Royal Bank of Scotland

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Name: Presented for the award of M. A International Business Management I hereby declare that this dissertation is all my own work, except text: Signature: _____________________ Date : ____ / ____ / _____ Abstract These papers discuss about one of the world’s largest banks Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Group. The discussion highlights the main strategies of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group all over the world and also the analysis of these strategies whether these were successful or not.

What was the effect of Royal Bank of Scotland’s strategies on their business and on upcoming years. This overall study also covers the Michael Porter Theory to make its business strategy analysis. Table of Contents Reasons of this study:5 1. Introduction:6 1. 1 History:6 1. 2 Strategies:6 2. Bank of China:7 2. 1 Acquisition:7 2. 2 General Analysis:8 2. 3 Porter’s Theory analysis:8 3. ABN AMRO:9 3. 1. Acquisition:9 3. 2. General Analysis:9 3. 3. Porter’s theory analysis:10 4. Minimizing the assets:10 4. 1. Insurance line:10 4. 2. General Analysis:10 4. 3.

Porter’s Theory Analysis:11 5. Investment in UAE:11 5. 1. Launch of Credit Cards:11 5. 2. General Analysis:11 5. 3. Porter’s Forces Analysis:11 6. Retail and Commercial Banking:12 6. 1. Investment:12 6. 2. General Analysis:12 6. 3. Porter’s Forces Analysis:12 7. International network and infrastructure:13 7. 1. Investment:13 7. 2. General Analysis:13 7. 3. Porter’s Theory Analysis:13 8. Merchant Acquiring:13 8. 1. Investment:13 8. 2. General Analysis:14 8. 3. Porter’s Forces Analysis:14 9. Raising Capital:14 9. 1. Rights Issue and ADR:14 9. 2. General Analysis:15 9. 3.

Porter’s Theory Analysis:15 10. Islamic Banking:15 10. 1. Innovation:15 10. 2. General Analysis:15 10. 3. Porter Theory Analysis:16 11. Group Size Reduction:16 11. 1. Selling Weaker Operations:16 11. 2. General Strategy:16 11. 3. Porter’s Theory Analysis:17 12. Toxic Assets:17 12. 1. Writing-off Assets:17 12. 2. General Analysis:17 12. 3. Porter’s Forces Analysis:17 13. Reduction in Work Force:18 13. 1. Firing 9000 Employees:18 13. 2. General Strategy:18 13. 3. Porter’s Forces Analysis:18 14. Incentives:18 14. 1. Performance Related Bonuses:18 14. 2. General Analysis:19 5. Conclusion:19 16. References:21 17. Diagram:26 Reasons of this study: The study is concerned about the strategic initiative analysis taken by Royal Bank of Scotland. The bank is under study due to following reasons • One of the largest bank of United Kingdom • Operating successfully in 22 countries with substantial profits and ROE (about 20%). • Acquisition of large groups of the world like ABN AMRO, Bank of China etc. • Upt0 15% participation in GDP of countries like China, U. S, Germany, France, Russia etc. • Strong distribution channel segregated region wise. Strong blend of different cultures due to work force from different ethnicities and cultures. 1. Introduction: 1. 1 History: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is one of the leading banks in world known for their risk management and corporate development. Royal Bank of Scotland was founded in 1727 but first branch was opened in fast growing trading city of Glasgow in 1783, its first office was opened in London in 1874 and expanded into England in 19th century. Innovation is an important value creation tool of the company as it was the first bank ever to offer the overdraft facility in 1728.

In the twentieth century it spread out rapidly, getting hold of several English banks including Williams Deacon’s Bank, Mills & Co, Glyn and Drummonds Bank. In the year 2000, it acquired National Westminster Bank in the largest banking takeover ever in Britain and so inherited a rich heritage covering more than 200 banks that had made up NatWest. In year 2005 it formed a strategic partnership with Bank of China and after two years, in the biggest takeover in banking history, it led a unique conglomerate to acquire the Dutch bank ABN AMRO. Royal bank of Scotland group currently operates in more than 50 countries around the world.

Currently the bank has about 700 branches worldwide. The bank employees about 180,000 people from all over the world, involves different people from different ethnicities. 106000 employees are from United Kingdom (U. K) and others are from rest of countries. 1. 2 Strategies: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is large group and operates in more than 50 countries. To operate in different countries, sell products to people with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, it is required to have different strategic initiative in international markets.

The study focuses on finding the strategic steps taken by the Royal Bank of Scotland to develop market, sell products and maintain a balance between assets and liabilities of the bank. The study aims to analyze the strategies and initiatives taken by Royal Bank of Scotland in order to strengthen the customer base and increase the value of its assets. The company took following strategic step in international context which will be discussed in detail in study • $3. 1 billion investment in national bank of China so as to control the 10% of the Chinese market. • Acquisition of ABN AMRO Bank in 2007. Minimizing the Royal Bank of Scotland insurance line of business so as to compete with global financial crunch faced all over the world. • Launch of credit cards in UAE and record sales made ever in 2008. • Continued investment in development of retail and commercial banking franchise across the region • International network and infrastructure strengthening procedures including successful leverage of combined product strength and customer franchises to significant new business. • Focus on merchant acquiring so to reduce the number of competitors in global markets since 2007. Issue of largest right shares and ADR’s in 2008 so to attract global investors. • Innovation toward Islamic financial instruments since 2005. • A restructuring story with opportunities to shrink or sell weaker operations, to cut costs and to reposition, regaining stakeholder confidence and relative value • Royal Bank of Scotland reported a smaller-than-expected write-down of 334 million on toxic assets in 2008 • Management errors lose 9,000 Royal Bank of Scotland’s employees their jobs • Royal Bank of Scotland group planned to give bonuses to its directors and employees.

