Mattel Toy ecall
In 2007, Mattel was dealing with a number of challenges surrounding the quality of toys that were manufactured at their plants China. This is because lead paint was found in a number of toys which were produced in the country. These problems raised concerns about if enough was being done to test merchandise and the kinds of procedures that were place. However, after an extensive investigation, is when it was uncovered that design flaws are contributing to 90% of the toy recalls. While only 10% are directly liked to issues from the materials used to create the final product (such as the paint). ("Mattel and the Toy ecalls," 2008)
Then, a series of problems occurred associated with the dolls and two magnets that could become loose. If this was ingested by children, there might be an intestinal blockage that develops (which is fatal). This is a design…… [Read More]
Mattel understands that for its customers and retailers, there is nothing worse, ethically, than putting profit over the health of children. It would appear that Lee Der did not share these values. Thus, part of the problem lies with communication of values between Mattel and its suppliers. The suppliers need to understand that they need to work to the same ethical standards as Mattel, since it is Mattel's name that is going on the product. Mattel needs to hold the management of all of its suppliers accountable for both understanding and adhering to the quality standards that Mattel sets out.
There are a number of different things that Mattel can learn from this experience. The first is that the chain of control runs right through the entire value chain. Every part of the value chain can either add or detract value from the process. Mattel needs to understand this, and…… [Read More]
They may prefer to buy other toys for their daughters. The 'break up' with Ken to pursue new boyfriends will do little to allay such fears, although theoretically Barbie could also pursue new careers without Ken and focus on things besides looking good in her outfits and in her pink car. However, the fact that Barbie is becoming more of a 'Cali girl' seems to indicate Mattel is going against this strategy and sticking with Barbie's traditional feminine image. To guard against the increased popularity of electronic toys for girls Mattel stated in its press release "Barbie Takes to the Runway at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show" that it has launched a 2008 Barbie interactive computer fashion game for "tech savvy girls."
Bargaining power of suppliers
Barbie still commands an impressive fan base as a brand name, despite the availability of substitute goods. In the press release recap "Barbie Does…… [Read More]
Mattel faces an uncertain operating environment. An old-established company with a great family of brands, Mattel has a lot of strengths with which to improve its business. However, the company is facing increased competition both from other toy companies and from electronic entertainment alternatives. This paper highlights some of the challenges that Mattel faces and some of the alternatives for dealing with its problems. There are four major alternatives presented -- an aggressive option that sees the company embrace a high-volume, low-margin approach is the first. The second is a defensive option that sees the company seek new channels, reduce its international presence and focus on core brands. The third option is to maintain the status quo, recognizing that the company is generally successful. The fourth option is that the company can embrace electronic media, giving the company new revenue streams but without much increase in cost. It is recommended…… [Read More]
Manufacturers of products that are aimed at children do have a special obligation with respect to their products and the marketing thereof. Considerable controversy has erupted as the result of advertising to children. Children are impressionable, and while they are not the gatekeepers who control spending in the family, it is worth considering that products marketed to children are not detrimental. As Clay (2000) notes, a key source of controversy is when psychologists help marketers to understand children's minds in order to sell better to them. For most people, there is a different standard of ethics that needs to be applied when marketing to children, and this is something that marketers at Mattel need to keep in mind. For Mattel, marketing to children is a necessity, but the company needs to bear in mind that despite the fact that opinions on the issue are divided, most consumers feel that…… [Read More]
New York: Berg.
Marketing to specific people and groups is a demonstrative development that has been around for almost as long as marketing has been recognized as a viable field of study and employment. Marketing segmentation or geodemographic marketing segmentation is a development of this desire, on the part of the manufacturer to meet the most customers, who will be interested in and purchase the products they develop. According to the Dictionary of Business geodemographic segmentation is defined as:
Market segmentation in which consumers are grouped according to demographic variables, such as income and age, and identified by a geographic variable, such as post code or zip code. The base data is obtained from the census data. Two principles are involved: (1) people who live in the same neighbourhood, defined by a census enumeration district, are likely to share similar buying habits; (2) neighbourhoods can be categorized in terms of…… [Read More]
Mattel Corporation specializes in creating lasting memories for every child the corporation is able to touch through the purchase of their toys. Therefore, the Mattel does not sell toys rather a child's imagination and memories are forged and created respectively, via the purchase of their merchandise. (Corporate.Mattel.com/annual-report) Operations have been successful in U.S. markets from the 1950's through 2000. Since however, the lion's share of profits have been generated by overseas markets in Europe. (Corporate.Mattel.com/annual-report)
The risk factors for Mattel are generally macroeconomic in nature. Generally speaking if the global economy continue to realize marginal GDP growth outside of the ultra-hot Brazil, ussia, India, China (BIC) region, Mattel's business and financial results are likely to be adversely affected. (Corporate.Mattel.com/annual-report) Globalization will force additional forces on multinational corporations such as Mattel thus creating "governance risks inherent in value chains and networks." (Abonyi, Van Slyke, 2010)
Global economic factors hurt financial performance…… [Read More]
This was because during this period the company had used a yellow pigment paint which contained high levels of lead. Another product that was discovered to contain high levels of lead was the Sarge cars paint. The product was manufactured by Early Light Industrial Company for Mattel. The company was based in Hong Kong, but the products were manufactured in China. Initially it was estimated the company had manufactured around 250,000 Sarge cars.
