. This team works hand in hand with the stage manager who usually signals them to carry out an operation when need be. There is also an important member of the team who takes care of the prompt book. The prompt book is the guide entailing the communicative cues, technical notes, blocking, and information fundamentally important to the success of the presentation. Props are also part of the musical which enhances the projection of the themes and create an environment of the prevailing or intended mood. Organizers pack. It is the committee responsible for the organizing of the event and personnel from the preshow to the post show. There is also
MBA - Corporate Finance - Capital Budgeting - 6 question - Essay Example c. Mutual exclusivity requires a business organization to choose only one project. Consistent with the goal of every company to maximize its wealth, the project with the higher NPV is chosen regardless of the investment cost. Thus, project B is chosen over project A even though its IRR and MIRR is lower. Since the lowest even life cycle of the projects under consideration is 12, the Equivalent Annual Annuity is utilized in order to make the best decision. Thus, the present values of cash flows within the first three years of each project are computed. Afterwards, these are divided by the PVIFA of the projects. For project A, this means dividing it with the PVIFA within 3 years at 8% while for project B a life of 4 years and 8% discount rate is utilized. At the end, the four year alternative is chosen because it has a higher NPV of ($63,100.92). a. Any investment should still be evaluated regardless of the fact that the investment is higher than the cash inflow. It should be noted that the profitability of an investment is not solely based on whether the investment exceeds the cash inflow because of the time value of money. Evaluation of the project using different required rates of return also reveals that NPVs can be positive or negative depending on the discount rate. b. For this project, there are two computed IRRs which is due to the fact that there is a change in the sign of cash flow for the projectÃ¢â¬â¢s life span. For the first year, there is an outflow (negative cash flow) while in the second year cash flow is positive. During the end of its life, the project again has a negative cash flow. Since, the sign changes twice, two IRRs are expected. As computed by Excel, these IRRs are 10.09% and 20.81% indicating that NPVs are zero in these discount rates. c. Figure 1 in the Appendix shows the computed NPVs at discount rates of 5% (NPV=-$730.16) , 15% (NPV=$215.50), 18% (NPV=$159.44) and 25%
Saturday, July 27, 2019
Computer Features - Essay Example For the perfect computer the processor speed should be 2 GHZ and above. This will facilitate faster performance of the system. A good computer should also have a good memory; this also affects the performance of the system. The first type of memory that is available in a computer is the random access memory that temporarily stores data. If the ram is bigger, it allows one to running more applications at one time. For the computer of choice a ram of 4 gigabytes and above is ideal. Another memory found in a computer is the hard disk that stores all the information fed into a computer. More space means high volumes of data to store, for a good computer a hard disk of one terabyte and above is perfect. All of the above mentioned are components of a good computer however, that is not all a good computer should also be able to connect to a wireless network. This type of internet connection is widely available and can be found in most public areas like schools, libraries and even coffee shops. The final piece is a disc drive. This component allows an individual to watch movies or listen to music stored in a compac t disc. It also allows one to transfer the content from a computer and into the disc for
Friday, July 26, 2019
Risk Assessment and Return Memo - Essay Example To create a portfolio, I have selected four stocks of different companies belonging from different companies after analyzing different companies. The investment strategy previously adapted by Casta Bonita Ceramics has been to achieve the highest possible returns. But this strategy of achieving the maximizing returns has a drawback as the management does not consider risk as an important element while investing in different investment opportunities or assets. Therefore the strategy has been changed and Casta Bonita Ceramics would not only analyze the returns of the stock but the risk of the investment as well. I have also followed a similar strategy by identifying the risks as well as the return of the stocks and I have tried to make sure that the portfolio achieves the maximum returns with minimum risk. I have examined different companies and one of the companies that I have considered is the Infoway Computers for investment purpose. By analyzing the company, the return and the fluct uations of the returns are identified and it has been found that the company offers high returns to its shareholders however the risk of the company is also high. Infoway Computers belong to the Information Technology and Telecommunications Industry, however I would still suggest keeping the stocks of Infoway Computers in the portfolio as the company is a large organization and it has been operating for years. Moreover, the company has a wonderful history and has a reputable name in the industry therefore I would recommend to invest in Infoway Computers over other firms in the industry like Transconduit Inc, and One Voice Telecom. Furthermore, I have calculated the beta of the company and after examining the beta of the company and other companies in the industry, my decision has been furthermore justified. Results found from beta also proved and supported by decision to invest in Infoway Computers. Besides this, I also analyzed Grand Capital Insurance, Western Connect Airlines, Des ktop Inc, Leviathan Defense Systems