Giving Feedback: Positive or Negative

Listen to this postGiving feedback or confronting employees is one of the most difficult social task we face in our lives. Giving positive feedback is sometimes called motivation or encouragement, and many of us are sometimes doing it wrongly by generalizing the feedback by saying “you have done a good job”. A good feedback should be specific like saying “Your report has listed the major critical points that we did not notice before, thank you for reporting them to us.” We do similar or even worse mistakes when we give negative feedbacks. Sometimes our negative feedback has more destructive effect than the constructive change we hoped for. Reading the following pages will help you understand the types of feedbacks you may use at work or at home. Some valuable examples are given at the end for your reference.

Giving feedback or confronting employees is one of the most difficult social task we face in our lives.Giving positive feedback is sometimes called motivation or encouragement, and many of us are sometimes doing it wrongly by generalizing the feed back by saying “you have done a good job”. Agood feedback should be specific like saying “Your report has listed the major critical points that we did not notice before, thank you for reporting them to us.”We do similar or even worse mistakes when we give negative feedbacks. Sometimes our negative feedback has more destructive effect than the constructive change we hoped for. Reading the following pages will help you understand the types of feedbacks you may use at work or at home. Some valuable examples are given at the end for your reference. Read more …

Click here to download the full material as PDF file.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Explicit or Implicit Knowledge

Listen to this postDyer and Hatch (2004) stated that knowledge is two types, explicit and implicit. The explicit knowledge can be recorded and shared easily without losing its value during the transfer (Dyer & Hatch, 2004). An example of the explicit knowledge would be the market’s facts and figures that make most of the general information shared by any trade. The implicit knowledge is the pragmatic and complex knowledge that results from experience or experimental learning (Dyer & Hatch, 2004). Implicit knowledge is the hidden and most people do not know that they have it in them. An example of the implicit knowledge would be the required know-how to change and organization culture. The culture change would be done mostly by unfelt skills and knowledge. Implicit knowledge is difficult to imitate and considered as a competitive advantage for the organization over its rivals. Implicit knowledge is thought to be the base for innovative products and processes. One of Dells implicit knowledge examples is the technology that mixes mass customization; just-in-time and customer focus in one strategy and executes it flawlessly (Magretta, 1998).


Dyer, J., & Hatch, N. (2004). Using supplier networks to learn faster. MIT Sloan Management Review, 45(3), 57-63.

Magretta, J. (1998). The power of virtual integration: An interview with dell computer’s Michael Dell. Harvard Business Review, 76(2), 72-84.

Skilled Workers Vs. Cheap Labor

Listen to this postInternational producers, like China, are exporting  their products to sell them at or lower than the production cost (Vandenbussche & Zanardi, 2008). Local companies can compete with the low-cost labor by making the costly labor more efficient to produce the same product in less time and with less waste (time and material). Klempa (2006) states that productivity can be drastically improved when the roadblocks are removed. Productivity improve by improving management planning, making productivity a strategic initiative, aiming high, measuring progress and making changes as needed (Klempa, 2006). The same worker might cost more but he or she would produce high output with less reworks. Local business would face stiff competition from the international producers if the same quality could be produced with cheaper labor.


Klempa, M. (2006). Eliminating productivity roadblocks. Financial Executive, 22(8), 32-35.

Vandenbussche, H., & Zanardi, M. (2008). What explains the proliferation of antidumping laws? Economic Policy, 23(53), 93-138. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0327.2007.00196.x


Listen to this postWasta is a small city in south Dakota with a population of 75 people. But “Wasta” is whom you know in Kuwait or how strong is your social network. The equivalent of wasta in English would be “Cronyism”. In Cuba it is known to be “Sociolismo” but in Russia it is called “Blat” and in China called “Guanxi” and finally in Germany has a longer word that I can not even pronounce “Vetternwirtschaft”.  So what is “Wasta”? Wasta is your social network and how you can maximize the use of your relationships. Wast is calling somebody you know to do you a favor that you have to repay back sooner or later. It is a way to overcome bureaucracy and unnecessary delays in the routine work. But like everything useful in life, you can misuse wasta to get what you are not entitled for. You have to “Pull some strings” sometimes to get what you deserve, but some people pull “stronger” strings to get what you deserve before you. Some of my friends says that they use wasta just to make sure that they are getting what they should get. But the question is: how did they know that whatever they got by wasta was meant for them?

