Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Conclusion of Leadership Theories

My four latest blog post (authentic leadership, situational leadership, servant leadership, leader member exchange) have evaluated the nature of leadership styles and their theories. Servant leadership theory has suggested that servant leaders are leaders who naturally have a desire to serve first and aspire others to lead. Leader-member exchange theories suggest that a mutual exchange between leader and follower can produce loyal and committed relationships. Authentic leadership has promoted the notion that leaders should be self-aware, honest, and transparent. A Situational leader theory suggests that leadership roles vary, and each unique situation needs a unique solution. In order to inspire, innovative, and produce creativity within an organization, leaders should be aware and mindful of their followers’ perception of them. Each of these theories focuses on building trust through a mutually beneficial relationship between leaders and followers.

 

Credits for blogs

Avolio, B., & Gardner, W. (2005). Authentic leadership development: getting to the root of positive forms of leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 16, 315-338. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.03.001

Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Weber, T. J. (2009). Leadership: current theories , research, and future directions. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 421–449.  doi:10.1177/0149206310393520

Cubero, C. G. (2007). Situational leadership and persons with disabilities. Work29(4), 351-356. Retrieved from

Fred O. Walumbwa, Bruce J. Avolio, William L. Gardner, Tara S. Wernsing, and Suzanne J. Peterson. (2008). Authentic Leadership: Development and Validation of a Theory-Based Measure†. Journal of Management. doi:10.1177/0149206307308913

Graeff, C. L. (1997). Evolution of situational leadership theory: A critical review. The Leadership Quarterly, 8(2), 153-170. doi:10.1016/S1048-9843(97)90014-X

Graen, G.B. and Uhl-Bien, M. (1995). Relationship-Based Approach to Leadership: Development and Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory of Leadership over 25 Years: Applying a Multi-Level Multi-Domain Perspective. Leadership Quarterly, 6, 219-247. doi: 10.1016/1048-9843(95)90036-5

Hassanzadeh, J. F. (2014). Leader-member Exchange and Creative Work Involvement: The Importance of Knowledge Sharing. Iranian Journal Of Management Studies7(2), 391-412. Retrieved from http://ijms.ut.ac.ir/

Klenke, K. (2007). Authentic leadership: A self, leader, and spiritual identity perspective. International Journal of Leadership Studies, 3(1), 68-97. Retrieved from http://www.regent.edu

Liden, R.C., Wayne, S.J., Liao, C., & Meuser, J.D. (2014). Servant leadership and serving culture: Influence on individual and unit performance. Academy of Management Journal, 57, 1434-1452. doi:10.5465/amj.2013.0034

McCleskey, J. A. (2014). Situational, Transformational, and Transactional Leadership and Leadership Development. Journal Of Business Studies Quarterly5(4), 117-130. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu

Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Sendjaya, S., & Sarros, J. C. (2002). Servant leadership: Its origin, development, and application in organizations. Journal of Leadership and Organization Studies, 9(2), 57-64. doi: 10.1177/107179190200900205

Bottom of the Pyramid Markets

The goal of developing and growing bottom of the pyramid (BOP) markets is to create mutual value between businesses and the community. To market within the BOP market, radical innovation is necessary in order to modify products and make them affordable for people of all income levels. The problem with this strategy, however, is that companies often fail to consider the perspective of the poor themselves. Businesses that mainly focus on top of the pyramid (TOP) markets are more likely to fail within the BOP market, as products created for the rich are not suitable to the poor. Consequently, the BOP market requires company’s to create unique business strategies for the BOP market in order to produce effective results.
 
Within the BOP market, companies have to determine new solutions on attracting the consumer and then provide an affordable solution. To get products to the BOP markets, company’s can consider the sachet revolution; a marketing approach used to package items within sachets that make them affordable to the poor. Additionally, companies should partner with local leaders within BOP markets to help with implementing a strategy. Microsoft is a company that generates activities targeted at emerging markets including the BOP market. The company partners with local governments, organizations, educators, and community business leaders to implement software and hardware into employment areas and the education system to help improve lives. Nonetheless, there is no single solution for creating a successful BOP market strategy and achieving success. Technology, global standards, and global scales must all be utilized to help solve the poverty problem. Firms operating in the BOP market have to utilize unique strategies to reach the market and learn how to do more with less.    
 