and Goldstein and Delaney Bank for investment opportunities. Western Connect Airlines was offering the lowest return on its stock and the stock had a lower risk when compared with others, therefore I recommended that investing in Western Connect Airlines would be a good idea. Moreover, Leviathan Defense Systems is another company to be invested after analyzing the risk and returns. In my analysis, two companies from the financial and insurance sector were also analyzed; Goldstein and Delaney Bank and Grand Capital Insurance. The reason to include companies from this sector was to make sure that the portfolio is well diversified. However I found out that Goldstein and Delaney Bank should be included in the portfolio as investing in Goldstein and Delaney Bank would reduce the overall risk of the portfolio although the company offers low returns but the risk of the company is also low and therefore it would reduce the overall risk of the portfolio. O ne of the main reasons why I do not want to invest in both the companies of the financial and insurance industry is that I want to diversify by investing in different industry. Moreover, this would allow me to reduce the systematic risk of the industry, although the risk cannot be eliminated completely but it can be reduced and diversifying the industry would be one of the ways to do it. The shares of Desktop Inc offer the highest return to the shareholders at a higher level of risk and this is the reason why I would not recommend
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Quantitative demand - Research Paper Example If the price of cigarettes increases, not only will the quantity of the cigarettes fall but simultaneously it may also affect other commodities. The aspect of income elasticity will also be incorporated here, which will show us whether income and demand for cigarettes move together or not. Lately the world economy has been more concerned about the harmful effects of smoking. Though, from time immemorial, people are trying to resort to drugs or other narcotics, this gives them a tranquilizing effect in their minds. One of the most common intoxicants is a cigarette, which serves as the escape route from their harsh realities of life. In the recent times, smoking has taken the shape of an epidemic, which is affecting not only peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s minds but also their lives. Many steps have been taken, such as campaigns showing how smoking is injurious to heath or health programs to restrict the usage of cigarettes per day. In spite of this, people are reckless to quit smoking, as they find no perfect substitutes of it. In regard to this the governments of all the countries are starting a new tax regime especially US government. This consists of an increase in the price level of cigarettes by the imposition of proportional tax or a lump sum tax. By proportional tax structure, a particular rate of tax is imposed on price of cigarettes. In respect to the US governments the tax structure usually takes the form of excise or sales tax. Here, a fixed rate of cents is imposed on the price of cigarettes. Let the tax rateÃ¢â¬ËtÃ¢â¬â¢ be imposed on the price of cigarettes, Ã¢â¬ËpÃ¢â¬â¢, the new price is now Ã¢â¬Ëp (1+t)Ã¢â¬â¢. According to the law of demand, the price and demand of a normal good are negatively related. Here, cigarette is a normal good since with the fall in price, smoking becomes more attractive and popular among the individuals. The following diagram shows the
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Video review - Essay Example This is a goal that will take me many years to accomplish, but I know that I can do it. I also know that I want to work in a way that will allow me to travel more than I can right now. Traveling the world is something that really is appealing to me. I already speak a few languages and hope to develop this skill through more travel. There is a lot of pleasure to be had in traveling, but I believe that there is even more to be had in living and being immersed in a different culture. I hope to use my PhD in a way that will allow me to travel and live abroad for extended periods of time. I know that it sounds as though these two goals are only professional goals, but my profession is a huge part of my life. I want to have a life defined by accomplishing these two goals. Exercise #2 I have felt like some of the students featured in this video. I can still remember being in classes where the way the teacher addressed various students was very demeaning. He seemed to feel that unless you fi t into a very narrow definition of what a good student was, and then he had not time for you. I have been made to feel inferior because of my ethnicity and because of my gender. I know that traditional biases have been against women and minorities, but the biases do not end there in the classroom. I have witnessed white, male students demeaned in history classes because of the history of colonialism of the European powers. I remember thinking to myself, Ã¢â¬Å"Why is this professor treating this guy so badly, just because he is a male of European descent?