Greenfield Investment or Merger and Acquisition

Listen to this postGreenfield investment is defined by Investopedia as “A form of foreign direct investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.” So is greenfield investment is a better choice to enter a new market in a developing country, or should the investor target an existing local company for merger or acquisition.

Nanda (2009) state that greenfield Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) can bring benefits to the developing countries while Merger and Acquisition (M&A) FDI can be harmful or have little help for the same country. FDI should promote economical growth in the developing country to be considered a useful investment.  FDI transfer physical capital to the developing country along with technology and other intangible assets (Miao & Wong, 2009). Greenfield investment should start new business that help the developing country to grow, however, some of the investments are oriented mostly toward benefiting the investor (Nanda, 2009). M&A investments should be welcomed in the developing countries to help national ailing organization that need capital and knowhow to rise again as a competitive organization.

M&A investment is easier in developing countries because of the acquired organizations is established and operating within the local rules and regulations. The greenfield investments would need clearances from different governmental departments that could delay the greenfield investment beyond the target date (Nanda, 2009). Nanda (2009) state that China has more stringent regulatory regime than India but China is faster in approving or disapproving FDI projects. This simple fact is believed to be one of the reasons that made China more economically successful than India (Nanda, 2009). A study based on 84 countries from 1987 to 2001 by Miao & Wong (2009) showed positive growth effect from the greenfield investments while the M&A had negative effect. Furthermore, M&A investments required a minimum level of human capital to have positive impact on the developing country’s economy, but the Greenfield investment does not need that level of human capital to be effective (Miao & Wong, 2009). Muller (2007) had more accurate segmentations on the choice of entry mode in the developing countries. Muller (2007) suggest that Greenfield investments is best used if the competition in the local market is either high or low, but acquisition would be the best choice if the completion is intermediate.

Also read in this blog: Mergers and Acquisitions: How Good Are They?


Nanda, N. (2009). Growth effects of FDI: Is greenfield greener? Perspectives on Global Development & Technology, 8(1), 26-47. doi: 10.1163/156914909×403171

Miao, W., & Wong, M. C. S. (2009). What drives economic growth? The case of cross-border M&A and greenfield FDI activities. Kyklos, 62(2), 316-330. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6435.2009.00438.x

Muller, T. (2007). Analyzing modes of foreign entry: Greenfield investment versus acquisition. Review of International Economics, 15(1), 93-111. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9396.2006.00634.x

The Personnel Policy

Listen to this postMost of the medium and large organizations has a written personnel policy. The size and effectiveness of such policy depend on the organization size and culture. The bigger the organization the more detailed is its policy. The policy start small and simple but grow up and get more complicated with time. New procedures or rules are written frequently to cover the organizational needs. Expansions and new ventures require new rules and regulations; however, most of the new procedures are written to regulate or organize new situations that led to or going to lead to a problem. This fact explain why most of the personnel polices are complexed and confusing. The personnel policy was written in a reactive (or firefighting) mode. Some of the rules in policy are not applicable now or could cause more damage that it can regular and prevent. Some internet sites offer a ready-made “cookie cutter” policy that the starting companies can use with some customization. I doubt that a policy written for specific culture in a specific industry would be useful for anther culture and industry, but unfortunately, sometimes this happens! The best way to write a personnel policy is to have a specialist in Organizational Behavior to study the organizations culture and nature of work then write the full policy. The policy would be updated as needed but the specialist or consultant should be called whenever the organization anticipate change at work. The policy would need periodic revisions to rewrite or drop some of the old rules and regulations.

My Wedding Ring

Listen to this postI got married ten years ago when I was 37 years old. Some of you would immediately ask why I was so late since the average age for marriage in Kuwait is 25. My answer would be in a future post. I am now happily married to a wonderful wife with three children. I have been through work stress, labor strikes, fire fighting, swim with sharks and raised children. Life is tough but with little patience all problems would pass way and will turn to be a distant memory. I like photograph and love to take pictures of roses and natural sites, but do not like to be photographed. I do not want to look at the pictures after 10-20 years and then say something like “Ooooh …I was so young” or “Looook how funny I was with that hair cut!”. I believe what had happened in the past should stay in the past, and we should live our lives they way we are now. It is like diving for many years then you find yourself in a place that you are happy with. The pictures form our live journey would not make much sense now. The picture on the right side shows my wedding ring which I always wear. I just took it off one day for cleaning and found the dents and beating it took through the years. The engraved artistic decoration had been wiped out through the years. The ring is a good indicator to what had happened in the past 10 years.