Income, prices, savings, debt, and credit availability determine economic purchasing power. The economy has strong impacts on consumers and businesses that are geared at particular income-based segments of users. The goal of the marketing firm or marketing consultant is to develop strategies that influence consumer purchases. Consequently, the marketer is responsible for creating strategies that can reach the desired consumer no matter the income level or location. Although the BOP market does create risk and obstacles that may be outside of a marketer’s comfort level, it does not mean that the market should be avoided for an easier, more convenient market. Within a BOP market, firms and marketers need to innovate and create unique strategies and products that reach the market and consumers. Within innovation, markets get ignored and business, and individuals are left at a disadvantage.       
 
Information and communication technology (ICT) can assist with developing bottom of the pyramid (BOP) marketing goals. Company’s can achieve their BOP market goals by creating strong relationships and open communication between local partners within the BOP communities. ICT can contribute to economic development and poverty reduction. ITC assists individuals and companies grow their economy, build opportunity, and increase process efficiency. If people within BOP markets do not have the opportunity to take advantage of new ICT applications, they will be disadvantaged or excluded from participating within global communication. In many parts of the world, ICT contributes to revolutionary changes in businesses and everyday lives of the poor. Providing BOP markets with the opportunity to use technology to communicate with one another and across the globe creates strong social and economical impacts. However, corporations deal with many risks as they attempt to restructure their business strategies, processes, and implementation into BOP markets.   

Creating a professional brand image

Creating a professional image

A good graphic artist will understand that business logos are not just for multi-national corporations. Graphics are for any enterprise that wants to present a professional image and customer recognition for a job (otherwise known as branding).

Your logo works for you on your business cards, stationery for your company, invoices and receipts, your business’ publications, and of course ads. A good business logo design helps your customers remember your business and many people remember images better than they remember the words.

Decision Support Systems

A Decision Support Systems (DDS) assist in reducing time needed in manual searching of information. DSS gives the ability for results to be returned at faster than human speeds. DSS is a flexible interactive IT system designed to assist non-structured decision making problems. Advantages of DSS include, increased productivity, understanding, speed, flexibility, and reduced cost. DSSs are information systems that support decision-making processes. Objective of DSSs is to enhance the effectiveness of decision-makers. Functions that DSS assist with include data storage, retrieval, manipulation, and small calculations. A crucial point of DSS is its ability to react to changes and situations quickly. DSS can be used to assist in solving many different promising diverse alternatives to problems.
 
DSS is when an individual performs decision related task. The goal of DSSs is to assist the decision maker in improving their effectiveness. Enhancing the decision maker’s insights and knowledge does this. Decision-making is dependent upon knowing past, present, and likely future situations. Information systems should have the ability to forecast the future based on probability.
 
Often a DSS will incorporate an expert system (ES). While a DSS requires the decision maker to have knowledge and expertise about the situation, an ES only requires facts and symptoms to provide solutions to problems. In a replacement role, an ES helps with improving efficiency of decision makers. ES tools are used to mainly support and assist with problems and not replace the decision maker. ES is a system that assists with reaching conclusions based on reasoning. These types of systems are useful for diagnostic and prescriptive type problems. In a support role, an ES can be known as an expert advisory. DSS generally has three components: model management, data management, and user interface management. Model management provides information to the decision makers. Data management assists with customer and product information. User interface management helps the decision makers access the information. ES tools, if used to replace human decision makers, have been shown to be just as effective, if not better than a human. Organizations should not rely on ES tools to improve the efficiency of the decision maker. 
 
The marketing firm that I am researching could use DSS to analyze its customer marketing performance and create effective strategies based on that information. Considering the organization uses tracking and monitoring tools to view its customer data, it should use DSS to highlight opportunities for each unique customer. Currently, its customers each have similar goals and processes that are used to generate sales. However, with implementing DSS, it could help in developing unique plans and goals for the customers instead of one universal marketing method. 

Economic and Perceived Value Pricing

Real and Perceived Value
The price of a product is reflected based on the financial needs for growth and operation of the company, in addition to consumers’ perceived value of the product. Businesses have a goal of making a profit, which often requires selling items at a perceived value. Real and perceived values are different ways in which products are valued, which are generally based on economic impacts and competition. In addition, the relevancy to the consumer determines the value of the product. If the product or message is not relevant or does not affect the consumer personally, it will not be as effective as if it did.