Ã¢â¬ I mean, it isnÃ¢â¬â¢t like he personally owned slaves or colonized Africa. Having seen and been the subject of biased treatment from professors has made me determined to never treat my students this way. While watching the video, it occurred to me that much of the cultural bias displayed was generated from a desire to be in control and to be powerful. There is no better way to keep power than to convince everyone else that they are somehow inferior to you. I want to have a community of learners in my classroom, not a situation where I need to tear others down just to prove my superiority in some way. Exercise #3 In my class, all students will be honored. I recognize that we are all adults in this course and we all are here to better ourselves in one way or another. Most of us are here on our own accord, so we deserve to have a meaningful educational experience free from sarcasm, bias or harassment of any sort. As a result, I believe that the following guidelines need to apply in this classroom. The first guideline concerns student comments. There are a variety of ways individuals from various cultures express themselves orally. In this class, everyone will be expected to only offer encouraging and academically appropriate comments. This does not mean we can never disagree or think critically. It means that we need to keep our communication focused on what was said and not how it was said. The second guideline concerns student learning. Everyone learns differently. One person may feel that a project or research assignment is a great opportunity to learn, while another views it as drudgery. I would like you to keep an open mind about the assignments in the course, saving criticism for the assignments and not directing it at other group members or myself. By doing this, you ensure everyone can learn in the manner that is most fitting for their individual learning style. Finally, I need to
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Higher Education Task Force Report - Essay Example The essay needs to dwell mainly on the role of CBI Higher Education Task Force in reporting on the topic of Ã¢â¬ËStronger together: Government policy on this crucial issue is another aspect, which can determine the guidelines to be formulated. The proposed essay structure needs to present an analysis of the view points of different industry heads on the possibilities of investing funds by them and the government to speed up the process of economic growth. The role of media needs to be pinpointed to know the impact of the campaign on higher education policy. Contribution of media in initiating a national debate through various broadcasting channels would add value to the content of the essay. The government, universities and the businesses are the direct stakeholders while students will reap the benefits indirectly by getting grants on tuition fees and right employment opportunities. Sam Laidlaw is not only the chairman of the CBI HE taskforce but also the chief executive of Centrica. Hopefully, his views should present a clear picture of all aspects including not just employment but the niche area to pay more attention, namely subjects like science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) where the demand of the businesse s on hunting talent has not been fulfilled and is going to rise further in future. Arguments given for creating and developing stronger relations between the universities, government and businesses in turbulent times need to be discussed in the proposed essay to substantiate the steps and recommendations made in the report.
Jack Kerouacs on the Road a Biography Essay On the Road was published in 1957 by Viking Press. Apart from criticism by traditional conservatives, Jack KerouacÃ¢â¬â¢s novel gained huge popularity with a younger generation of rebels (point to SamÃ¢â¬â¢s pencilcase). Commonly viewed as an autobiography combined with a biography of Neal Cassady, it is considered a testament to the Beat legend. Fascinated by the myth of the King of the Beatniks, I examined the authenticity of On the Road and found several issues: the method in which it was written, spontaneous prose; lack of primary sources; and the authorÃ¢â¬â¢s intention. Jean Louis Lebris de Kerouac was born on the 12 March 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts. He gained a football scholarship to Columbia University in New York, where he met Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, who together form the three literary musketeers of the Beat Generation. The Beat Gen were a stalwart literary movement active during the 50s, whose iconoclastic texts dissented formalist constriction of expression, experimentation and individualism, and viewed post-war prosperity, and materialism as antithetical to social equality. Their works pushed the boundaries of censorship, including underground elements sinister to the establishment such as homosexuality, drugs, bop jazz, impulsive desire, preference for marginalised cultures, like Buddhist and Native American, and unconformity to the typically American dream of white picket fence within which your three cherub children can safely frolic. The traditional conservatives called it unrefined and anti-intellectual, and politicians labelled aspects of the Beat Gen psyche as Communist. The popularity and resonance Beat Gen lit had with the youth rebellion generation made it a prominently influential movement in American literature. The Beat Gen members, being life long friends, shared these views and were inspired by figures of the counterculture, in the case of On the Road, Neal Cassady, who was the Beat beliefs personified, Ã¢â¬Å"the holy con-man with the shining mindÃ¢â¬ (p11). On the Road is about Sal Paradise, an amateur writer struggling with inspiration when he is introduced to Dean Moriarty, a walking legend, the epitome of a Beat man. The novel marks distinct stages of SalÃ¢â¬â¢s growth and development, and his relationship with Dean as he Ã¢â¬Å"shambled after as IÃ¢â¬â¢ve been doing Ã¢â¬ Narrated by Sal, he meets and travels with other characters, bumming and hitchhiking across America. Kerouac developed spontaneous prose, inspired by improvisation in jazz and passionate excitement, its highly confessional, immediate, producing a raw, liberal and intense stream of consciousness, establishing spiritual and personal connections with the narrator. This convinces the reader of a high degree of honesty and vulnerability, and authenticity. Also, thereÃ¢â¬â¢s an infamous story that adds to the legend of Kerouac and On the Road: the manuscript was typed in 2 weeks fuelled by coffee and Benzedrine, on a seriously lengthy scroll, of teletype paper taped together so that changing the roll wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t disrupt his writing. Tim Hunt wrote in KerouacÃ¢â¬â¢s Crooked