Solutions to the problems
To ensure that the magnets used on the Polly Pocket play sets did not come loose, Mattel had to reinforce the magnets instead of gluing them. The reinforcement involved locking the magnets in the toys. By locking the magnets in the toys, Mattel ensured that the magnets will not come loose when the children are playing with the toys. To ensure this rule is enforced always Mattel will have to come up with…… [Read More]
It is worth noting that like many companies, Mattel has grown since its inception largely on the basis of population growth. Not to take anything away from Mattel's products, but the population of the world and its wealth have increased substantially since 1945. The company now stands to benefit from a surge in growth as the baby boom echo generation enters child-bearing age. This massive demographic will likely have a lot of children as well, giving Mattel a chance for strong demographic growth in the North American market. The company grew strongly during the baby boom years, and now their grandchildren are the next major wave of potential consumers.
There are a number of threats that the company faces, however. Competition is a major threat, as it comes not only from other toymakers but from video games, computers and other electronic entertainment. Children raised on computers are now having kids,…… [Read More]
Mattel Toy Company was "born" in 1945. Owners, Ruth and Elliot Handler and Harold (Matt) Matson began the company out of a garage workshop in Southern California. The name,"Mattel" was a joining of "Matt" for Matson and "Ell" for Handler, thus the name "Mattel." The first products made by this new company were picture frames, but Elliot, always the one on the lookout for new ideas, soon began manufacturing dollhouse furniture from the picture frame scraps. Mattson sold his share of the company later that year, thus leaving the Handlers sole proprietors of Mattel. The dollhouse furniture sold exceedingly well and convinced the Handlers that their new company should be one based on the needs and desires of children - a toy company (Mattel corporate website, 2001).
In 1955, Mattel Toys literally became a household word when they began to advertise on the new Mickey Mouse Club television program. Advertising…… [Read More]
General Economic Environment
Mattel Incorporated's general economic environment in the United States is favorable, since the income distribution among U.S. consumers of Mattel Inc. products are relatively higher compared to other regions where Mattel Inc. is internationally located. For example, Asian consumers purchase relatively less number of Mattel products because of the high costs of these products when they are marketed and sold internationally. Income is also affected in the current social and political states of countries wherein Mattel Inc. sells its products. Because Asian countries tend to have more social and political instability, there is also financial instability as a result. Thus, because of financial instability, income is lower, thereby resulting to lesser consumption of toy products, which is not considered a priority among Asian households and consumers. Therefore, there are higher economic returns for Mattel Inc. For its European, North, and Central America regions compared to Asia-Pacific…… [Read More]
Mattel Faced in China
In 2009 Mattel opened a six-story House of Barbie in Shanghai, expecting it to be an enormous hub for an emerging market in China. However, just two years later Mattel was forced to close the doors on the $30 million facility. This paper will explain why Mattel failed to make an impact with its House of Barbie in Shanghai. It will show the problems that the company faced going in, which it failed to sufficiently consider, and how those problems might have been overcome.
The main points that this paper will examine are the specific market problems that Mattel faced by opening its store in China as well as the cause of the failure in terms of values and attitudes, gender differences, polite behavior expectations, forms of communication, importance of emotion, and education. The last points will focus on recommendations. In short, the American company expected…… [Read More]
Ethical Behaviors of Mattel in the Toy Industry
The ethicacy of corporate behaviors are influenced by a myriad of factors yet most strongly reflect the internal culture, alignment of leadership to vision, and accumulated trade-offs made by management over years of ethical decisions, trade-offs and outcomes. In the study Mattel, Inc.: Global Manufacturing Principles (GMP) - A life-cycle analysis of a company-based code of conduct in the toy industry (Sethi, Veral, Shapiro, Emelianova, 2011) the authors successfully provide insights into the moral and ethical dilemmas of operating a multinational corporation (MNC) that is highly dependent on Global Manufacturing Principles (GMP). The life-cycle analysis of company-based code of conduct also illustrates how creating a solid ethical foundation using a Corporate Social esponsibility (CS) platform is only as effective as the aligning of senior management, vision and mission, and manufacturing, sourcing, supply chain and distribution is (Sethi, Veral, Shapiro, Emelianova, 2011). When…… [Read More]
Products Liability esearch:
Mattel Inc. is a company that was founded in 1944 by Elliot and uth Handler that designs, manufactures, and markets a huge range of toy products. The firm is headquartered in California with its core product lines including Hot Wheels die-cast vehicles, Barbie fashion dolls, Disney toys, Fisher-Price preschool toys, and games like Scrabble. While Mattel also manufactures its toy products based on license agreements with movie makers, most of its toys are produced outside its huge market in the United States i.e. Southeast Asia. Actually, the firm's principal manufacturing facilities are located in several countries in Southeast Asia like Malaysia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, and even Mexico. Since its inception, the company has continued to experience significant growth that enables it to generate huge revenues. By 2007, its revenues had grown to $5.97 billion with its three largest customers accounting for 41% of sales across the globe.…… [Read More]
Mergers & Acquisitions
One of the more fascinating and complex part of corporate news and maneuvering is when companies engage in mergers and acquisitions as a means to further their growth, development and diversification. This report shall look at two companies in particular, those being Mattel and Texas Instruments. After conducting a thorough literature review, questions about both firms will be posed and answered. While there is more than one way to launch a takeover or acquisition bid for a firm, there are some ways and methods that are better than others.