Advantages and Disadvantages
Value pricing allows companies to influence consumer purchases by offering lower prices for competitive products. Real value is generally easier to measure than perceived value. Factors that increase the value of real value include the cost of labor, materials, marketing, shipping, and product development. Product distribution, marketing efforts, and brand value determine the products perceived value. For example if two competitors are to sell the exact same item, built exactly the same way, and from the same materials, it is likely that the company with the better brand value reputation can sell the item at a higher price because of the perceived value by the consumer. If the consumer perceives the value of the product high, the consumer will likely show more interest. The consumers’ perception of the company’s customer support, trust, loyalty, and product quality determine the products value.

Services and Products
Value pricing attracts value conscious customers. The actual cost of the product production determines the real values. In addition, the real value depends on the usefulness of the product to the consumer as well as the value of the product components. Perceived value is based on how much money the consumer or business believes the product is worth. It is the marketer’s responsibility to generate a positive perceived value of the company’s products. Whether marketing a service or a product, the results are similar in that both rely on the consumers’ perception of the company’s or individual’s expertise, quality, and reputation. In addition, both products and services have other components necessary to complete certain task. While a product may have additional parts and components, a service technician or company is likely to have to purchase tools, software, and other items necessary to complete the service.

Perceived value for individuals looking to invest into higher education tremendously affects the institutions price. Students and family perceive the value of the institution to be within the quality of the education. Consequently, the higher the perceived value of quality, the higher the cost of tuition. Research, however, has not proven a correlation between institutional cost and actual quality. Perceived value of an institution does correlate a student’s likelihood of enrollment. Perceived value of an education has three main factors, which include, quality, cost, and emotional attachment. Failing to satisfy either of these could jeopardize the student’s enrollment potential, as it will affect the students perceived value.

In marketing, generating excitement can also generate a sale and loyal customer. If a user is excited about a product, they may ignore the cost and quality factor. To enroll students into an institution, the marketing and sales team should seek to expose students to information and experiences that excites them and builds passion for the brand.

Real and perceived value offers many benefits to businesses and consumers. The impact of marketing and social networks real and perceived value in regards to marketing efforts is hard to determine. For instance, LinkedIn is a social network that is said to build business networks and promote expertise. However, it is difficult for a user to determine the real value of a paid account, free account, or whether the service is actually making a difference and producing what its purposed to do.

The LinkedIn site is available in 20 languages, and has 238 million users globally. The Internet-based service is similar to a Rolodex of business contacts. As a user, the platform may be a good place to build a brand, increase online visibility, and grow a professional network. It is the users responsibility to determine what the real value of the LinkedIn platform is based on their needs. Although the real value may be worth the free account, the perceived value could be priceless if the user uses the platform to truly build a network and search for a new career.

If an individual truly believes in the quality and value of a product or service, then the perceived value becomes more valuable than the real value. Online platforms, website, and social networking sites work just as traditional products and services regarding real and perceived value.

Business Crisis Management

Definition of crisis management

A crisis management is the way that a person or business handles an emergency. In a family, this could be a member having to suddenly go to the hospital because of an accident. In a business, a crisis can be anything from a defective product recall or an economic change that causes a drop in sales.

How crisis management relates to business

Within the marketing industry, having the ability to understand and react promptly when crisis arises is crucial for maintaining the businesses market share, trust, and reputation. Not managing a crisis properly can have the potential to damage carefully developed equity, and spoil consumers’ quality perception (Chen, Ganesan, & Liu, 2009).

Personal experience with crisis management

As an online marketer, I run into crisis management issues oftentimes on a weekly basis. Each week I monitor my clients websites ranking through analyzing Yahoo, Bing, and Google search engines for algorithm changes. It’s normal for search engines to change their algorithm and I do advise my clients that their website rank may change drastically if such a change occurs that may affect their website. Once this happens, a site that previously ranked on the first page could drop out of the search engine completed. As this occurs, It usually causes a loss in site traffic and sales. The solution to this is for me to research and analyze the issue, check whether it’s a search engine issue or a website issue and then correct or explain to the client that recovery is impossible.