Road that Kerouac Ã¢â¬Å"hoped that drafting Although itÃ¢â¬â¢s important that there is a high connection between the writer and the reader, itÃ¢â¬â¢s also important to note that this sort of spontaneity compromises the detail and accuracy of SalÃ¢â¬â¢s accounts, which brings into questions the subtleties and chronology of small-scale action. Also, his emotional investment makes his narration highly opinionated and being so influenced by Cassady as to travel across the country, KerouacÃ¢â¬â¢s opinions transferred into Sal the persona are influenced heavily by De an. The authenticity and honesty that spontaneous prose conceptualises is undermined by the deliberation and large revision of the manuscript. The published edition was the fourth, and he had been working on On the Road for 2 and a half years, within which he was experimenting with his writing style. He loathed and complained when his editor, who he called a Ã¢â¬Å"crass idiotÃ¢â¬ , forced several revisions of contextually pornographic sections. In Essentials of spontaneous Prose, released in 1958, he claims that the conscious critical mind might censor richness of imagination. And I think richness of imagination is a euphemism for Ã¢â¬Å"highÃ¢â¬ , considering the evidence, fictional and factual, of drugs like Benzedrine and weed that reduce clarity of mind, but stimulate the inventive senses. The high levels of intimacy of the actions, events, dialogue and lives of the characters and their real life counterparts means that we cannot satisfactorily negate or authenticate a large amo unt of content, considering the verbose and opportunistic nature of the characters, in particular Dean, and the introverted thoughtfulness of Kerouac. For instance, after his time with Remi Bonceour, an old friend of SalÃ¢â¬â¢s, he sees Ã¢â¬Å"the cutest little Mexican girl in slacksÃ¢â¬ and he says: Ã¢â¬Å"I wished I was on her bus. A pain stabbed my heart, as it did every time I saw a girl I loved who was going the opposite direction in this too-big world. Ã¢â¬ Then lo and behold, he gets on his bus to LA and there she is sitting alone, he befriends/propositions/seduces in the proper gentlemanly way of the 50s as you would a Ã¢â¬Å"strange girlÃ¢â¬ , offering her his jacket for a pillow. Terry and Sal spend fifteen days together, Sal experiencing the Mexican labourerÃ¢â¬â¢s life, and at the end, he leaves with an empty promise of New York together. The truthfulness of this encounter is intimate to Kerouac and the girl that is dubbed Terry if she even exists. On the bus from St Louis to Pittsburgh, days after his parting with Terry, he Ã¢â¬Å"made the acquaintance of a girl and we necked all the way to Indianapolis. She was nearsighted. Ã¢â¬ He had just described his parting with Terry with Ã¢â¬Å"love is a duel, and looked at each other for the last time. Still, we have dates that correlate with the chronology of On the Road, but this doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t really authenticate the text, because the majority of it is thoughts, words, actions, affairs of people and these are not things that would have been recorded by the public or the media or any historically interested people. The limit on primary sources thanks to the Kerouac estate closing most of his original manuscripts and letters, means that even his biographies are dependent on very little, written post-mortem and supplemented by his friends who were close to his work, like John Clellon Holmes and Allen Ginsberg. Still, other publications that overlap time periods with On the Road include Vanity of Duluoz and Visions of Cody. Visions of Cody was intended as a sequel and replacement of On the Road, and the obscure structure and style seeming dependent on pure recollection, contrasts with the narrative style of On the Road. Kerouac struggled with the rejection of his first novel, The Town and the City, so in order to appeal to more people and find success, On the RoadÃ¢â¬â¢s surprisingly conventional narrative structure furthers it away from biography and autobiography. The separation of four different trips emphasises the stages of plot development. It has a protagonist, Dean, who solicits the narrator, Sal, throughout their time together on the road. In fact every part begins revolving around Dean. So itÃ¢â¬â¢s understandable to think of On the Road as a biography of Neal Cassady, however, itÃ¢â¬â¢s highly biased, considering the obvious love, admiration and dedication DeanÃ¢â¬â¢s disciple shows, which then means that the biography would undoubtedly contain bias, hyperbole, neglect, forgiveness, and judgement. There are also motifs and allusions to great American stories Ã¢â¬â influenced by writers such as Melville, Hemingway, Saroyan and Twain, he makes reference to their work: Ã¢â¬Å"here came a melancholy Armenian youth along the red box-cars, and just at that moment a locomotive howled, and I said to myself, Yes, yes, SaroyanÃ¢â¬â¢s townÃ¢â¬ (p78). He had even planned to write in a black man to draw stronger connections to Huckleberry Finn, but decided against it. This is evidence of thematic concern, deliberation and careful consideration, which further undermines the whole spontaneous prose thing. It might be because IÃ¢â¬â¢m an avid fan of Kerouac, I just think heÃ¢â¬â¢s beautiful and beautifully written, but I think that the mysteriousness of the veracity of On the Road contributes to the aura that has accumulated throughout its time, and doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t degrade it as a milestone in literature and America. I think the authenticity of On the Road shouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t be brought to light in the first place because it wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t meant to be a biography of anyone, and it should just be read to marvel at the wondrousness of words and their meanings, just like any literature, and I really recommend you read it Sam because itÃ¢â¬â¢s totally cliche but it changed my life.