The detailed analysis of these strategies is given below. 2. Bank of China: 2. 1 Acquisition: Royal Bank of Scotland group is the second largest banking group in United Kingdom and Bank of China is one of the big four state-owned commercial banks of the People’s Republic of China. That was a big deal as it was done between two large banks of the world and was a great investment by Royal Bank of Scotland group as they made $3. 1 billion investment in Bank of China for at least three years, so as to control the 10% of the Chinese market. 2. 2 General Analysis:

The strategy made by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group to invest in large groups all over the world could be very good and in favor of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) if the conditions support this strategy. It can be said that this strategy was not made according to the financial conditions of the world. As at the time when that strategy was made, all the world was going to involve in big financial crisis and the banking sector was badly affected with this crisis. So due to the financial crisis and big loss in banking sector has failed that strategy of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). 2. 3 Porter’s Theory analysis: Michael E.

Porter’s five forces analysis is a framework for industry analysis. According to him five forces determine the competitive intensity and therefore attractiveness of a market. Attractiveness in this context refers to the overall industry profitability and an unattractive industry is one where the combination of forces acts to drive down overall profitability which approach pure competition and same the case is in the banking sector, as there are a lot of competitors in banking sector and there is also a threat of substitute product and many other factor which are the cause of overall downfall for the banking sector.

In such situation to take advantage over its rival firms innovation is should be made and offer the products at low price in order to attract customers towards their business and increase its sales. This sometimes drives profit up to zero. As Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) made a lot of customers such as by giving loans but due to these financial crisis customers of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) could not be successful in its strategy and have to write-off loans etc. And bear a loss because of this investment. 3.

ABN AMRO: 3. 1. Acquisition: ABN AMRO was one of the biggest largest banks in Europe and had operations in about 63 countries around the world. This was a biggest takeover in the history that a consortium comprising Royal Bank of Scotland group with other groups acquired ABN AMRO in 2007. 3. 2. General Analysis: Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS’s) consolidated financial statement of 2008 shows the big loss of its banking history. The loss suffered by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) contains 50% portion from the ABN AMRO.

The strategies of Royal Bank of Scotland were not going to be successful as that was a crucial time for the economy in all over the world and in that time they have to adopt the defensive strategy not the aggressive strategy. Due to this decision Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have to bear a big loss and then in October 2008 British Prime Minister announced a Government bailout of financial statement. The treasury introduced $64billion of capital into Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Group to stop the happening of financial sector collapse.

The affect of this capital investment was that the government got the ownership in Royal Bank of Scotland of 58%. The problem in banking sector was due to the overall business crisis and the companies which had obtain heavy loans, car leasing, credit policies etc were unable to repay it to bank because their businesses were collapse and they were not in the position of repaying to the banks. Due to these crucial results many other groups were interested in purchasing ABN AMRO from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group.

The chief executive of the group Sir Fred Goodwin offered his resignation because of the consequences of this rescue. ABM AMRO did a lot market in Master cards and this was also the case that they have to bear much loss. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group is now selling its assets which are not much profitable to reduce its cost and to invest in the other markets and innovation. 3. 3. Porter’s theory analysis: According to the Michael Porter’s theory analysis the industry where a lot of rival firms exist, firms has to make the sales at lower price or making profit to zero in order to obtain benefits over its rival firms.

There are also barriers for the exit in the market as Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) won’t be selling of its portion of ABN AMRO. It would not be an easy matter to detach the bank’s whole sale division with its renowned international network. Royal Bank of Scotland’s investment in ABN AMRO was bad investment at all. 4. Minimizing the assets: 4. 1. Insurance line: As Royal Bank of Scotland Minimized the Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS’s) insurance line of business so as to compete with global financial crisis faced all over the world.

Royal Bank of Scotland group announced $34. 4 billion net loss in the year ending 2008. 4. 2. General Analysis: As the bank is not in the position to provide much against the business insurance and Royal Bank of Scotland is itself insuring its assets and taking government assistance for surviving. This was good strategy of Royal Bank of Scotland group to minimizing the insurance as it is facing the very bad conditions of economy and in such a situation it is better to reduce the areas which are becoming the major cause of its loss o not profitable.

In such a situation the good strategy is defensive not aggressive as all the investments are going down. RBS’ insurance program runs a risk of being too short-sighted. The Royal Bank of Scotland group is going to sell its insurance business to the Berkshire in order to reduce its annual costs and Berkshire is also considering for buying the insurance business of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). This time Royal Bank of Scotland group is trying hard to reduce its size by selling its assets and to generate its own capital to support its business’s profit generating assets.

