Drug Testing Policy at Work

Listen to this postUnited Kingdom (UK) workers are known for drinking of alcoholic beverages heavily. Research was conducted on UK workers estimated that 40% of the workers believe that alcohol misuse is the main cause of employee absence and productivity loss (Johnson, 2009). Another research quoted by Johnson (2009) estimate that 33% of the organizations in the UK report similar effects of drugs abuse although 40% of these organizations do not have a policy to manage drinking and drug abuse. Drug testing is useful but brings up personal issues and reservations. Drug testing can be justified if the nature of work need alertness like running heavy machinery, driving public transportation or performing sensitive and delicate work.

Drug testing maybe not needed for less critical jobs but lost productivity due to intoxication or absenteeism amount to huge sum of money. Pre-employment drug test is useful to screen candidates. Hair analysis is a new drug test that give a three months history of the candidates lifestyle (Johnson, 2009). Unannounced random screening could be a good practice to eliminate the thought that such test was done because of personal issues with the superior or because of prejudice reasons. The code of conduct policy should support drug testing and details how the test is performed and what to do if violation was found. A research was done on schools in Australia showed limited success in detecting and preventing drugs abuse (Roche, Bywood, Pidd, Freeman, & Steenson, 2009). Schools can be the informative and supporting medium to educate the students on the harmful sides of drugs-abuse on their health and social relationships (Roche, et al., 2009).

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References:

Johnson, G. (2009). Under the influence. [Article]. Occupational Health, 61(12), 32-34.

Roche, A. M., Bywood, P., Pidd, K., Freeman, T., & Steenson, T. (2009). Drug testing in Australian schools: Policy implications and considerations of punitive, deterrence and/or prevention measures. [Article]. International Journal of Drug Policy, 20(6), 521-528. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2009.04.002

Sexual Harassment or Office Relationship?

Listen to this postWhat would you do if a co-worker was sexually harassed? You may not accept sexual harassment and you would report it right away to the right person for immediate action. But before reporting the harassment, you should make sure that you know the difference between office relationship and sexual harassment. The result of surveyed workers in the US stated that 40% of the surveyed workers admitted they dated a co-worker and 18% of them had dated more than one co-worker (Pearce II, 2010). The age group between 35 to 44 are most active group in the office relationship group because 44% of them admitted a relationship (Pearce II, 2010). Pearce II (2010) state that the age group of 55 and older are also participating in the office relations activity with lesser percentage of 34%. Office relationship is defined as “relationship between two individuals employed by the same company that advances beyond the socially acceptable employer-employee association and the work-related duties” (Pearce II, 2010, p. 38). Office relationship might be desirable by large number of employees but sexual harassment can lead to “employee turnoverabsenteeism, insurance costs and lost productivity” (Popovich & Warren, 2010, p. 45). If you have been sexually harassed by a co-worker then you should:

  • Remain calm and do not start blaming yourself.
  • Tell the offender that you do not like what was done and it should be stopped immediately.
  • Report the harassment to the right person. Fill the forms or write a litter of complain to you superior.
  • Follow up on the investigation and disciplinary action. Make sure it will not happen to you or other co-worker.

But before you file a complain for your co-worker, make sure that they have been harassed.

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References:

Pearce II, J. A. (2010). What execs don’t get about office romance. [Article]. MIT Sloan Management Review, 51(3), 39-40.

Popovich, P. M., & Warren, M. A. (2010). The role of power in sexual harassment as a counterproductive behavior in organizations. [Article]. Human Resource Management Review, 20(1), 45-53. doi: 10.1016/j.hrmr.2009.05.003

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Does Music Artists Hate P2P?

Listen to this postFile sharing sites are delivering free music to users around the word. Most of the files are shred or downloaded freely. The media got the public to believe that the file sharing sites are negativity affecting the new artists and the recording companies. but, not every recording artist is upset because their music was downloaded without payment. The Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing sites help exposing the new artist to the audience. The audience can search the artist and then download the music illegally to listen to it at their convenience. The file sharing sites are good advertising source that help the new artist to reach to the greatest number of audience. The newly downloaded files are a sampling opportunities for the users to test the music if its meets their taste. Research by Bounie, Bourrreau, and Waelbroeck (2007) showed that 93% of the  P2P users purchased new music after they have sampled it on the downloaded MP3 format. Further, the research also reviled that 67% of the surveyed participant purchased new CDs that they discovered by downloading from the P2P sites. That CDs they would not normally purchased if they did not discover it on the file sharing sites.