Monday, July 22, 2019
The Wave A movie Essay Motivation is a powerful force working in the psyche of every human mind that consciously pushes an individual toward certain tasks in order to reach a desired goal. In The Wave, a group of high school students desire to be apart of a community and to hold power blinded them of reason and moral, which eventually led them to a tragic downfall. In this movie, motivation played a crucial role in the gradual destructive behavioral changes of the students at Palo Altos Cubberly High. The psychological and behavioral changes initially began to evolve when a history teacher, Mr. Ross, encouraged students to participate in an experiment on forming a movement called The Wave. The students were immediately entranced by the idea and begin to follow every instruction given by Mr. Ross without hesitation. Soon, they were practicing the rules and drills of The Wave outside the history classroom by assimilated them into their regular everyday life. Soon, the students buried their previously learned values of individualism and morality to adjust to the newly formed community. This community later became almost cult-like, in which members were so intensely involved that they started to act hostile and sometimes violent towards anti-Wavers and non-members in the name of The Wave. The initial factor that influenced the history class to follow Mr. Ross ideas was intrinsic motivation. The novelty of the experiment first triggered the curiosity of students and they performed every duty with enjoyment. However, as the group began to take the experiment more seriously, this seemly innocent interest turned into an obsession. Students used the movement as an excuse to harass and intimidate other children. They now remain not only for inner-pleasure but also for power. Other students from outside the classroom also fell under the spell of The Wave. These later recruited Wavers motives were not intrinsic for their sole reason for joining was to gain approval from their peers and to avoid harassment. Mr. Ross provided, with his experiment, an environment where a persons inner fascism can emerge and take control. The Wave worked as a metaphorical switch that turned on some hidden unconscious desires for individuals to shut their mind and to live a simpler life by accepting orders from aÃ confident leader who insist that he has all the answers. Most people possess the need to identify with a group that shares a common objective. However, sometimes this need only motives people to do what is good for the group instead of what is good for themselves as individuals. Many students in this movie failed to see the larger picture of how The Wave was robbing them of their right to opinions, individuality and freedom. The Wave is a powerful and emotional journey that opened our eyes to the existence of fascism in the most unlikely place, a high school in California. The movie demonstrated how people could easily be manipulated under certain circumstances and blinded by artificial motives. Just as the Germans fell under Nazis rule during Hitlers reign, other groups or community like the high school in The Wave could also easily become the next victim of fascism.
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Operations Strategy Case Study of Factory Consultants Report |Ã An Operational ReviewÃ ofÃ Ã¢â¬Å"The FactoryÃ¢â¬ Contents (Jump to) 1. Executive Summary 2. Introduction 3. Strategic Review 4. Operational Issues 4.1 Processes 4.2 Plant/Equipment 4.3 Customers 4.4 Contractors/Supply Chain 4.5 Personnel 4.6 Environmental 4.7 Market/Competitors 5. Recommendations 6. Further Recommendations 7. Conclusion 8. Bibliography 9. Appendices 1.Ã Executive Summary This Report has identified the Pea Factory (the Factory)Ã¢â¬â¢s operations strategy as focusing on producing quality products, on time and satisfying the bespoke requirements of its customers. It achieves this through its quality controlled operational processes and procedures. Unfortunately these processes and procedures are not without problems, which are categorised under the following headings; processes, personnel, environmental, plant/machinery and market/competition. Problems encountered with quality issues can be addressed by carrying out a review of the whole process using qualitative and quantitative methods, applying benchmarking techniques and reviewing the whole system and applying total quality management methodology. The introduction of computerisation into the administrative process would eliminate human error and remove communication problems within the control room. It may also provide the opportunity of reducing costs (over a period), with the removal of personnel. The supply chain is a fundamental area for focus, as this is crucial for the survival of the business. Ensuring the supply chain is running smoothly is not only an extremely difficult thing to achieve and it can also be extremely costly. The management team need to focus on maintaining good relations with all suppliers, contractors and subcontractors. Many of the issues, such as lack of capacity, the requirement for additional equipment, increased market share etc could easily be improved with the acquisition of a competitor. This needs serious consideration, although it obviously requires investment by the parent company. In the meantime however, by implementing the recommendations in this report, the Factory can and will move closer to achieving sustainable competitive advantage and improving productivity, whilst reducing costs. 2.