This is good strategy and will be beneficial in the future at all. 4. 3. Porter’s Theory Analysis: According to Porter’s theory analysis firms have to bear the loss in the industry where there are a lot of rival firms existing. For making customers and getting advantages over its rival firms, a firm has to reduce its price to the low level and also bear expenses for making innovations where firm is not making profit from that market. This led the firm to the overall loss.

In this situation it is good to raise capital by selling loss bearing assets and invest in the profitable assets to make more innovations. 5. Investment in UAE: 5. 1. Launch of Credit Cards: Royal Bank of Scotland introduced credit cards in UAE. This is exceptional opportunity for the Royal Bank of Scotland to introduce their targeted products and services to their card holders. Royal Bank of Scotland is committed to bringing innovative products to the UAE to satisfy the growing sophisticated needs of cardholders. 5. . General Analysis: According to this strategy in UAE Royal Bank of Scotland achieve record sales in the year 2008 and now they are expanding their business in this line in UAE and it will be very beneficial for the Royal Bank of Scotland group in the future as recently UAE declared that they are now out of financial crisis through which all the world is affected. This is favorable time and market for the Royal Bank of Scotland to recover some of the portion of its loss that affect badly to Royal Bank of Scotland.

Royal Bank of Scotland made many sales in UAE in the year 2008 and following this great success Royal Bank of Scotland is offering more opportunities and expanding its business in UAE as it has got positive response from UAE. This was very successful strategy by royal Bank of Scotland and will be successful in future. 5. 3. Porter’s Forces Analysis: According to the Michael Porters five forces industry analysis a company should take such a type of steps to take advantages over its rival firm as in the market where there is a lot of variety of such products is available there is a big threat of substitute products and according to the

Porter’s industry analysis a firm should provide its customers different products as compare its rival firms. It can be done by changing prices, improving the product quality and innovation to attract customers. In this way Royal Bank of Scotland provide a lot of benefits and facilities to its customers in UAE and take the innovative step and provide such services that were never been provided by it rival firms. This was the main cause behind the success of this strategy. 6.

Retail and Commercial Banking: 6. 1. Investment: Royal Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom) serves over 12-15 million personal customers all the way through the Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS’s) brands in the retail market. It Continued investment in development of retail and commercial banking franchise across the region and offer a full variety of banking products and associated financial services including mortgages, deposit accounts, and credit and charge cards. 6. 2. General Analysis:

The strategy was not bad overall as it acquires the big groups like ABN AMRO and many others, there was no support by the economic conditions and in such a way it can be said that this strategy should not be followed in these bad situation when every business was requiring capital amount for the survival. In such a situation where the entire world is suffering with great financial crisis, we can say that this strategy was not good because it was not made according to the market’s condition and hence Royal Bank of Scotland group was not successful in this strategy.

At that time they should adopt defensive strategy rather than Aggressive strategy. Due to this Royal Bank of Scotland Group made a record loss in British corporate history by writing-off mortgages, loans etc. 6. 3. Porter’s Forces Analysis: According to the Michael Porter’s five forces analysis where there buyer has power in the market and many suppliers are available to serve, in such a situation to get benefits over its rival firms company’s strategy should be to attract customers toward their business by improve in product or services, change in price and sometimes the competition between rival firms drives profit to zero.

In such market buyer has the power to get product at low price as he is in that position. Such factors moves firm’s profitability to zero. 7. International network and infrastructure: 7. 1. Investment: Royal Bank of Scotland did a lot in increasing its International network and infrastructure which increase its assets and its worth all over the world. Royal Bank of Scotland group did this by including successful leverage of combined product strength and customer franchises to significant new business.

They provide its customers easy loans and more opportunities to attract towards their banking. 7. 2. General Analysis: It was good strategy by the Royal Bank of Scotland group to make its customers and increase its international network but due to the financial crisis all over the world especially in the banking sector Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group has to face largest loss in the British corporate history in the year ending 2008. Major portion from the loss of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was related to the international investment. 7. 3.

Porter’s Theory Analysis: According to the Porter’s theory there was also the threat of substitute products and in such a situation and to increase its customers all over the world the firm has to offer its products at the low price by reducing profit to zero or at an acceptable low level. In this way firm has to bear the loss in the market where a lot of rival firms exist. 8. Merchant Acquiring: 8. 1. Investment: Royal Bank of Scotland group focus on merchant acquiring so to reduce the number of competitors in global markets since 2007. 8. 2. General Analysis:

This was the good strategy by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group as by this they will maximize their profit and improve their profit level in the financial statement. In past this also create good affects on their profit. Innovation in the market is good step to reduce the numbers of competitors in the market. Royal Bank of Scotland made good strategy for investing in that to reduce its competitors in the market and to acquire the maximum share in the market. As with fewer competitors in the market, the firm can charge good price to its customers.

This was the good strategy for the Royal Bank of Scotland in the past and will be profitable in the future as well. 8. 3. Porter’s Forces Analysis: As by the porter’s forces analysis in the market where there is much competition the company should make such steps to take advantages on rival companies and this can only be done by making innovations, reducing its prices and investing in such assets which are profitable or will be profitable in future. It is possibility that the market where there is much competition between rival firms, competition there drives profit to zero or at minimum level.