Mattel Case Study
Now that the literature relative to mergers and acquisitions has been properly sampled and queried, it should now be ascertained what the answers are to the questions described in the introduction, with Mattel being the first firm addressed. Mattel has proven themselves to be concerned with branching out and modernizing their product mix and feel…… [Read More]
Devise P and marketing strategies to earn greater trust, typing their performance back to the perceptual maps as a measure of performance. This is also a critical step as it will show the progress over time of selected marketing and P strategies to gain greater trust and credibility back.
Develop Voice of the Customer Programs and aggressively pursue getting channel members involved. Getting customers to have a sense of ownership over the products and also showing the willingness to act on their feedback is also critical for getting the company trusted again, and also ensuring product strategies are aligned with customer needs.
Initiate a Partner elationship Management system to measure the financial implications of both the recall and marketing strategies on the performance of channel partners and resellers.
Associated Press, (2007). Mattel issues new massive China toy recall. etrieved October 9, 2007, from MSNBC Web site: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20254745/
CM Buyer…… [Read More]
Nairn sees these Barbies as being tortured to destroy the doll's perfection, but the same children (I have noticed from observing female relatives) may demand a new Barbie, even after treating the old one carelessly.
Additionally, not all Barbies are disposed of. In fact, there is a thriving industry of adults who collect Barbies. These Barbies embody characters from famous old films, new films, or characters from around the world. Even some Barbies marketed at younger girls that are reasonably priced like those of the Twilight series of Barbies, are clearly not disposable. Barbies run the gamut from the cheap to the beautifully coiffured, yet all of them suggest a model of femininity that is similar: adult and girlish at the same time. Even as early as the 1960s, according to the website "Barbie's Career History," Barbie was used to embody 'acceptable' female occupations for young women, including that of…… [Read More]
Nike could have avoided the downturn had it been more receptive to ongoing change. One of the things it could have done differently was to "periodically analyze the organizational environment and identify forces for change." It is evident that Nike did not do this until it saw its sales slump. There were several underperforming divisions, and more importantly there were several untapped new product areas. An environmental scan would have allowed Nike to identify those much sooner, and perhaps respond more quickly. By being slow to respond to its external environment, Nike put itself in a more vulnerable position. Nike was forced in the to embark on revolutionary change, rather than evolutionary, because of its slow response. Ultimately, it could have adopted the revolutionary approach by being in tune with its environment, and by creating an organizational culture that was in general more receptive to change.
That said,…… [Read More]
Barbie's official website does feature an adult doll collection of "Dolls of the orld" which has a slightly more diverse range of images, but even these dolls are fairly uniform in style: the Asian doll is decked out in a midriff-bearing sexy, sari, for example, but looks just like a 'regular' Barbie.
In terms of body image, the typical Barbie doll has branched out to slightly more diverse interests than fashion: Barbie now skis and surfs, and even rides dirt bikes. Barbie is athletic, as well as feminine, in the official image she projects to young girls, suggests that one can be outdoorsy and girlish at once. Barbie's "I can be" collection features a Barbie news anchor and computer engineer, the latter in plastic pink 'geek chic' glasses. Barbie's adult line now features less artificial looking dolls that are supposed to represent famous characters from film and fiction, including the…… [Read More]
Mattel Inc.'s case study with regard to the principle of corporate social responsibility (CS).
Corporate Social esponsibility
CS requires the engagement of a corporate accountability vision to a broad array of stakeholders, aside from investors and shareholders. The main areas of interest are personnel well-being, societal/community well-being, and environmental protection in the present time as well as into future prospects (Corporate social responsibility (CS) -- Current issues). Underpinning the CS view is the theory that businesses cannot behave as separate economic units functioning detachedly from the wider society. Conventional attitudes with regard to profitability, competitiveness, and survival are disappearing. A number of organizations still neglect their supply chain-level CS -- for instance, through the importing and selling of unlawfully harvested timber. Although governmental bodies can impose fines and embargos on offending firms, it would be better for firms themselves to commit to sustainability, through a more careful choice of their…… [Read More]
Mattel must not only have an adaptive management set up but they also must have introduced only those products in the market that ride well with their corporate values and culture.
Gilbert (1996) asserts that one of the responsibilities of the top management is to connect their aims and objectives with their corporate culture in such a way that both work hand-in-hand. Being in the top end of the hierarchy, the general managers are responsible and accounted for not only planning but also for controlling and coordinating the decisions they make with their entire workforce. Additionally, he points out that they emphasize some cultural factors, which favor transformation; at the same time as weeding out negative, as well as, conservative mindsets (Gilbert, 1996). The top management of Mattel must have been extremely selective in its strategies that it employed soon after the incident, since it was able to successfully sort…… [Read More]
Barbie Lost Her Groove
Mattel- why managers changed their decision-making over time, and the kinds of cognitive errors therein
A formidable business intelligence gathering program identifies threats in good time. However, according to George Day, intelligence is only one aspect of the whole. Day has studied numerous business giants that failed to pick cues from the market and paid dearly for such flips. Day is a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School. There is need to have both human and technological systems to deal with and interpret data. You also need the know-how to deal with the information. Mattel stumbled at this point. Several ex Mattel managers such as Bruce; a Bruce Stain; the chief officer in charge of operations and the head of Mattel globally from 1997 to 1999, and consultants such as Day confirm this fact. According to expert analysis, two factors weakened Mattel's reaction.…… [Read More]
Mattel's managers were slow to adapt because they had become complacent. Barbie is a billion-dollar brand (Mattel 2014 Annual eport) and had been able to beat many prior competitors. There was no motivation for the Barbie team to change, because there were no major challengers, and it had been a long time since a viable threat to the brand had emerged. Without incentive, many managers become complacent and then they refuse to change and to innovate. The financial incentives for these managers were likely tied to profitability, and Barbie was still highly profitable. It was only after Bratz knocked Barbie's sales down 30% that the Barbie managers took notice of the threat (Pimentel, 2007).