Ã Introduction This Report has been commissioned to provide an operational review of Ã¢â¬Å"The Pea FactoryÃ¢â¬ (the Factory). The operations strategy will be identified together with an analytical review being carried out on the operational problems facing the Factory. Areas such as; how the entire process is controlled, the use and maintenance of the equipment, the focus on the customersÃ¢â¬â¢ needs and the use of quality control amongst other areas. The Report will also make recommendations for improvements to the operation, which will eliminate many of the problems highlighted. For instance, the introduction of a computerisation into the control room to monitor the process from start to finish would remove many of the timing and communication issues experienced. In undertaking the research for this report there were a number of other aspects of the operation that were identified, which would benefit from improvement and they are also contained within this report. 3.Ã Strategic Review In order to complete a strategic review of the Factory, it is necessary to first understand what is meant by the term operations strategy. According to Slack et al1], it is; Ã¢â¬Å"the total pattern of decisions and actions which set the role, objectives and activities of the operation so that they contribute to and support the organisationÃ¢â¬â¢s business strategy.Ã¢â¬ In order to develop an operations strategy, the operations manager has to consider a number of factors such as the needs of customers, as well as what the competition are doing. According to Porter(2); Ã¢â¬Å"an organisation should aim to achieve sustainable competitive advantageÃ¢â¬ The Factory achieves this by focusing on their customer requirements and by producing a quality product, in a timely fashion and at a reasonable cost. The ability to adapt and be flexible in its approach to its customerÃ¢â¬â¢s demands is an important feature in the organisationÃ¢â¬â¢s strategy. The Factory concentrates on its core competencies (that of the production of frozen vegetables) rather than diversifying into other products such as pizzas, pies and other products. Specialisation is key to the strategy. Whilst sufficient information is known about the FactoryÃ¢â¬â¢s operations strategy, little is known about the GroupÃ¢â¬â¢s strategy, and how the FactoryÃ¢â¬â¢s operations strategy fits with it, other than to say that they are specialist food producers. 4.Ã Operational Issues A review of the processes and procedures of the Factory using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis was undertaken (see Appendix 1 attached). This identified several operational problem areas, which have been grouped under the following headings; processes, plant/equipment, customers, contractors/supply chain, personnel, environmental and market/competitors. 4.1Ã Processes The operationÃ¢â¬â¢s process is coordinated from the control room. Unfortunately the control systems used are manual ones, with any change in process being amended on Ã¢â¬Å"the boardÃ¢â¬ , this manual process could lead to errors, miscommunication and time delays. With the limited daily processing capacity, even if there was greater demand, the organisation would not be able to cope. Further, there is little room for error with the tight time line from picking to blanching. Quality issues with stock held in quarantine, and bulk peas needing to be run though the Sortex colour sorter, several times, results in wasted time and cost. 4.2Ã Plant/Equipment The extensive use of expensive machinery means that the organisationÃ¢â¬â¢s overheads are high with costly down time through failure (particularly unplanned). This has a detrimental effect of the FactoryÃ¢â¬â¢s ability to achieve its targets and to fulfil orders, costing the organisation both time and money. 4.3Ã Customers Tailor made packaging for its customers may have a negative effect on the cost base. Satisfying the customerÃ¢â¬â¢s needs is an important aspect of the organisations strategy, but the question needs to be asked, as what cost? In order to answer this question, detailed financial information would be required for analysis. 4.4Ã Contractors/Supply Chain The use of so many contractors in various parts of the process does lead to problems such as communication, control and quality. Differing yields and size containers results in identification and storage difficulties. Using multiple storage contractors could result in missing stock and lack of quality control. This could result in down time and ultimately affect the quality of the product. 4.5Ã Personnel Fluctuating staff levels at different times of the year causes particular problems for the organisation. The need to train and re-train new staff results in delays and errors. Lack of communication causes costly delays. Such seasonal work may not be entirely satisfying thereby creating problems with lack of job satisfaction, and therefore lack of attention to detail. 4.6Ã Environmental Environmental issues are a major headache. The weather clearly impacts on the production of the pea crop. The varying weather patterns create uncertainty and scheduling issues. The crop rotation cycle also restricts the level of produce provided in any given region at any given time. This limiting factor can result in not enough of the product being available. 4.7Ã Market/Competitors An analysis of the competitive environment reveals that there is at least one privately owned competitor who is using aggressive pricing in the market. There is also the issue of the major retailers controlling the market. If one of the retailers decides to stop using the Factory then this will negatively impact the level of profitability and sustainability of the business. All of these issues need to be addressed immediately and the recommendations for doing so are highlighted in the next section. 