References

Bounie, D., Bourrreau, M., & Waelbroeck, P. (2007). Pirates or explorers? Analysis of music consumption in french graduate schools. [Article]. Brussels Economic Review, 50(2), 167-192.

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Minimize Chaos in Your Organization

Listen to this postChaos is a source of ingenuity and construction in nature (Scott, 2003). Chaos is also defined as a confused mass or mixture, a conglomeration of parts or elements without order or connexion (“Chaos,” 2009). Chaos is pattern that hang about beneath the systems which seems random (Meyer, Tsui, & Hinings, 1993). Organizations are flexible to change and will modify their process to adapt to the neighboring environment. Organizations are not resistant to their environments blessing but also not completely open to small changes in their positions (Scott, 2003).

Organization classical theory start by summing up the total amount of work required to be done then divide it into divisions and departments. The departments are divided into sections and assignments for the employees to work (Newstrom & Davis, 2002). The rational model discusses another system to prevent the chaos for breaking in the organization. The rational model states that decision-making can be made by identifying the problem then generate applicable solutions for implementation (Jones, 2007). The simplicity of the model lessen its credibility but using such a theory can prevent chaos from happening. Diversity can create chaos and tension in an organization on the short-term, but on the long-term, diversity is a healthy and productive move toward to decision-making (Newstrom & Davis, 2002).

Organizations can decrease chaos by implementing continues improvement tools like the total quality management (TQM) method which is an ongoing and continues effort by the organization’s employees to find new way to improve the business processes (Jones, 2007). The TQM aims to reduce errors by analyzing the existing process by the organization’s employees and suggest new solutions to cut these errors and deviations through continues improvement techniques like the quality cycle (Newstrom & Davis, 2002). The organization’s continues improvement can prevent chaos or decrease it.

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References:

Chaos. (2009). In Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.). Retrieved May 15, 2009, from Oxford English Dictionary Web site: http:/​/​dictionary.oed.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/​cgi/​entry/​50036694?single=1&query_type=word&queryword=chaos&first=1&max_to_show=10

Jones, G. (2007). Organizational theory, design, and change (5th ed.). New York: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Meyer, A., Tsui, A., & Hinings, C. (1993). Configurational approaches to organizational analysis. Academy of Management Journal, 36(6), 1175-1195.

Newstrom, J., & Davis, K. (2002). Organizational behavior (11th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

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Mergers and Acquisitions: How Good Are They?

Listen to this postMany failed mergers and acquisitions made me think why the organizations take these crucial steps. Mergers and acquisitions consume a lot of time and effort from both organizations. I always liked Peter Drucker’s writings and find his style and views fascinating.  Drucker (2004) suggest that a successful acquisition should not be based on financial strategy,  but should be founded on business strategy like the numerous acquisitions done by GE under Jack Welsh’s leadership.  The acquirer must contribute to the acquisition,  not the opposite (Drucker, 2004). The acquirer should be able to support the acquired firm and set up plans to restructure, reorganize or financially support the firm. The acquirer should provide top management for the acquired firm within maximum of one year from the acquisition (Drucker, 2004). Palepu & Healy (2008) suggest earnings multiples and discounted cash flows as valid methods to check the intended firm’s attractively for acquisition.

Corporate restructuring is used for different motives but Stewart & Glassman (2001) explain that “achieving a better business fit”, “achieving a higher-valued use of assets” and “strengthening incentives” are some of the main reasons for corporate restructuring.  Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is known for the popular matrix which recommends transferring income from the “cash cows” to the promising “question marks” without restructuring the firm (Stewart & Glassman, 2001).  However,  Stewart & Glassman (2001) stock analysis found that separating “cash cows” from “question marks” create more stock value especially if the profit from the “cash cows” is passed to the investors.

References

Drucker, P. (2004). The daily drucker: 366 days of insight and motivation for getting the right things done. New York: Harper Business.

Palepu, K., & Healy, P. (2008). Business analysis & valuation: using financial statements (4th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western.

Stewart, G., & Glassman, D. (2001). The motives and methods of corporate restructuring. In The new corporate finance: where theory meets practice (pp. 529-543). New York: McGraw-Hill/​Irwin.