The cognitive errors that would contribute to this would include feeling that if Barbie had been able to deflect new entrants in the past that it would be able to do so in the future.…… [Read More]
Process redesign is central to cost control. The notion of focus groups as a means to reduce costs and enhance process control is notable for its two-pronged approach.
Focus groups (Bannon, 2001) also enable manufacturers to identify early in the process whether a product will be a hit among the consumer base or if it is expected to flop. The earlier the product is identified to flop, the better the savings for the company and potential for greater profits through the pipeline of alternative toys used in the focus group process.
Other measures pertinent to the cost control process include securing an earlier production schedule (Bannon, 2001) and utilizing a smaller number of molds or casts necessary to manufacture the facsimile toy product. "The difference is important, since molds can cost as much as $100,000 each. Says Mr. Bousquette. "For 30 years, the company has been talking about doing this,"…… [Read More]
global impact, as well as how it related to the programmatic level. ased on that original idea and any feedback you received from your classmates in the Discussion, you will extend that idea and develop an outline for a logical, scholarly argument on the topic
Trend in the field: Offering high quality, low-cost products through outsourcing
Like many businesses, my bus company is faced with the challenge of offering low-cost products in an increasingly competitive international transportation marketplace. Globally, no single autobus firm can command more than 20% of the marketplace (Global bus market, 2013, Free Patents Online).Our buyers want products that are of high quality, meet national safety standards, and yet are priced competitively. To meet this challenge, many companies, including my own, have used outsourcing as a way to lower labor costs. We have recently opened up a factory in China. The decision was a difficult one, and…… [Read More]
Penetrate Global Markets
Global marketing in today's world depends upon a mix of technological and cultural understanding as Spillan (2012) points out: the "reach of the Internet to unknown places" and the "social environments that exist in global regional market segments" help to drive the global economy and the markets that exist within it. Therefore, comprehending how the Internet and various social media outlets intersect and interact with social environments, especially in developing worlds, is supremely important in assessing one's role in the global market strategy. This is essentially also the point of Luca Lindner (2015), president of McCann Worldgroup and author of "Why Global Marketing Must Move Beyond Cultural Stereotypes and Go Deep." When Lindner advises that marketers "go deep," he means that marketers must tap into the "local" economy and culture of the environment they seek to reach: after all, the trend in recent years is a rise…… [Read More]
Mattel is a producer of children's toys, including the well-known industry brands Fisher Price, Barbie and Hot Wheels. The company has strategic partnerships with several other major brands such as Disney, WWE, Nickelodeon and Warner Bros. The company did nearly $6.5 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year, and turned a profit of just of $900 million. Nearly half of its revenues come from international markets.
The Barbie brand is the most important for the company, with just over $1 billion in annual revenues. The company's marketing is focused around the end-of-year, when gift-buying for children reaches its peak. The company utilizes most forms of media for its advertising, including traditional 30-second television spots. Mattel spent $733.2 million, or 12.2% of net sales, on its marketing efforts in the last fiscal year (Mattel 2014 Annual eport). In terms of distribution, its three largest customers are Walmart,…… [Read More]
A relational contract can be described as “informal agreements and unwritten codes of conduct that powerfully affect the behavior of individuals, clearly emphasizing the informal nature of contracts.” (Ho?hn 35) They help businesses overcome obstacles typically faced in formal contracting. Formal contracts must be written in a manner that allows for easy verification by any third party, therefore must be self-enforcing. (Ho?hn) The basis for relational contracts is self-enforcement, especially when relationships are finite. When relationships remain open-ended, the situation changes. Meaning, inclusion of extensions with information self-enforced provisions. When these changes happen, such contracts become self-enforced relational contracts. (Ho?hn) Thus, begins the ‘trust game’.
The trust game is simple, player 1 must choose to ‘trust’ or ‘not trust’ player 2. If player 1 ‘trusts’ player 2, player 2 can have the opportunity to betray or honor player 1. Should both parties not betray each other, they…… [Read More]
Implicit in the use of these internal controls is keeping strategic plans and initiatives on track. This focus on continual alignment of strategies to their objectives through the use of internal controls is what separates those organizations attaining success with their supply chains or not.
One of the more successful organizations globally in orchestrating their supply chains through the use of internal EP controls is PC and laptop manufacturer Lenovo (Barrett, et.al.). According to studies of their supply chain completed by AM esearch, Lenovo has been able to attain a 37% reduction in supply chain costs over three years (Barrett, et.al.). In addition Lenovo has been able to stay profitable while experiencing 42% growth during the 4th quarter of 2009, a time when many of its competitors were facing financial losses. Compare their growth to the overall market growth of 17% and the value of supply chain-based internal controls becomes…… [Read More]
As a Western manufacturing company of English Language products considering a major investment in one of the BRICS countries—preferably China—it is advisable that the company first possess an assessment of the feasibility of achieving the company’s aims in a country like China, which currently is in a trade war with the U.S. that shows no signs of letting up. Moreover, an examination of the overall context of globalized society in the 21st century will help the company to determine whether this investment would be particularly strategic at this time or not. While the general business environment in China (in the widest sense) is positive, there are a number of obstacles that Western companies face when attempting to enter the Chinese market. Cultural and institutional challenges make up the bulk of these obstacles, but, as other companies have overcome them in the past with the right approach, it…… [Read More]
An additional example of how a company learned how to use techno0loigy effectively in their new product development strategies is Motorola. Having been initially challenged with the entire process of new product development and introductions due to a slow-moving company, Motorola was able to spin off the new product development of their popular azr phone and gain significant market share as a result (Burkett, 2005). Each of these examples illustrates how technologies have been used to mitigate the risk of new product introductions. The success of the azr product launch (Burkett, 2005) is a case in point. Mattel and Coca Cola both have extensive programs for using technology-based systems and applications for listening to customers, yet in the case of the product introductions mentioned, they failed to accurately gauge the level of interest in product concepts.