Summary of About the Crisis Marketing and The Crisis of Marketing

This article focuses on the global economic-financial marketing crisis. According to the article, marketing may be just the solution for many companies to get out of the crisis, but what is sadder is that a lot of them do not realize it (Cornelia & Mihaela, 2011). The article tackles the subject of why marketing is needed within a failing economy and how to successfully implement new strategies to help increase and sustain profit and productivity.

Avoiding negative impacts of a crisis

Research has indicated that a proactive strategy may have positive consequences on consumer perception if the crisis is responded to with a constant, active, and firm response (Chen, Ganesan, & Liu, 2009). The business being affected should respond quickly to the crisis and should focus their attention on building and strengthening consumer trust. During a crisis, marketing strategies should be analyzed and focus on resonating emotionally with the consumer through a human, friendly language (Cornelia & Mihaela, 2011). Without proactively managing the crisis, the risk of negative impact rises.

 

Credits

Cornelia, M., & Mihaela, B. (2011). ABOUT THE CRISIS MARKETING AND THE CRISIS OF MARKETING. Journal Of Academic Research In Economics, 3(3), 311-316.

Chen, Y, Ganesan, S., & Liu, Y. (2009). Does a firm’s product-recall strategy affect its financial value? An examination of strategic alternatives during product-harm crises. Journal of Marketing, 73(6), 214–226.

Content Management Systems CMS

Stay Updated With a CMS

With some websites, having fresh content is mandatory to gain new and repeat clients. With a Content Management System (CMS), you can keep your site updated with the latest news articles, products, and services. You have full control over what you want to put on and take off your site.

Updating:

Your website needs to be easily upgraded with new content on a regular basis. A CMS gives you full control so that you can easily add new updates and blogs to your website without having to call a programmer to do it for you.

Results:

All content can be managed through a simple user interface that allows for quick task completion. The Administration area is easy for all to use, and can involve multiple access levels for various management controls.

With a CMS, you can easily implement and manage:

  • Article publishing
  • Website forums
  • Photo galleries
  • Surveys and polls
  • Projects
  • Interactive event calendars
  • Complex data entry forms

Analyzing Project Feasibility

Making a Business Case
It is important to calculate the profit estimate when taking on new projects. Determining the net present value (NPV) of a project helps determine if a project should be accepted or rejected. The NPV is an important method to use in concluding the value of projects. The NPV formula determines the value of an investment based on its discounted cash flow. The NPV is calculated by subtracting the project cost from the present value (PV). The NPV capital budgeting rule suggest that projects with a positive NPV should be accepted and projects with a negative NPV should be rejected. According to the NPV capital budgeting rule, the firm could benefit from approving this project because of its positive NPV. Based on the positive NPV, this project can be assumed a valuable investment.

Project Risk
If there is concern regarding risk associated with the project, the firm could optionally use a cut-off threshold. A cut-off threshold prevents project budgets from going into the negative by using cut-off numbers that determine when and if a project should be shut down and abandoned. A project should be abandoned if the value is too low and the expected revenues do not justify further project investment. In addition, putting the project together in stages and with budgets for each stage can reduce risk. Upon each stage completion, the firm would invest into the next stage. Consequently, the financial risk would be minimized.

Decision Justification
Considering the NPV for this project is positive, it will likely generate positive cash flow and would not do any harm to the firms’ status quo. Having a positive NPV suggests the project will generate value for the shareholders’ wealth. If the NPV value is accurate and the project is successful, it could potentially have positive effects on the firms’ equity value.

In addition to the benefits, there are considerable risks and disadvantages of using NPVs. Considering NPVs are based on only assumptions, it does leave room for error. A small company could have a difficult time providing reliable estimates based on the NPV data. Minor changes in the interest rate could affect the projects discount rate, which could drastically affect the projects NPV. A concern of the NPV is its requirement to make calculated projections. In most scenarios, the formula will not be 100% reliable. Before deciding based solely on the NPV, a discounted cash flow analysis should first be analyzed. Although the NPV formula does present a feasible projection of cash flow, it does not present the projects actual return. Because of the difficulty of determining an exact valuation, there could be unforeseen cost, which could incur a negative cash flow rather than a positive one.