As by Michael Porter’s theory in such a market the buyer has the power as it has a lot of share of the market. So in such conditions the strategy to reduce its competitor’s is very good for the business. 9. Raising Capital: 9. 1. Rights Issue and ADR: Bearing the big loss in the year 2008, on 22 April 2008 Royal Bank of Scotland group announced a right issue and ADR’s in the same year to attract the global investors. This was largest right issue in British corporate history.

Royal Bank of Scotland bears a big loss in the year 2008 and to cover the capital shortage they have to take such steps and to compete further their competitors in the market. 9. 2. General Analysis: This was good strategy for raising money and to support the group with as there were very crucial situation in economy and RBS need capital amount to support its business. They were success in this strategy in such a way that they underwrite their right issues because due to the bad conditions of Royal Bank of Scotland group the share holders were unwilling to purchase more shares of it as the share price was going down.

Through this additional capital amount Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will make investments in innovations and in profitable assets. 9. 3. Porter’s Theory Analysis: According to Michael Porter theory’s analysis this was important for Royal Bank of Scotland group to take such a step for supporting their group with additional capital and to enhance those areas that were profitable for them because in this way they were able to provide their customers good services to maintain its share in market and to satisfy its customers with new innovations in their business and more better products to satisfy customer needs. 0. Islamic Banking: 10. 1. Innovation: Royal Bank of Scotland group started Innovation towards Islamic financial instruments since 2005. As Royal Bank of Scotland sees big growth opportunities in Islamic investment banking expecting good asset growth rate. 10. 2. General Analysis: This was a good innovation and good strategy by the Royal Bank of Scotland group to make investment in Islamic banking.

Royal Bank of Scotland made its main focus in the areas such as debt capital markets, equity capital markets, corporate finance and risk management, and structured products and investment, which includes private equity. As there is great competition in the market and many competitors are working in the same products and investment so it is also a successful strategy to make innovations in Islamic banking sector. 10. 3. Porter Theory Analysis:

According to the Michael Porter’s five forces, it is better for a company if it wants to get benefits over it rival firms to provide its customers such products that are their need and in their range. Another important thing in his analysis is innovation to get success in the market and to take customers towards their business. Royal Bank of Scotland made good strategy and this will be successful for them as Islamic investment is not in much crisis as America and Europe are affected by this financial crisis.

This will be good innovation for Royal Bank of Scotland as it earned a good revenue from Dubai due to its innovations and services that no one provide them. 11. Group Size Reduction: 11. 1. Selling Weaker Operations: Royal Bank of Scotland group now have the opportunities to shrink or sell weaker operations, to cut costs and to reposition, regaining stakeholder confidence and relative value because due to the recent loss Royal Bank of Scotland group have to suffer a lot and they decide to sell its weaker portions such as insurance related portion etc. 11. 2. General Strategy:

This is the good strategy by the Royal Bank of Scotland as for the survival and good progress it need a capital amount and it is difficult for Royal Bank of Scotland to raise more shares because the stake holders are not willing for more investment in Royal Bank of Scotland as it is facing a big loss and due to these losses its share price is decreased in the market. So this is good and successful strategy by selling off its loss bearing assets and save the annual cost. This will positively affect the overall profitability of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group. 11. 3.

Porter’s Theory Analysis: According to the Porter’s forces analysis Royal Bank of Scotland should make innovations in the banking sector to provide its customers more new products according to their needs and those products and services that no one in the market is providing in the market. This include in decreasing the prices and improving product differentiation. This type of goals can be achieved by investing more capital amount because according to Michael porter’s forces analysis competition between rival firms drives profit to zero but gives profit in the long run.

In this situation selling of asset that are not profitable for Royal Bank of Scotland is good and successful strategy as this will reduce the cost of loss bearing assets and will focus on profitable assets and innovations. 12. Toxic Assets: 12. 1. Writing-off Assets: Royal Bank of Scotland group writes off its 334 millions toxic assets in 2008. As Royal Bank of Scotland made a lot of investment in Dutch bank ABN AMRO, Bank of China etc and they made a lot of banking in mortgages and loans to make its customers in the market. 12. 2. General Analysis:

The strategy of investing more and more in the loans in order to make customers was not good according to the situation. As Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) made investment in these assets in such time when the financial conditions were against every business especially the banking sector. This was not a successful strategy and Royal Bank of Scotland has to write-off its lot of mortgages and loans. 12. 3. Porter’s Forces Analysis: According to the Michael Porter’s forces analysis firm has to give such benefits to its customers by reducing its profit and gain benefits over its rival firms.

Due to the financial crisis these strategies give a big loss to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group. 13. Reduction in Work Force: 13. 1. Firing 9000 Employees: According to the recent strategy of Royal Bank of Scotland group nearly 9000 of employees will lose their jobs. This due to the recent lose that Royal Bank of Scotland group has to bear in the year ending 2008. This was very bad year for Royal Bank of Scotland in all of its history. 13. 2. General Strategy: This is good strategy from the business prospect by cutting up 9000 jobs all over the world.

By this strategy Royal Bank of Scotland group will save its annual cost that they are wasting for nothing because after the business crisis Royal Bank of Scotland group sold many of its assets all over the world and so the associated employees cost should be reduced. By saving this cost Royal Bank of Scotland will invest this amount in other assets to improve its position. As Royal Bank of Scotland is largest bank of the world but due to the last year loss it’s goodwill is badly affected in the world. 13. 3. Porter’s Forces Analysis:

According to the Michael Porter’s forces analysis Royal Bank of Scotland have to compete it rival firms in the market to get its status back and in this way its profit can be drive to zero in order to satisfy its angry customers and share holders and to make innovations they need additional capital. To face these circumstances Royal Bank of Scotland Group decided to cut off 9000 employees from their jobs and save the annual cost and use it for new strategies. 14. Incentives: 14. 1. Performance Related Bonuses: In the year 2009 Royal Bank of Scotland group has the plan of bonuses to its directors and employees. 4. 2. General Analysis: This is good decision because after a big loss now they can do better for the Royal Bank of Scotland and in this their employees will be motivated as they are awarded with the bonuses. These were the bonuses for the successful employees in 2008 not for the others who were failed. Royal Bank of Scotland group also fired seven of its non-executive directors. This performance related bonuses increased the motivation of employees who were already working hard for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

In the future these employees will work hard for the success and removing the bad affects of losses faced by the Royal Bank of Scotland group in year 2008. 15. Conclusion: The overall strategies used by the Royal Bank of Scotland were average but the big investment in acquiring the Dutch bank ABN AMRO was really very bad and it was also called bad investment. Dutch bank ABN AMRO proved to be failure for Royal Bank of Scotland group because Royal Bank of Scotland group report record losses 2008 and largely attributed to the ABN AMRO.

As Royal Bank of Scotland group was selling its assets that were the cause of loss and increasing the annual cost of Royal Bank of Scotland but it would not be easy matter to sale ABN AMRO because according to the Michael Porter’s five forces analysis if there are barriers to entry for a company in a competitive market, there are also barriers to exit for the firms. This may be due to the specialized assets, high exit cost or interrelated business. Due to these losses Royal Bank of Scotland group has lost its lot of goodwill in the market and its customers and shareholders are very angry from their bank.

This was a wrong decision to make such a heavy investments in the time when there were financial crisis all over the world. RBS investment in BOC was also loss bearing investment. They write-off a lot of mortgages and loans. At that the strategy should be defensive not aggressive for the Royal Bank of Scotland group. Royal bank of Scotland group’s investment and strategy used for UAE was good one as at the time of crisis they made record sales from the UAE and innovations and investment in Islamic banking was another good investment made by Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Innovations are also a critical success factor to get the advantages in a market where there are a lot of competitors and they are offering the same products. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) reduced its employees by 9000 all over the world as to reduce its annual cost. According to this analysis RBS is doing very well in innovation and providing better products and services to its customers. This approach is proving to be good and successful for RBS at present and will be more profitable in the long run. 16. References: The research is mostly qualitative and variables cannot be measured on a qualitative base.

The data will be collected from following sources. • RBS investment in China: ? http://chineseculture. about. com/gi/dynamic/offsite. htm? site=http://english. people. com. cn/200508/19/eng20050819%5F203374. html ? RBS group annual report 2008 • Impact of 2008 financial crisis on RBS acquisition of ABN AMRO[online at]: ? http://www. reports. fortis. com/2007/en/financialstatements/notestothebalancesheet/notes15to24/acquisitionofabnamro. html ? http://wapedia. mobi/en/ABN_AMRO? t=2. #2. ? RBS group annual report 2008 ? Simon Clark, S. & Quintanilha, J. (2006). ABN AMRO strategy: Focused or wayward? Acquisitions by bank may not add up MARKETPLACE by Bloomberg” International Herald Tribune ? Official Report of RBS. Available [Online at] http://files. shareholder. com/downloads/ABN/0x0x146029/65e5706f-c8bd-4400-b24f-e637b2c60074/aa_pres_ir_050207_part1_strategy. pdf • “Strategic Alliance between MasterCard International and ABN AMRO Bank To Span the Globe” (2004). Business Wire. Available [Online] at: ? http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2004_Feb_9/ai_113065374 • Sale of insurance business of RBS: http://www. marketwatch. com/news/story/buffett-eyes-royal-bank-scotland/story. aspx? guid=%7B6B021194-77E2-4F17-B868-6061B88B828A%7D • RBS launch credit cards in UAE: ? http://www. ameinfo. com/178567. htmls • RBS investment in retail and commercial banking: ? http://www. rbs. com/microsites/gra2008/divisional_review/rbs_uk_retail. html ? Annual Report and Accounts 2008 • RBS’s Right issues and ADR: ? http://uk. reuters. com/article/businessNews/idUKL2084932020080520 ? http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Royal_Bank_of_Scotland_Group • RBS towards Islamic banking: http://www. forbes. com/feeds/reuters/2009/04/13/2009-04-13T211803Z_01_LD452850_RTRIDST_0_ISLAMICBANKING-SUMMIT-RBS-CORRECTED. html • RBS write off its assets: ? http://www. financialexpress. com/news/rbs-takes-334-mn-hit-starts-strategic-review/381279/ • 9000 employees of RBS will lose jobs: ? http://www. 3news. co. nz/Management-errors-lose-9000-RBS-employees-their-jobs/tabid/421/articleID/99021/cat/52/Default. aspx ? http://www. bnet. com/2407-14037_23-196721. html ? http://news. icm. ac. uk/business/unite-%E2%80%9Cappalled%E2%80%9D-at-9000-rbs-job-losses/958/ Troubled RBS wants to pay bonus to its employees: ? http://www. dailymail. co. uk/news/article-1138823/Troubled-RBS-wants-pay-staff-1bn-bonus-taxpayers-20bn-bail-out. html • RBS made a record loss in British Corporate History: ? http://www. nrc. nl/international/article2125692_ece/rbs_losses_blamed_on_ABN_AMRO_takeover • Royal Bank of Scotland gets rid of 7 directors Available [Online at] ? http://economictimes. indiatimes. com/News/International_Business/Royal_Bank_of_Scotland_gets_rid_of_7_directors/rssarticleshow/4087719. cms ? http://www. nytimes. om/2009/02/07/business/worldbusiness/07bonus. html • UK unveils second bank rescue as RBS reels under record loss Available [Online at] ? http://economictimes. indiatimes. com/News/International_Business/UK_unveils_second_bank_rescue_as_RBS_reels_under_record_loss /articleshow/4004208. cms • Britain unveils second bank rescue package Available [Online at] ? http://economictimes. indiatimes. com/articleshow/4001390. cms • Desai, Mihir A. (2006). International Finance: A Course Overview. Available at SSRN: ? http://ssrn. com/abstract=895233 • Abdin, Md & Joynal (2008).