Legal and Ethical Implications of New Product Development
The legal and ethical considerations of…… [Read More]
Also, by creating school-centered products for older children, it can lessen the criticism that it is imposing technology upon the young, impressionable minds of preschoolers.
Available action alternatives
LeapFrog could continue to stress its core model, or 'razor and blades' approach. However, given that other educational and toy companies are capitalizing upon the LeapFrog platform model, LeapFrog cannot afford to ignore the fact that this market will eventually shrink, even if LeapFrog remains the industry standard. However, the Obama Administration is expanding the focus of the nation on standards-based education. Thus, shifting LeapFrog's focus to its K-high school Leap Start initiative, ESL programming, and other devices that make teaching standards-based education easier for teachers in crowded and cash-strapped classrooms would seem to be the ideal way to ensure that LeapFrog has a comprehensive market approach that covered all potential 'bases' for the company, regardless of the market environment. Furthermore, even…… [Read More]
"Why? Because of their products. Product development is what interests the consumer" (Blanchard, pg. 7). Perhaps the automakers should take note.
One toy manufacturer does an excellent job of marketing to the consumer. Mattel uses an ongoing tracking program in its efforts to sell more Barbie dolls.
The last decade has seen over 40 differently featured Barbie dolls for sale in approximately 140 countries. ecently Mattel discovered they no longer had to change the features of Barbie (at least in Asian countries) because "market testing led an official from Mattel to proclaim: "Blond Barbie sells just as well in Asia as in the U.S." (Cross, Smits, 2005, pg. 874). Now it is possible for children almost everywhere in the world to be happy with their new Barbie dolls. That is a fine example of consumer-centric activities.
Blanchard, D.; (2006) Are your best practices getting the job done?, Industry Week,…… [Read More]
credible sources support claims. Identify purpose, incorporate audience, establish a desired tone, and organize information/claims effectively.
Automotive company: Causes and effects of importing most of its materials from foreign manufacturers
In the new global economy, nations have gained the potential to become increasingly specialized in terms of how and what they produce. For many companies outsourcing everything from the component parts of their products to helplines offers a way to cut costs, lower prices, and increase demand. However, these decisions have many hidden costs. "As stated by the new market research report on Automotive Component Outsourcing, Asia-Pacific remains the most prominent regional market for automotive component outsourcing, with revenues from the region waxing at a CAG of about 12% over the analysis period" (Global automotive component outsourcing market to reach $1.09 trillion by 2017, 2012, P Web). An overreliance upon overseas providers of materials can have the unintended long-term effect…… [Read More]
Fitness Industry in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a densely populated, coastal city in Asia, where both Eastern and Western cultures meet. In this city-state of 7 million persons, the potential for the fitness industry (fitness clubs) to find consumer demand is evident in the government's recent emphasis on health and fitness as well as the entertainment industry's usage of body image to convey an impulse among consumers to mimic what they see. At the same time, Hong Kong has a distinctly Asian desire for fitness workouts that are more dance-oriented than in the West. Choreography is a big draw for Hong Kong fitness club users and the more complex the choreography, the more likely the draw. Still, fitness clubs also appeal to older consumers who want to belong to a club and who seek to achieve some activity in their lives, as there is limited open space in Hong…… [Read More]
Standing at the pivotal point of a changing world economy offers companies and business organizations new opportunities, but they must heed the lessons learned thus far, and make wise and pragmatic business decisions. These business choices are responsible for bringing about a stable world economy. Kemal Davis (2005) at the Financial Times and International Finance Corporation, summed it up this way:
"Given the scale of the challenge we face, there has never been a more critical time for the private sector, together with government, society and others to work together to build a better globalization for all (online)."
Building a globally-integrated world is a bold goal, but not unattainable. Business must take the lead and create for itself an environment of consumer trust, product quality and safety, and become more socially diverse and politically smart. Business must demonstrate its integrity, and concern for their markets by creating international trade…… [Read More]
Producing inexpensive restaurant meals for McDonald's has been highly profitable, given its ability to sell many burgers quickly and to create standardized franchises all over the world. Having the ability to produce in large volume also buffers a firm against the danger of a price-elastic good getting into a price war with other firms. In the case of Mattel and McDonald's, both firms are so large and have such brand recognition, they are protected to some extent of being forced to sell at such a low price they cannot cover their overhead.
Occasionally, pricing low does not achieve the desired objective: during boom times in some instances, the cheapest goods and services will sometimes experience a drop in demand, while higher-end purveyors will see the goods and services they sell become more in-demand. But selling price-elastic goods always requires clever and deliberate strategizing upon the part of the producer, unlike…… [Read More]
Currency downturns and upturns that cannot be controlled by the business can also affect the receptivity of imports, exports, and the costs of doing business abroad. Doing business internationally can 'hedge' risk in the sense that a downturn in one arena can be compensated by an upturn in another area, but during times of general economic downturn, the risks can also be greater, rather than balanced. This can be seen in the wake of the current credit crisis -- because of interconnected global operations, when American real estate 'sneezes' the world's credit market 'caught cold' in the subsequent deep-freeze.
Finally, expanding operations too rapidly without adequate research about local culture and needs can also result in imposing the home country's organization upon a foreign workforce, one of the pitfalls al-Mart fell into during its brief tenure in Germany. al-Mart instructed German clerks to bag customer's groceries, even though Germans were…… [Read More]
In this article, the author describes the technological, demographic, and market forces shaping this new digital media culture and the rich array of Web sites being created for children and teens. Many nonprofit organizations, museums, educational institutions, and government agencies are playing a significant role in developing online content for children, offering them opportunities to explore the world, form communities with other children, and create their own works of art and literature. For the most part, however, the heavily promoted commercial sites, sponsored mainly by media conglomerates and toy companies, are overshadowing the educational sites. ecause of the unique interactive features of the Internet, companies are able to integrate advertising and Web site content to promote "brand awareness" and "brand loyalty" among children, encouraging them to become consumers beginning at a very early age. The possibility that a child's exploration on the Internet might lead to inappropriate content, aggressive advertising,…… [Read More]
Gordon and Rutt (2008) attribute the rise of globalization to cheap gas, but that is only part of the story. Cheap gas makes shipping around the world competitive, but does the high cost of doing business in the U.S. relative to other countries. For simple tasks like manufacturing, many countries around the world are capable of leveraging their cheap land and/or cheap labor to produce at a level of quality similar to that of the U.S., but with much lower costs. The cost differential is so great that even the goods are cheaper, even with the additional shipping cost.
Bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. depends on understanding why it left in the first place. The tasks that were offshored, and to a large extent this is still true today, are routine tasks. Grossman (2006) notes that there is a fundamental difference between tasks that are routine and those…… [Read More]
Human Resources -- Technology and in-House Pay Administration
The selection of a provider for in-house wage/salary and benefits administration is difficult but necessary for modern business. After comparing Oracle and ADP, one can rightfully conclude that both providers are quite capable of providing effective software solutions for our company. However, ADP appears more user-friendly for a midsize business trying to efficiently perform these tasks in-house with its administrative staff.
Keeping wage/salary and benefits administration in-house
In order to adequately compare software for wage/salary and benefits administration, it is necessary to define the business of my company, the potential user requirements, information requirements, and technology requirements (Kugel, 2010). The modern business software world is rife with providers. After review of available software, ADP (ADP, Inc., 2014) and Oracle (Oracle, 2014) were compared.
Upon review, ADP was chosen over Oracle. Since the subject company has 200 employees, it is deemed definitely "midsized"…… [Read More]
Smart Cookie: SWOT Analysis
Oreo's entry into China and India presented two different types of challenges to the successful American cookie company. Because these two cultures were different from the American culture that had made the cookie famous in the U.S. (and each different from one another), Oreo had to consider how best to approach these two markets in order to make its product a worldwide success. Both countries represented enormous market opportunities for the company -- and each posed their own unique obstacles. China, for instance, was not traditionally a cookie eating nation; India was the biggest cookie eating nation. The former demanded a longer term strategy than the latter simply because of the Chinese orientation to cookies in general (let alone to the Oreo brand itself). From a SWOT perspective, Oreo was in a position to build its brand in both markets if it adapted to the particular…… [Read More]
A change management plan to implement a new process in the workforce to allow for a business to provide more personalized service is needed in the retail industry (Aloysius, Hoehle, Goodarzi & Venkatesh, 2018). Brick and mortar stores must do something to differentiate themselves from e-commerce businesses, which can provide more convenience to shoppers who prefer not to have to leave their homes. In other words, brick and mortar retailers need to give consumers a reason to come in—and that reason is personalized service. This has been demonstrated successfully by companies like Best Buy, which introduced the Geek Squad to provide a service-oriented approach to consumers so as to get them physically into the store (Meyer, Shankar & Berry, 2018). This paper will discuss the topic of implementing a service-oriented approach to consumers for brick and mortar retailers as a change management plan, using examples such as Best Buy…… [Read More]
These examples indicate that a Machiavellian approach to corporate ethics and an utter lack of concern for the state of the environment in the future is poor business practice. Yet the ethical arguments in favor of businesses showing concern for the environment, having rigorous accounting ethics and observing regulations regarding consumer safety is that a failure to take ethical action often results in losses of profits. It is far more difficult to argue that a firm should ignore the need to make a profit at all, and to place the environment first.
Consider the principles of the Deep Ecology movement, which point out that Western capitalism and consumerism itself generates waste, and a focus upon maximizing productivity actually causes harm to the environment. Deep Ecology principles stress that even encouraging people to buy more consumer goods, regardless of origin, is unethical, and that improvements in technology often results in destruction…… [Read More]
The role of sex in advertising is even more blatant in a food advertisement of an ejaculating Tabsco sauce bottle over a split bake potato -- hot and spice as a metaphor for intercourse.