Something else to take into consideration when investing into a project is the IRR. Both NPV and IRR are tools used to evaluate potential project investments by measuring capital budgeting, which is the process used to determine significant business investments. While NPV examines cash flow value based on the discounted rate, the IRR defines the rate of return for a project based on the stream of cash flow. IRR is the discounted rate that converts the present value to zero by making the current value of cash flows equal to the present value of cash outflows. Disadvantages of using IRR is that it is not ideal for long-term projects considering the calculation does not evaluate discount rates. Another limitation of using the IRR is that the method does not consider the initial investment amount. This can present a problem when comparing two alternative investments based solely on the IRR. Businesses can use both NPV and IRR to assist with making investment decisions. However, there is no 100% method to use, which will guarantee a positive return on investment. When making an investment decision, the investor should take into account the IRR, NPV, and other investment indicators including risk, and alternative options.

A phenomenology research method

Based on my research of a phenomenology, it uses descriptive analysis to capture experiences (Sanders, 1982). The method evaluates experiences and brings them closer to lived phenomena (Sanders, 1982). A phenomenology study is a method used for unfolding human experience by examining the uniqueness and commonalities of events and circumstances. A phenomenology approach is recommended for continually evaluating biases and presuppositions (Sanders, 1982). A phenomenology study focuses on understanding the meaning of human experiences by analyzing the pure and unencumbered visions of experiences. A phenomenology research design comprises of three components, which are a) determining limits of who and what is to investigate, b) data collection, and c) phenomenology analysis of data (Sanders, 1982). The data collection techniques used in phenomenology research include in-depth, documentary, and observation. Additionally, it is essential that interviews conducted are recorded and transcribed.

Additional Reading

Sanders, P. (1982). Phenomenology: A new way of viewing organizational research. Academy Of Management Review, 7(3), 353-360. doi:10.5465/AMR.1982.4285315

Qualitative research methods

Qualitative research methods work to understand and discover experiences, perspectives, and insight of participants (Hiatt, 1986). An advantage of a qualitative approach is that study participants are not constrained to a predetermined set of responses (Harwell, 2011). A downfall of the study in regards to collecting data is that it is expensive considering the amount of time needed to collect the data. Qualitative research consists of using lived experiences and interpreting the phenomena (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005).

Quantitative research methods focus on increasing objectivity and typically interested in future prediction (Harwell, 2011). Features of quantitative research include instruments used for collecting data, which often include test, reliance, probability theory, and surveys for analyzing statistical hypothesis that relate to research questions. Quantitative methods are considered deductive in nature considering collected data create general inferences about the characteristics of a population (Harwell, 2011). A quantitative method often makes assumptions that there is only a single truth that exist, which does not include human perception (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). A quantitative approach is beneficial for gathering information. The problem with this approach is that it does not cover the reason for why certain data concluded in a certain manner.

Mixed methods combine qualitative and quantitative methods by linking their differences while addresses a research question (Harwell, 2011). The key principle of mixed methods is that various forms of data should be collected by using multiple strategies and methods. The methods should assist with reflecting complementary strengths and weaknesses that do not overlap. The mixed methods study should create insight that is not possible with only a qualitative or quantitative approach. Mixed methods produce opportunities for approaches with weaknesses and presents opportunities by correcting method biases (Harwell, 2011). Mixed methods approach uses balance for efficiently collecting data. The concern with using a mixed methods approach is that the method struggles to complement, and not duplicate each approach (Harwell, 2011).

Research study methodologies are characterized as either qualitative, quantitative, or a combination of both, which is referred to as mixed methods. Of the methods, neither can be considered the best method without factoring the goals and objectives of the research. Research that desires to focus on interviewing lived experiences of participants should use a qualitative approach (Harwell, 2011). In contrast, a mixed methods approach should be used for research that needs a combination of qualitative and quantitate approaches to justify the goals and objectives.

 

Additional Resources

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005). Introduction. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 1–29). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. doi:10.1108/09504120610655394

Hiatt, J. F. (1986). Spirituality, medicine, and healing. Southern Medical Journal, 79, 736–743. doi:10.1097/00007611-198606000-00022

Harwell, M. R. (2011). Research design in qualitative/quantitative/mixed methods. The Sage handbook for research in education. 2nd ed. Los Angeles, CA: Sage, 147. doi:10.4135/9781483351377.n11

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. doi:10.1177/144078338702300329

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