Impact of Culture on International Marketing. Available at SSRN: ? http://ssrn. com/abstract=1267863 • Chopra & Komal (2005). Cross Cultural Configuration in International Business Organization (February 22, 2005). Available at SSRN: ? http://ssrn. com/abstract=687625 • Settlements, Bank for International, The Banking System in Emerging Economies: How Much Progress Has Been Made? 2006. BIS Paper No. 28. Available at SSRN: ? http://ssrn. com/abstract=1188516 • Arteaga, J. , Arbelaez, H. , & Jeffus, W. M. (2006). ”Cross-Border Investment in the Latin American Banking Sector”.

International Finance Review. Vol 7. pp 419-438 • Buiter, Willem H. , Optimal Currency Areas Scottish Economic Society/Royal Bank of Scotland Annual Lecture, 1999. Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 47, Issue 3, August 2000. Available at SSRN: ? http://ssrn. com/abstract=237064 • Barker, Kate M. (2001) “The Policy Implications of Economic Imbalances: Scottish Economic Society Royal Bank of Scotland Annual Lecture”. Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 49, pp. 235-248, 2002. Available at SSRN: ? http://ssrn. com/abstract=318746 • Timmons, H. Giridharadas, L. (2007). ” “International Business; With ABN AMRO, Barclays Sees Asia Growth Atoning for Cuts Elsewhere” Contributed reporting from Mumbai and Julia Werdigier from London. • Success factors in international business during ABN AMRO World Weeks Available [Online at] ? http://www. group. abnamro. com/pressroom/pressreleasedetail. cfm? ReleaseID=277980 • “Exceptional international managers” Australasian Business Intelligence,  2003 Available [Online at] ? http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_hb4692/is_200302/ai_n17725141 • Official Report of RBS.

Available [Online at] ? http://files. shareholder. com/downloads/ABN/0x0x146029/65e5706f-c8bd-4400-b24f-e637b2c60074/aa_pres_ir_050207_part1_strategy. pdf 17. Diagram: RBS’s Strategies Successful Un-successful ———————– Investment in Bank of China Investment in ABN AMRO Reduction in Assets Investment in UAE Retail & Commercial Banking International Network & Infrastructure Merchant Acquiring Raising Capital Investment in Islamic Banking Group Size Reduction Toxic Assets Reduction in Workforce Incentives ———————– 4 RBS

A Feasibility Study on the Development of Graduate School Distance Education in Foundation University

A FEASIBILITY STUDY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF GRADUATE SCHOOL DISTANCE EDUCATION IN FOUNDATION UNIVERSITY Chapter I. Background of the Study 1. Introduction of the Study 1. Brief Background of the Study Over the years, we are adapting and continuing to adapt the changes the world is giving us. Most often, these changes are brought to us by technological advancement and innovation. These latest technological advancements have created a lot of new opportunities for the people in every walk of life.

Through these, we can now make things possible in the most convenient and accessible ways. Through the use of computer and internet connection, we can transfer money, transact business, and even buy/purchase stuffs online. Everything seems possible in just one click of the mouse. At the present, education is made possible through online. It is what they termed as Distance Education or Distance Learning. Distance Education, methods of instruction that utilize different communications technologies to carry teaching to learners in different places.

Distance Education Programs enable learners and teachers to interact with each other by means of computers, artificial satellites, telephones, radio or television broadcasting, or other technologies. It imparts knowledge at your desk through web technology. Several reasons are taken into view on why a number of schools in nearly every country in the world make use of Distance Education. It provides an opportunity to obtain a degree, post degree, doctorate degree course in cyberspace. It enables you attain your goal, achieve competence and proficiency. It offers everyone an advantage of time management.

It gives you the liberty of learning the subject of your choice at a pace that is most comfortable to you. It diminishes the barriers that block education that is beyond geographical boundaries. Distance Education is perfect for the students of Foundation University Graduate School. Most of the students in FU Graduate School are already professionals, having jobs on their own, and family-men/women who have their own personal tight schedule which most of the time causes time constraint with their studies. Consider also the place where some of the students are living and/or working.

Some of them may come from different towns reasonably far from where they are studying. The students will be having a hard time managing their limited time and they can no longer spend happy moments with their family during weekends where their class is being scheduled. With Distance Education, the FU Graduate School students’ life would be easier. They can continue to learn/study without compromising their work and their commitments with their family. They may be able to manage their time well and may get to spend their rest days with their loved ones.

The school has nothing to worry about Distance Education. Many have taken this kind of education into account. Here in the Philippines, University of the Philippines now has what they call “Open University”. It’s a Distance Education Program that provides education at its best to students in their most expedient and fulfilling means. We believe that there are other universities and colleges in the country that are offering the same as UP. 2. Objectives of the Study The objectives of this feasibility study are as follows: to determine the technical viability of a proposed Distance Education to be offered by the Foundation University Graduate School + to determine the financial feasibility of a proposed Distance Education to be offered by the Foundation University Graduate School + to determine the social acceptability of a Distance Education to be offered by the Foundation University Graduate School; and + to determine the institutional desirability of a proposed Distance Education to be offered by the Foundation University Graduate School. Scope and Limitation of the Study The scope of this study is the determination of feasibility or viability of the proposed Graduate School Distance Education in Foundation University among the FU Graduate School students. It is only limited to the individual responses of the research respondents of the study. Whatever outcome or responses the research respondents may give out of the given questionnaires will only hold true within Foundation University Graduate School.

Therefore, information that is to be gathered will not hold true beyond or outside the scope of Foundation University Graduate School, i. e. this will not hold true in Siliman University Graduate School, Saint Paul University Graduate School, etc. 4. Operational Definition of Terms Computer machine that performs tasks, such as calculations or electronic communication, under the control of a set of instructions called a program.

CYBERSPACE in computer jargon, the community of networked computers and the culture that has developed among users of these computers. DISTANCE EDUCATION refers to either formal or informal learning experiences. DISTANCE LEARNING refers specifically to formal instruction conducted at a distance by a teacher who plans, guides, and evaluates the learning process. INTERNET computer-based global information system.

The Internet is composed of many interconnected computer networks. ONLINE in computer science, activated and ready for operation; capable of communicating with or being controlled by a computer. 2. Methodology 1. Nature of Study The study that is going to be conducted is a feasibility study since its major objective is to determine how feasible Distance Education is, that’s going to be offered by the Foundation University Graduate School in terms of the marketing, technical, and financial aspect.

These three major aspects are to be measured before this study is concluded feasible or not. Such Distance Education is new here in this Province, specifically here in this city that is why such study is important to be conducted. We are talking about education here and how students (specifically students taking up advanced degrees) would be able to learn in their most convenient and satisfying way without impairing the quality of education. 2. Research Environment

This study is conducted in Foundation University Graduate School. Foundation University is located at Dr. Miciano Road, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. It was founded by late Dr. Vicente Guzman Sinco with the aim of attracting “men and women from all conditions of life, whose only passport is intellectual competence; whose pursuit is excellence in mind, body and character, and whose quest is for truth and freedom. ” Now, the university has 12 colleges upgraded for the need of the students.

These colleges are—the College of Business Administration (CBA), School of Hospitality Management (SHosM), College of Education (CE), School of Industrial Engineering (SIET), School of Computer Studies (SCS), College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), College of Nursing (CN), College of Agriculture (CA), College of Law and Jurisprudence (CLJ), Graduate School (GS), University High School; and University Grade School. The FU Graduate School (or grad school) is a school that grants advanced academic degrees with general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree.

It was (year) that this school has been started. Now, it’s on its (year) years of existence and is still running and continuing to impart education at its best. Currently, it is headed by Dr. Aparicio H. Mequi, Ph. D. , as the Dean of FU grad school. The advanced degrees offered in this school are: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master in Public Education (MPA), Doctor of Education, Doctor of Public Administration (DPA), and Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed. (Major in English, Mathematics, General Science, Health Education, Filipino, and Physical Education and Sports Management). At present, it has a population of eighty-five (85) students enrolled. 3. Research Respondents The respondents of the study are the students of Foundation University Graduate School. They are students who have at least graduated a four-year course and wanted or would like to earn advanced academic degrees. They come from different walks of life and most of which are already professionals, government employees, married ones, fresh graduates, and the like.