What Is Your Value Proposition?

Listen to this postValue Proposition is a business or marketing statement that summarizes the customers need to buy a product or use a service from an organization. The term “Value proposition” became a buzz word lately and many people started abusing the term for the wrong purpose. Marketing Manager main goal is developing a marketing plan that details how the company would meet its strategic objectives. The plan will show analysis of the cost, benefits and values that the organization would deliver to the stakeholders. The value proposition model explains how the supplier would fulfill the customer’s needs.  The value proposition “specifies the interdependence between the performance attributes of a product or service and the fulfillment of needs” (Kulonda, 2009). The value proposition model would list six steps for the marketing manager to set for his or her goals :

  1. First step is identifying the market in which the organization is going to create value for. The market would include the consumers, environment and the shareholders.
  2. The second step would be listening to the customers and stakeholders to addressing their concerns and requests. The organization should recognize the valuable feedback from the customers. The feedback should be real and confirmed by the organization’s representatives. The organization would not consider exaggerations and political statements that some people would use to draw the media’s attention.
  3. The third step would be describing the services and products offered by organization to the stakeholders. The stakeholders would receive the right information for the organization without distortion.
  4. Fourth step for marketing manager is to list the benefits expected from the organization business. Where and how the benefits would be felt and how it would be materializing.
  5. The marketing manager would address the stakeholder’s concern by discussing the alternatives for their existing business. Show why the organization have chosen certain suppliers, why the supplier is local or offshore. Alternatives are always available for the organization but the marketing manager would explain why the current supply chain and current products are the best business model a company would choose in the current business environment.
  6. Finally, the marketing manage would display the organization’s road map to deliver what it promised to do in the above steps.

The value proposition should talk to the customers needs and should not be another sale presentation the list what the organization is good at.
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References:
Kulonda, D. J. (2009). Manufacturing strategy for high tech start-ups: A reconsideration. [Article]. Issues in Innovation, 3(1), 74-92.

How Sick You Are?

Listen to this postSick leaves have been used and abused by workers depending on their health and employer’s firmness. The cost of sick leaves on the U. K. taxpayer is exceeding £11 billion due to different reasons. Work related stress is one of the contributing factors along with workers lifestyle and malingering. The sick leave issues are management concern and health and safety topic. Workers feel the need for sick leaves to revive their mental and physical health. The organization management considers sick leaves as wasted valuable assets. Worker’s lifestyle in workplace or outside affects his/her health. Sleep deprivation can cause fatigue and negative impact on health. Work related stress is because of apprehensions over job security and family finance. Malingering is workers laziness to the point of taking sick leave when not sick.

Workers sickness due to work environment or work stress is a natural phenomena, but workers misuse of such privilege intensifies the debate against general practitioners (medical doctors) issuing the sick leaves. A survey showed that 80% of the general practitioners did not want the responsibility of writing sick leaves. The general practitioners are generally busy on more important issues that force them to write the sick leave without careful consideration.

Many of us have different justifications for taking sick leave when they are not sick. We have to ask ourselves how do we feel if our employees, whom we pay their salaries from our pockets, used the same justifications for taking one or two days off. For example, if we have a driver or housekeeper that declare that they are sick today and they got the official sick leave from the doctor to prove it? And they make this announcement to you just before you leave to work! How would you fee? What would be your reaction if they repeat the sick leave once every week?

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References

Cumulative sleep debt on rotating night shifts. (2005). Nursing Standard, 19(43), 18.

Duffin, C. (2004). Staff take less sick leave with flexible shift system. Nursing Standard, 18(33), 7.

Paton, N. (2008). Economic crisis starts to take its toll on occupational health. Occupational Health, 60(11), 5.

Sicknote pressure could backfire on business. (2004). Management Services, 48(6), 6.

Self-Regulation Is The Best Answer

Listen to this postThe most obvious reason to self-regulation would be to avoid governmental intervention to enforce rules and regulations for the industry. The industry knows its business better that the government. The industry knows what is possible and what is difficult and costly to regulate. Another reason for the self-regulation would be the public image, because the public would respect and appreciate the industry’s effort when it is self set and enforced rather than seeing the effort as an obligation. Catastrophic event, like the Bhopal toxic chemical release that lead to 3800 fatalities, initiated a self-regulating effort that established the Responsible Care program which regulate the chemical industry. The Three Mile Island incident in 1979 created the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations to self-regulate the safety in nuclear power plants (Sharma, Teret, & Brownell, 2010). Most of the natural resources are scarce. The industries that depend on natural resources should regulate itself to avoid over using the scarce resource. Fishery and forestry are self-regulating themselves to avoid over fishing or deforestation (Sharma, et al., 2010).