Sex sells: a woman wants to be desired by a man which requires the perfect figure, in the perfect low-cut dress with the perfectly matching nail polish, and a man can only be desired by a woman if he drives a BMW, wears a olex watch and has on a alph Lauren suit (which is not a Polo suit but the higher end and much more expensive Purple Label suit). Media's objectification of women and the fact that sex does sell has lead to the "sexification" of young girls and teens. Kilboure makes her point with magazine covers and television spots, including JonBenet in full makeup for a toddler beauty pageant, a teenage Brittney Spears displayed…… [Read More]
Although former soldiers might assert that they are being objective because they are using their past experiences to support their assessments, viewers have the right to know what might influence former soldiers' perception of military evidence. This is particularly important in dealing with military speakers, because often a military title and a uniform, even of a retired officer, can cause a viewer to stand a little taller, and feel unpatriotic discounting the officer's testimony. A casual television viewer might assume the officer is reporting directly about what he or she has seen of troops in the field -- not balance sheets in a contractor's office. While Gates, as Secretary of Defense, clearly respects the men and women who have served the nation, he notes: "when they [former officers] are referred to by their title, the public doesn't know whether they are active duty or retired officers because those distinctions tend…… [Read More]
John Woodman, Nike's general manager in Indonesia, defended the company's practices, saying that the company had brought jobs that would not have otherwise existed to the region and thus raised many people's standard of living, despite the sweatshop-style conditions and wages. He said it was not Nike's business to know about the conditions on the ground -- despite the fact that Nike promoted itself as a socially responsible company. Michael Jordan's $2 million dollar paycheck was greater than the entire payroll of all Nike workers in Indonesia. Even through Nike may have been buying the shoes from independent contractors Nike still had a moral responsibility to take an interest in the conditions of the manufacturers of its shoes. Presumably, Nike exercises quality control to make sure the shoes are constructed appropriately. A similar level of concern must be paid to the human rights of workers. Mattel later used a…… [Read More]
Creating reporting agencies that know how to deal with such information in a proactive manner is necessary, rather than relying upon the media to publicize the negative information.
The lack of protective legislation is another problem. However, there is often great difficulty in generating legislative and popular support for protections to be accorded to whistle-blowers. Historically, many whistleblowers are like Daniel Ellsberg, who revealed the true nature of the war in Vietnam to the American public -- they have embarrassed organizations or companies with powerful interests in Congress. Other whistleblowers seem to have mixed motives for doing so, like whistle-blowing executives who testify against a corporation solely to protect their own skins in light of a coming financial debacle or ethical scandal.
Q3: What impact has it had on the standard of living and worker productivity?
In some ways, it has vastly improved the lives of workers -- workers can…… [Read More]
However, the issue is more nuanced -- what if, as a humanitarian effort, a pharmaceutical company sold recently expired drugs at very low cost to an impoverished developing nation in the grips of an epidemic? hat if a food company donated food that was safe but 'past its expiration date' to a famine-stricken nation? In this case, a utilitarian calculus would support such exchanges. The balance between the benefit of being cured or not starving to death and potential harm of bad drugs or food would suggest such a donation was ethical. From a Rawlsian point-of-view, imagining whether you were the producer or the consumer, it seems likely that 'you' the consumer would take a risk of eating safe but recently stale rice to avoid starvation, much like a producer would be happy to gain good publicity and unload goods that cannot be sold in the U.S. Everyone, in short,…… [Read More]
Yet American Girl dolls, perhaps because of their expense but also because of their reliability seldom provoke such mutilation. "I have to confess -- I have an emotional connection to this brand," admitted one adult, female NPR commentator, reviewing the film, stating that it was impossible for her to give an objective review of "Kit Kittredge, American Girl" because of her own love of the Kristen doll, as a girl, a doll that had traveled far from Sweden to settle in colonial America (Baker 2008). "She has the same name as me...I like playing with them [better than Barbies] because they're more like me," said an eleven-year-old interviewed by the NPR reporter, explaining why she adored the brand and couldn't wait to see the film
Even while some might be cynical about the fact that "a Kit doll, complete with book and accessories, will currently run you $105" and…… [Read More]
al). All of these general requirements are transforming the role of DBAs to be more strategic than tactical in their roles, tackling complex business problems over being custodians of it systems.
Compare the job duties listed for the database administrator positions that you found with the database administrator activities identified in the industry. Were their any job duties that surprised you?
The position used for this analysis is the Senior Database Administrator at Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is used as the basis of this analysis. This position requires 7 to 10 years of DBA experience with Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle 9i database, in addition to 5 years of experience with each of these platforms. There is also an expertise in tiered architectures and ETL tools including SQL Server DTS and Informatica. There is also the expectation of knowledge at the operating system level including IBM AIX and Microsoft Windows Server.…… [Read More]
12). Six weeks after that public relations disaster for RC2 Toys, other toy company, Fisher-Price, was obliged to recall "nearly 1 million of its most popular character toys, also because of lead paint," Field continues. Not long after those embarrassing recalls, Mattel and Fisher-Price announced "three more recalls from China" (Field, 12).
When an adult item is recalled, it doesn't make as big a negative splash as when items for children are recalled, so the toy industry was truly rocked by these events. One can also factor in the American economic downturn at the time of these above-mentioned recalls; that is, when people are out of work by the millions, and many are having their homes foreclosed, to have one's hard-earned dollars spend on a product that might sicken family members is doubly impactful on the negative side of the ledger.
Field explains that the recalls have had a "far-reaching…… [Read More]
Recalls of tainted meat by government authorities
Consumers don't know when and where it's being recalled from III. The Solution -- Disclosure
The Case Against Disclosure
hy Disclosure, ethically, is the right thing to do.
"Tastes like (the California State Legislature is being) Chicken"
Public threats to health and safety in the food industry pose unique ethical quandaries for public health officials. On one hand, full disclosure seems to be the best option. No one wants people, especially children, becoming ill, from tainted food. Even from a capitalist's potentially self-interested perspective, nothing was worse for the fast food industry when a child died from e.coli poisoning from a Jack n' the Box hamburger. Eric Schlosser's landmark Fast Food Nation, the expose of the hamburger and fast food industry was the result, and sales of the chain have been plummeting since the revelation.
However, on the other hand, no…… [Read More]
E-business may have been the most innovative idea to emerge from the birth of World Wide Web, but it was also the most misunderstood technology. Most firms believed that e-business would be easy. All you had to do was to offer your products or services online and then let customers visit you and make their purchases. But as it turned out, e-business turned out to be more complicated than that, resulting in massive shakeout in e-commerce sector during early 2000s. The dot.com bubble, as it was commonly known as, was one of the worst possible scenarios in the growth of e-business and it was believed that firms might never be able to harness the power of the Internet successfully. Brick and mortar option was considered safer and the sudden failure of most e-business was attributed to many things including poorly conceived business structures and models. During their study…… [Read More]
(Krukowski, 2001) Civil religion and workplace mysticism each change the institutional locus of religious expression from the church, synagogue, or mosque to another public organization- the state or the company. The existence of these different organizations hoists the main question of individuality and perhaps challenging faithfulness.
Both civil religion and workplace theology do not show the likely clashes and problems often met by employees who are also religious practitioners. Jews, Christians, or Muslims who are workforce of a company may well have grounds to question the customs of their company on religio-moral basis. Workplace theology in a funded organization does not distinguish these possible clashes. Institutionally conveying workplace theology is obviously not identical with permitting individual employees to convey their beliefs and customs at work. This grave outlook of workplace theology should not be realized, as a censure of persons who want to live out their definite religious or spiritual…… [Read More]
The combined sales from al-Mart and Toys 'R Us account for a smaller percentage than these other distribution channels.
Another alternative may be to establish their own category killer store to replace Toys 'R Us. However, this is a risky move and is capital intensive. They would have to make certain that the market would be willing to accept this alternative. This alternative would require a heavy capital outlay and carries the greatest amount of risk. However, it may be a more cost effective alternative in the continuation of marketing research and product development. The costs and benefits of this alternative would have to be weighed against the risk.
In addition to expanding existing distribution channels other than al-Mart, toy manufacturers may wish to develop other distribution channels as well. For instance, they may wish to attempt to entice other retail establishments such as K-Mart, increase holdings in Target, Meijers…… [Read More]
After all, the company rationalized that new menu items had always been a part of McDonald's innovative image, and keeping on the cutting edge of restaurant trends, as had been the case with the introduction of its innovative breakfast sandwich items like the Egg McMuffin in 1976 and Chicken McNuggets in 1980 ("McDonald's Case Study,"2008).
Effectiveness of the Decision-Making Process
One problem with initiating changes like the "Made for You" campaign in the fast food industry is that customers are not always cognizant that the changes have occurred, as they are not usually connoisseurs of the food, only apprehending vaguely a decline or improvement in quality. "It seems a little bit better," observed one consumer when prompted by a reporter, noting "the bacon looks like it's just been cooked." Another frequent McDonald's patron was more complementary: "it seems like the Quarter Pounder is juicier," declared Rosemary Frigo, a nurse from…… [Read More]
Toy Industry in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Toy Industry
The world toy industry in the world is growing tremendously and hence the need by many nations to invest in the sector. Among the nations, Hong Kong has been at the lime light, especially for being the leading economy in the industry. In conjunction with the Chinese mainland, the total accountability amount to 75% of the toys manufactured. The success of the operations have been credited to the ever developing market, constant customers, well-organized logistics, knowledge and a broad networking program for the marketing the end products. Famous brands developed for the industry include Playmates, May Cheong, Silverlit, Toy2R and Hot Toys.
Contextually, Silverlit is a family-oriented company but managed through the OEM, ODM and OBM bodies. It is situated in Dongguan but having no manufacturing operations in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, it has a large populous of employees and several branches…… [Read More]
They have been adapted to sports -- Frisbee Golf and Frisbee Football-- with their own rules, fields of play, and tournaments" (p. 276).
Indeed, Frisbee Golf aficionados take their game very seriously, and many carry different sized discs in a "golf bag" just like their traditional golfing counterparts and use many of the same invectives when they miss their shots (pers. obs.). Likewise, Frisbee throwers compete with each other for top ratings in various categories. For instance, West reports that, "As with the games Monopoly and Scrabble, careful records are kept of outstanding (and strange) Frisbee achievements: greatest distance thrown (623.5 feet), maximum time aloft (16.72 seconds), and longest distance thrown by two persons during twenty-four hours (362.4 miles)" (p. 276).
Knockoffs of the real Frisbee brand can be found everywhere for just a dollar or so, and mastery of the basic elements requires just a few minutes. Becoming truly…… [Read More]
Product Recalls: Reaction
Every now and then, I will turn on the morning news and hear that there has been a product recall for something I consider vaguely absurd, such as a product that can possibly cause harm if it is misused in some extraordinary fashion. However, I have also heard about product recalls in which there are serious questions about the safety of the product. An excellent example of this occurred several years ago, when some Mattel toys were found to contain harmful substances like lead that could injure a small child if swallowed, which is a common occurrence when children play with toys. Given the bad publicity which can ensue if a company's product results in an injury or the death of a user, being aggressive about instituting product recalls, versus taking a 'wait and see' approach, seems to be the superior strategy.
The Dell and Pinto instances…… [Read More]