Should We Outsource Pharmaceutical Products?

Listen to this postOutsourcing became almost a must for most of the organizations. The electronics producers are a good example for outsourcing where most of the parts are outsourced or sometimes the products is completely manufactured by a different company. If you flip you iPhone and check the writing on the bottom of the phone you will notice “Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in China”!! Outsourcing eelectronic is more acceptable than other products like pharmaceutical products. The risk in outsourcing pharmaceutical products is very high because of the products nature. Melamine-laced mile products were responsible for the death of six babies and  poison contaminants in cough syrup were responsible for the death of more than 100 people in Panama. About 80% of the prescription drugs sold in the U.S are made outside the U.S. (“Outsourcing safety,” 2009). Risk management is very important to overcome the risk in pharmaceutical products (Fiscus, 2009). Product liability lawsuit could wipe out the cost saving from outsourcing the product and have a permanent scare in the firm’s brand (Fiscus, 2009).


Fiscus, P. W. (2009). Global risks for drug manufacturers. Risk Management (00355593), 56(4), 50-54.

Outsourcing safety. (2009). Editorial, Nature Medicine, pp. 221-222. Retrieved from

Is NAFTA Working Well?

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico and the United States in 1994. Good argument was against NAFTA which suggested  that low wages in Mexico would reduce the wages in the U.S. and that the capital would flow from the U.S. to Mexico (Hymson, Blakenship, & Daboub, 2009). Another argument state that the free trade would not increase Mexico’s wages, and as result, high skill jobs would migrate to the U.S. (Hymson, et al., 2009).  Hymson et al. (2009) research found out that NAFTA agreement increased trade between Canada, U.S. and Mexico and the agreement was able to reduce processes and did not affect employment as feared by both countries. Alvarado (2008) confirm the same findings and state that the reason for Mexico’s poverty is because of the concentration of land and the distribution of small and unprofitable agriculture land to the farmers.


Alvarado, E. (2008). Poverty and Inequality in Mexico after NAFTA: Challenges, Setbacks and Implications. Estudios Fronterizos, 9(17), 73-105.

Hymson, E., Blakenship, D., & Daboub, A. (2009). Increasing benefits and reducing harm caused by the north american free trade agreement. Southern Law Journal, 19, 219-243.

Short Introduction to: WTO, IMF and OECD

LONDON. Before meetings of the Heads of State ...
Image via Wikipedia

Listen to this postThe three principle international institutions that influence the global economic relations are World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (Rose, 2005). WTO is primarily concerned with trade but does not have the biggest effect on trade. The recent recession had weakened the WTO and many countries started implementing preferential trade agreements that may not agree with the WTO (Dieter, 2009). The recession made many managers and policy makers questioned the international institutions ability to control the trade and generate more sales (Dieter, 2009). Globalization call for international finance and trade agreement, and for the same reason, globalization made most of the financial and business crises more global (Arner & Taylor, 2009). The Group of 20 (G20) called for greater consistency and systematic corporations between countries during their London Summit in April 2009. This call came while the WTO and the IMF are in effect but not effective as expected to be (Arner & Taylor, 2009). WTO was developed and was effective ten years ago but the resent recession’s downturn discouraged the organizations and the countries to neglect the trade agreements between them (Dieter, 2009).  Dieter (2009) state that IMF is not as important international organization as it was ten years ago.

Globalizations was and still believed to benefit the producing countries but the recent economical recession made many lose their confidence in OECD although Rose (2005) believe that OECD is the only international institution that that still can influence the pattern of global economic relations. Rose (2005) state that IMF has an agenda but fewer tools to implement it while OECD had legal instruments and tools but could offer fewer incentives.


Arner, D. W., & Taylor, M. W. (2009). The global financial crisis and the financial stability board: Hardening the soft law of international financial regulation. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 32(2), 488-513.

Dieter, H. (2009). The decline of global economic governance and the role of the transatlantic powers. Business & Politics, 11(3), 1-23.

%d bloggers like this: