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The location for this experiment was at the Lakeside Mall located in Sterling Heights City, Macomb County, in the state of Michigan. The observation occurred on the 4th of February 2015 and the number of adolescents that were observed was fifteen. The estimated age range for the adolescents in the group at the time of observation was approximately 14-17 years old. There were 8 girls and 7 boys that were observed in the experiment. Ten of the adolescents were white (Hispanic included), three were of an African American Origin and the two were Asian.
There were several adolescents that felt comfortable in their own skin. However, there were others who did not appear to be comfortable. For example, one of the female adolescents that was overweight kept on adjusting her chair and pulling her dress down. She seems to be in an unquiet environment and once in a while she would glance at several passer-bys and either pull her dress or adjust her sitting position. On the other hand, most of the adolescents seemed to be comfortable in their skin. This can be told by the way they did not pay attention to their body during discussion and when people looked at them. Some of them sat upright and seemed to be in control of the pack.
I tried to listen to their conversation and unfortunately I could only get a few words. However, these words were important as they gave me a feeling and an understanding of what the teenagers were talking about. They were conversing about some girl from their class (from this information, I gathered that they were from the same school), and how they would cease talking to her. This showed that they were capable of decision making and reasoning. The reasoning behind not talking to her was because she was mean and usually talked rudely. This statement showed an increase in their cognitive skills, this means that they were capable of abstract thought.
The first social issue that I observed was that of confrontation. There was one girl in the group that disagreed with the others regarding them not talking to the ‘mean’ girl. She presented her argument (most of which was inaudible) to the others in a passionate manner. However, with time she sulk down and kept quiet and just listened to what other persons said and never replied to anything thereafter.
The only difference that could be seen in terms of socio-economic-status is the clothing that the teenagers wore. There were those that were clad in what looked like expensive clothes and expensive watches. However, on the other hand there were those that seemed to have clothes that were not too expensive. These were the obvious SES that could be noticed amongst the adolescents. There are several social rules that were being played out by the adolescents, the first included the fact that there seemed to be several group leaders in the group that dominated the group.
These were those that seemed to be confident of the bodies and these were those that played the dominant social roles. It is important to note that there were several observable emotions throughout the conversations. There was a time that there was an argument and there was visible anger. Peer pressure was demonstrated when the girl could not be able to talk during the argument because the other persons looked down on her. They felt that since she was not accepting what the group leaders were saying she was not right at all. It might be true that there other persons in the group that felt the same way, however, because of peer pressure, they could not dare raise a question about the situation.
I observed teenagers that were in the stage of around 14-17 years, they comprised of both girls and boys. Friendship appeared to be a major issue in the teenagers’ lives. Persons that sat down together and seemed to be friends often supported each other in arguments and they took each other sides as compared to other members of the group. Popularity was extremely important, it was clear that it was indeed the popular persons that were making the necessary decisions and were most likely the group leaders (Bigner & Grayson, 2010).
They were also the ones that more often started peer pressure. When in a single group, there were more than two popular persons, there was either an invisible or visible struggle of power between the persons that were involved. They wanted to control the topic that was being talked about and to control the decision making process in the group. Some of these things came naturally to the persons and they did it with natural vigor.
The adolescents communicated in English that mostly slang. They used shortened words and used expressions such as ‘LOL’ and ‘LMAO’. Further, there was the use of informal language in regards to how the adolescents talked. They did not follow the cues of grammar. There was several non-verbal communications that were used by the group. The first included the use of facial expressions. The teenagers used facial expressions when talking about passionate issues. Further, there was also the use of gestures among st the adolescents when they were talking about certain issues.
There was also a massive use of technological forms of communication, the persons in the group used their mobile phones to text each other and join social media. Some of them seemed to be engaging in social media sites such as Face Book, Twitter and Instagram.
The adolescents tried to fit different personalities when they were talking. Some of them tried to talk like several people in the society especially pop-stars. This therefore, showed that they were trying to search for a definite identity in the society and they were not sure who they really wanted to be (Eager & Philbrook, 1994). There were some adolescents that seemed to be more confident as compared to others. This was mostly because of positive body image and popularity.
The moral development of the teenagers was evident through the way some of the teenagers talked about one girl not treating other persons in a good way. This showed that indeed that there was moral development in the way they talked (Williford, 1984). They definitely had the opinion of right vs. wrong, this again can be demonstrated by the way they had an opinion of the mean girl. Some of the communication skills that could be seen in the way they talked and acted included the value of honesty, goodwill and truth.
One of the anti-social behaviors that I observed was the fact that there was seclusion and isolation of persons that did not seem to share the same view with the group. This was mostly as a result of peer pressure. This was a severe problem in the group and therefore, most people tried as hard as possible not to go against the group wishes.
The most valuable lesson that I learned from this field assignment was the fact that human development often occurs in stages and that adolescent is an important stage with its own set of pre-determined stages (Taylor, 2010). Further, the behaviors of most adolescents are almost according to the book. The popularity culture and peer pressure amongst adolescents was affirmed through the observation of the group.
Taylor, D. E. (2010). Environmental and social justice: An international perspective. Bingley, UK: Emerald.
Williford, S. D. (1984). Teenagers and peer pressure. Abilene, Tex: Quality Publications.
Eager, G., & Philbrook, D. (1994). All about peer pressure. Valdosta, Ga: Mailbox Club Books.
Bigner, J. J., & Grayson, T. (2010). Foundations in human development. Redding, CA: BVT Pub.
GAP has long been associated with success and introducing new trends into the fashion industry, however, in recent years the company has misjudged several fashion trends, and this has led a lot of customers to flee. There has been continual change in the clothing industry and GAP, unfortunately, has not been able to see this change and embrace it. Technology has improved in the clothing industry to the extent that small businesses can manufacture cheap and simple clothes and sell them to the public. Further, giant firms have entered the market and have made the competition stiffer. Therefore, the main driving forces in the fashion industry include the cost of raw materials, change in fashion trends and how an organization embraces change.
In order for a company to succeed there is a need for the company to embrace the continual change that comes in terms of change in fashion or even technology. Another critical success factor that a company can follow is by encouraging their employees to be creative and innovative. This will make sure that the company knows what to do in case a quick decision is required, or a strategy is needed.
Being fast and speedy as stated by CEO means that the company should let go of most of the bureaucratic procedures and go ahead and ensure that there is movement that is streamlined from the factories to the consumers. There are often some transportation hitches, and the company should create an elaborate plan that will ensure that transportation from the warehouses takes less time. An example of a corporate bureaucratic process is when there is a need for around four managers to sign a document in order for cargo to be released from the warehouse. It is these types of bureaucracy that the CEO wants to be removed.
The proponents of I/O view would most probably look at this situation and argue that the company needs to increase funding for advertising. The I/O view puts marketing first and argues that with proper marketing and customer satisfaction the company can move ahead with strides. The proponents of the RBV will most want a change in strategy, this is because it is the lack of embracing change that has landed the company where it currently is. Lastly, the guerrilla view sees the problem not as a result of the company, but rather as a result of more dominant players that played their cards right.
Chapter 2: The context of Managing Strategically. “Bridging the GAP.”
Nordstrom is one of the leading retail stores in North America. The company focuses on the high-end market as the niche market. The company attributes its success to the strong financial positions and brand image that it holds. The company also has a heritage spanning over a century. Due to the heritage that it controls, the company has been able to curve out a unique market niche that is served. The company prides itself in the delivery of the leading customer service with the help of the knowledgeable sales staff. The position of the company is not secure since other stores dealing in the same product line aim at captivating Nordstrom’s customers. Therefore, the company has engaged in various investment campaigns with the main aim being the advancement of the brand image. The campaigns conducted by the company also aim at advancing the company.
Owing to the competitive nature of the fashion industry, it is imperative that the company has to maintain a competitive advantage all the time by delivering the highest quality service possible. The current position of the company is competitive. However, there are some strategic alternatives that it ca implement to increase the competitiveness while cementing its position as the leader this paper will outline three strategic alternatives that the company can implement. The alternatives are based on the analysis of the internal and external environment of the company.
The company has been able to register year after year growth over the past five years. The selection of the strategic alternative that the company ought to follow entailed the determination of the option that reduced the risk exposure while increasing the potential for growth (David, 52-89). The strategy was also designed to augment the existing growth strategy that has been performing well for the company over the years. The best strategic alternative is the one that will foster the position of the company as the profit leader.
The company operates on a five-year growth plan that is meant to expand the operations of the company to Canada. The growth plan entails leasing or acquisition of high-end locations in the country where it will open its stores. The company opened its first store in Canada in 2014. However, the five stores that the company focuses on opening will be up by the end of 2015.
In the domestic market, the company planned on opening fifteen additional rack stores. It also planned on opening one rack store. The company was capable of opening the planned stores in the same year. The opening of the stores was commensurate with the improvements of the economy. The opening of the rack stores is a strategic move aiming to cover the past customers that had been affected by the recession such that they could not afford to shop in the flagship stores.
Opening of new retail locations in Canada is a move that seeks to reduce the effects on the company’s balance sheet due to the 2008 recession. The recession affected the American market in a worse manner compared to the Canadian market. Due to this aspect, the move to Canada is welcome. The company prides itself as the ultimate destination for the customers seeking more than a shopping service. The impressive economic performance of the Canadian market makes it easier for the company to open new stores and capitalize on the good economic times in the Canadian market (David, 52-89).
However, the move to Canada will cost the company significant amounts. The opening of the flagship stores will be more demanding given the flamboyant nature of the stores. The acquisition or leasing of the prime land in the region will be very high. Development and renovation of the existing building will also account for a mother high-cost element for the organization. Therefore, there is the need for the company to move into the country with an actual plan to handle the costs above.
Focusing more on the rack stores
The company has two types of stores namely the flagships and rack stores. The flagship stores often carry products that are highly priced compared to the rack stores. Due to the reduced economic power of the customers, the company ought to open the rack stores since they will still attract the former customers who are recovering from the effects of the recession. The rack stores will be effective in attending to the needs of the lower end consumers that have a taste for the affluent living (David, 52-89).
Opening of online stores
The company has been reluctant in opening its online business to meet the needs of the other customers that could be unable to visit the rack or flagship stores. The online platform ought to be of the same cadre in terms of quality with the actual stores. Leveraging on the online platform will make the company assume a progressive approach towards the business. It will also expand the market to include other customers spread all over the world (David, 52-89).
The company has the heritage and quality of service that would make it survive in any part of the world. The company has been developing an international strategy that has its focus limited to the North American market. In order for the company to attain more rapid growth, it should consider diversifying the expansion plan to cover Europe and Australia.
David, Fred R. Strategic Management. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005. Print.
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