5. Recommendations All operation managers experience difficulties and this is certainly the case at the Factory. In order to achieve operational effectiveness, Slack et al (3), agrees that there should be; Ã¢â¬Å"Smooth customer flow, a clean, well-designed environment, sufficient goods to satisfy demand, sufficient staff to serve customers, appropriate quality of service, a continuous stream of ideas to improve its operationsÃ¢â¬ . What better way to measure a smooth customer flow than to introduce a computerised system which will track the stock, deliveries and all the processes from start to finish. This would require significant investment, but would have the benefit of eliminating human error and reducing overhead (by reducing the number of staff required to fulfil the function). Whilst this would affect staff morale, a programme of empowerment should be implemented combined with a reward scheme or performance measurement which would motivate the staff to achieve their individual and the organisationÃ¢â¬â¢s goals. A Total Quality Management (TQM) process should be implemented, the characteristics of which are; Ã¢â¬Å"meeting the needs and expectations of customers, covering all parts of the organisation, including every person in the organisation, examining all costs which are elated to quality, especially failure costs, getting things right first time, developing systems and procedures which support quality and improvement, developing a continuous process of improvementÃ¢â¬ .4] Using a process flow chart (similar to that shown in Appendix 2) would help to clearly identify what happens during the operations process and therefore show up the problem areas. Input-output analysis could be undertaken. Further analysis could be carried out using scatter diagrams, cause-effect diagrams and Pareto5] diagrams. The issue of the limited daily processing capacity could be improved with the purchase of additional equipment. Additional quality checks should be introduced into the process in order to eliminate time wasting through re-sorting the product, and the down time of equipment. This could be done through benchmarking or other continuous improvement mechanisms. According to Deming the PDCA6] (plan, do, check, act) cycle should be used, alternatively business process re-engineering which has been very popular recently. That is: Ã¢â¬Å"the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in the critical, contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service and speed.Ã¢â¬ 7] Although this has been criticised as being the latest fad, as well as being an excuse for removing personnel and it could ultimately result in the loss of essential experience from the Factory. Additional preventative maintenance should be scheduled which would help resolve part of the issue of the unplanned downtime. The employment of an additional maintenance person would also speed up the process. The issue of bespoke packaging of the product for the customer should be debated within the management team. If uniform packaging is introduced, this could result in a reduction in costs. However this needs to be carefully weighed up against the customer needs and ultimately deciding not to purchase from the Factory. A customer quality survey could be conducted in order to ascertain the possible effect of this suggestion. The supply chain is also a critical area for the Factory to keep tight control on. According to Waller8]; Ã¢â¬Å"The supply chain is a complex network of suppliers, manufacturers and distributors whose ultimate objective is to provide goods and services to the client in a timely manner. The reliability of this supply chain depends on all the people in the network, plus the reliability of all the equipment employed including transportation vehicles, sophisticated machines and computer based information systems.Ã¢â¬ The use of contractors is a major issue that needs to be addressed. Formal contracts should be drawn up setting out the conditions of the relationship (if it has not already been done); with penalties for missing certain key targets being made. Consideration should be given to the Factory acquiring its own transportation, storage and packaging facilities. By focusing on the JIT (just-in-time) approach within the operation, it may further improve and simplify matters, as, according to Slack et al9]; Ã¢â¬Å"JIT is a disciplined approach to improving overall productivity and eliminating waste. It provides for the cost effective production and delivery of only the necessary quantity of parts at the right quality, at the right time and place, while using a minimum amount of facilities, equipment, materials and human resources. JIT is dependent on the balance between the supplierÃ¢â¬â¢s flexibility and the userÃ¢â¬â¢s flexibility.Ã¢â¬ The need to keep a close eye on inventory is essential for the Factory, and to keep it as low as possible, thereby freeing up essential funds for other areas of the business. The Factory needs to address all of these issues as a matter of urgency. Some of the recommendations identified here would involve capital investment. Therefore, further analysis would need to be undertaken once the necessary financial information is available, in order to present a robust business case to the parent company. The Factory needs to; Ã¢â¬Å"secure essential increases in productivity (which) requires the combined efforts of all functions. The increased use of technology has resulted in maintenance making a major contribution to the effective efforts in most businessÃ¢â¬ 1]0) In addition to the problem areas identified above, there are other areas that could be improved in the future, and these are mentioned in the following section. 