Obese childResearch indicated children and adolescents as major contributors to the obesity problem (Goren, Harris, Schwartz, & Brownell, 2010). The food industry is moving toward self-regulations to control the unhealthy food marketing and selling. The self-regulation is one step before the forced regulation by the government. The food industry is issuing statements of concern and announce that self-regulations would solve the unhealthy food consumption by children (Sharma, et al., 2010).

The self-regulations is mostly originated by the industry but The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is ensuring the industries’ compliance. In the United States of America,The FTC feels that Alcohol industries’ self-regulation standards are too lean. The FTC advice the Distilled Spirits Council, the Wine Institute, and the Beer Institute-pledged to revise their self-regulation codes (Sharma, et al., 2010). One of the important codes which were revised is the percentage of legal drinking age viewers for a magazine. The new percentage was change from 50% to 70%, so the alcohol industry would not be able to advertise its products in a magazine with more than 30% of its readers are under the legal age for drinking. The codes are revised by the alcohol industry and supervised by the FTC but there is a growing concern over enforcing these codes. The public and the communities have difficulties in trusting the industry’s honest effort.

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References:

Goren, A., Harris, J. L., Schwartz, M. B., & Brownell, K. D. (2010). Predicting support for restricting food marketing to youth. Health Affairs, 29(3), 419-424.

Sharma, L. L., Teret, S. P., & Brownell, K. D. (2010). The food industry and self-regulation: Standards to promote success and to avoid public health failures. [Article]. American Journal of Public Health, 100(2), 240-246.

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Where Does The Dove Nest

Listen to this postI work in an environment that needs especial personal protective equipment and is heavily regulated by the environmental and safety laws and regulations. Every now and then, I hear some complains about poisonous gases and unpleasant odours coming from then plant. Most of the complains are exaggerated for different reasons but we take them seriously and do intensive checks and investigations.

The dove select safe and pleasant place to nest and lay its eggs while it is free to fly away to select a better place. I have noticed a small nest in the shade of the parking near the plant where I work. The nest (see the picture on the right) was built by a dove many years ago and has been used by different doves since it was built. I notice that the nest remains empty for few days, then one day I would see a dove using it. After few days I could notice the small babies peaking from the nest. They grow fast and fly away with their mother leaving the nest empty for the next lucky dove. I was thinking, if the surrounding area is not safe and pleasant, why would the dove build a nest in it? and why it keeps coming back to it?

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Organizational Dynamic Congruence

Listen to this postOrganization’s structure is shaped by the environment where the organization functions and its performance is determined by the congruence between the organization and its environment (Randolph & Dess, 1984). The organization will grow and compete when it is dynamically congruent with its environment. Large organization will have multiple products and markets which will result in exposing the organization to multiple environments, however, new and growing organizations need to decide which products and services to produce. These products will decide the environment where the organization will function (Randolph & Dess, 1984).

Randolph & Dess (1984) suggest analyzing technology importance to match the environment, technologies and structure to the company performance. Dynamic congruence can be tested by analyzing the relationship between objective and the subjective measures of the environment and its influence on the technologies, structures and performance. Fry & Slocum (1984) show three forms of congruence which should be assisted, and they are effect and functional. Effect congruence is the measure of individual and situational factors in explaining the organizations behavior, the more independent variables the better the effectiveness. The general congruence suggests that one or two independent variables may be enough to produce high organizational effectiveness (Schoemaker, 1993).
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References:

Fry, L., & Slocum, J. (1984). Technology, structure, and workgroup effectiveness: a test of a contingency model. Academy of Management Journal, 27(2), 221-246.

Randolph, W., & Dess, G. (1984). The congruence perspective of organization design: A conceptual model and multivariate research approach. Academy of Management Review, 9(1), 114-128.

Schoemaker, P. (1993). Strategic decisions in organizations: rational and behavioural views. Journal of Management Studies30(1), 107-129.

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