6.Ã Further Recommendations Purchasing is an area that is significant to the business, as Slack et al1]1)suggests: Ã¢â¬Å"purchasing at the right time and in the right quantity can impact on the operations performance in terms of delivery, speed, delivery reliability and flexibility.Ã¢â¬ A separate review of the purchasing process and department should be initiated at some stage. Undertaking a financial review may also identify further improvements or reductions within the business (environmental, taxes, transportation and fuel costs). Using forecasting tools such as qualitative and quantitative methods to more accurately predict risks, time horizons, and economic indicators could also identify further areas to improve. Other problem areas that may be addressed include the environmental influences on the Factory. It should be possible to produce product all year using the poly-urethane tunnels that are seen in the countryside. The use of such tunnels would extend the growing period and lifecycle and allow pea production to take place all year, without the peaks and troughs that are currently happening. Further, if the organisation wanted full control of its entire process, then perhaps it should consider the acquisition of land to produce the product itself. Finally, in terms of the competition, we already know that one competitor is privately owned. In order to achieve transformational growth, rather than organic growth and consequently achieve many of the objectives identified above, the organisation should acquire this competitor. There would, of course, be issues with the merger of another organisation into its current business, but the increase in market share, the ability to produce more products and the access to additional equipment that this would bring, would seem to be an obvious answer to many of the problems. A thorough business case would have to be submitted to the parent company to qualify and quantify this proposal. 7.Ã Conclusion The operations strategy of the Factory is aimed at producing quality goods, on time and to their customerÃ¢â¬â¢s exacting requirements. This is achieved at the Factory, but at what cost? A thorough review of the Factory has revealed a number of areas that can be improved. Areas such as by identifying the process through the use of flow charts, then any weaknesses can be readily identified. The three quality checks that are currently undertaken is insufficient to prevent quality issues occurring, therefore additional checks should be implemented. Computerising the operations process would eliminate communication problems and speed up the process together with reducing costs. Focusing on JIT and TQM would enhance the process further. Not forgetting staff morale. Their input is critical in ensuring the process runs smoothly, whether it is the manual or computerised method. Including reward schemes and introducing empowerment is a means of involving the staff in the process and in achieving the goals and objectives of the organisation. If the parent company is willing to invest further, then transformational growth can be achieved by acquiring a competitor, land, a haulage company and by producing its own packaging. In order for the parent company to consider this, a business case would need to be produced, justifying the recommendation. The Factory has a great number of strengths, not least of which is its; location, quality product and specialist knowledge, however, by addressing its operational weaknesses and threats, it is possible to achieve sustainable competitive advantage and to continue to achieve its operational strategy, goals and objectives. 8.Ã Bibliography Cheng TCE, Podolsky S (1993) Just in Time Manufacturing, Chapman Hall (Pages 21 Ã¢â¬â 175) Fitzsimmons JA, Sullivan RS (1982) Service Operations Management: McGraw Hill (Pages 7 Ã¢â¬â 25) Hill, Terry. (2002) Operations Management Strategic Context and Analysis, Basingstoke: Palgrave (pages 184-547) Johnston, R. Clark, G. (2001) Service Operations Management, Harlow: FT/Prentice Hall (pages 25 73) Johnston R, Chambers S, Harland C, Hanson A, Slack N (1997) Cases in Operations Management: Financial Times, Pitman Publishing 2nd Ed (Pages 5 Ã¢â¬â 503) Lowson, R. (2002) Strategic Operations Management The New Competitive Advantage: London, Routledge (Pages 5 158) Muhlemann, A. Oakland, J Lockyer, K. (1992) Production and Operations Management, 6th Ed, Harlow: FT/Prentice Hall (Pages 63-150) Slack, N. Chambers, S. Johnston, R. (2004) Operations Management, Ed 4, Harlow, Pearson Education (pages 5 798) Sutherland, J. Canwell, D. (2004) Key Concepts in Operations Management, Basingstoke: Palgrave (Pages 19 117) Taylor, D. Brunt, D. (2001) Manufacturing Operations and Supply Chain Management, London: Thomson Learning (Pages 5 37) Waller, D.L. (2003), Operations Management: a supply chain approach, London, Thomson Learning (pages 88 595) Wild, R (2002) Operations Management, London: Continuum (Pages 17 187) www.cips.org [emailprotected] Appendices Appendix 1 Ã¢â¬â SWOT Analysis Appendix 2 Ã¢â¬â Flow Chart of the Factory Pea Production Process Slack N, Chambers S, Johnston R (2004) Operations Management Ed 4, Harlow Pearson Education p77 Michael Porter from Lowson R (2002) Strategic Operations Management The New Competitive Advantage, London, Routledge, page 29 4,5, 6, 7 From Slack et al p695-696       Deming from Wild, Operations Management p 636  Slack et al p548 10 Hill T, (2002) operations Management Ã¢â¬â Strategic Context and Analysis, Basingstoke, Palgrave p184 11 Slack et al p478