These graduate school students will correspond to other people, particularly the government employees, who have the interest to pursue advanced academic degrees in the time ahead. 4. Research Instruments The major instrument that will be used in the study is the questionnaire that is being prepared by the researchers. The questionnaire defines how well distance education/learning fits the lifestyle of the respondents. To verify or validate the respondents’ responses, an interview is further necessary. This is going to be in an informal way (telephone conversation, emails, or actual/personal interview). . Data Gathering Procedure To gather data from the respondents, the researchers will prepare a questionnaire that would answer the needs of the researchers. To do so, the researchers are going to make a letter addressed to the dean of FU Graduate School, Dr. Aparicio H. Mequi, Ph. D. , to permit or allow the researchers from conducting the study. The researchers will also include in the request to hold an informal interview with the respondents of the study after the questionnaires have been answered. An interview is included in order to verify the responses of the respondents from the questionnaires.

After the questionnaires and the interview have been accomplished, the questionnaires will be collected and the data will be reviewed to insure all the items are answered properly and honestly in the manner indicated in the direction. The collected entries will be tallied and recorded in a descriptive way with the used of tables and graphs. 6. Statistical and Financial Treatment of Data To interpret the data that will be collected, the following statistical tools are going to be used: frequency distribution, percentage, and weighted mean.

Frequency distribution will be used to determine the distribution of responses in a particular category with respect to the other categories. Percentage will be used to describe the responses of the respondents in a particular category with respect to the other categories. The weighted mean will be used to determine the over-all assessment of the respondents towards the proposed distance learning. Thus, the following formula will be used: ?fw N where: wx = the weighted mean ?fw = the summation of the product of the frequency and the weights

N = the total frequency To determine and interpret the project’s liquidity and profitability, the researchers will use the following tools: + Projected income + Return of investment + Pay-back period + Profit margin Chapter II. Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation of Data 1. Marketing Aspect 1. Demand Distance Education is being developed and designed to provide better learning or education to those who cannot spare much time to physically attend classes due to their busy schedules, Table 1: Number of Respondents who have used the Internet Before

Table 2: Purposes of the Respondents for Using the Internet* *multiple responses Table 3: Respondents with Regular Access to the Internet Table 4: Place of Access of the Internet* *multiple responses Table 5: How Respondents Connect to the Internet* *multiple responses Table 6: Respondents’ Use of the Internet* *multiple responses Table 7: Number of Respondents who Believes that Internet is a Good Education Medium Table 8: Reasons why Internet is a Good Education Medium* multiple responses Table 9: Number of Respondents Aware of Distance Education Table 10: Respondents’ Sources of Information about Distance Education* *multiple responses Table 11: Meaning of Distance Education for the Respondents* *multiple responses Table 12: Number of Respondents who have Distance Education was being offered here in Dumaguete City Table 13: Table 14: Table 15: 2. Supply 3. Demand and Supply Analysis 4. Pricing Study 5. Factors Affecting the Market 6. Marketing/Promotional Program 2.

Technical Aspect 1. Product 2. Service Process 3. Store Location 4. Working Capital and Operational Expenditures 5. Store Fixtures and Tools 6. Store Utilities 7. Waste Disposal 8. Legal Feasibility 3. Management Aspect 1. Ownership and Capitalization 2. Project Time Table 3. Organizational Structure 4. Job Descriptions and Qualifications 5. Salaries and Wages 4. Financial Aspect 1. Capital Requirements 2. Financing 3. Financial Assumptions 4. Financial Analysis and Evaluation 5. Socio Economic Desirability of the Project 1. Contribution to the Philippine Economy 2.

Employment Generation 3. Social Desirability 4. Others (if necessary) Chapter III. Project Summary 1. Name of the Project The name of the project will be FU Distance Graduate School. The researchers emphasized the word Distance to let the people know that the courses to be offered here are available at a distance. Meaning, courses will be offered online. 2. Project Proponent 3. Location The proposed project is located inside the campus of Foundation University. Graduate School is already one of the colleges of FU so there is no need of putting it up to another location.

Its office is located at the upper building of Nursing Department. Since it needs its own virtual room which will serve as the teachers’ room/office, it will make use of the CISCO Laboratory, one of the computer laboratories of the school. 4. Nature of the Project The proposed project, Distance Education, will run like a typical school that caters the need of every student. It’s goal is the same as the traditional education, that is to give quality education to all students who want to learn. The only difference with Distance Education from a traditional education is the mode of teaching.

If in traditional education personal contact of the students and their teacher is necessary, in Distance Education is not anymore. Everything is run through online. 5. Project Time Table The study was conducted from August 17 to Ocotober14. Preparatory activities such as coming up with the proposed title of the study and completing chapter 1 were initiated from week 1 to week 6. Formulating and refining the instrument (questionnaire) followed by contacting the respondents were made on week 7. Data gathering, coding, and analysis proceeded at week 8.

The study was written up and finalized at week 9. The following Gantt Chart represents the project timeline. Figure 1. Gantt Chart 6. Investment Cost 7. Mode of Financing Graduate School is one of the colleges of the university. Basically, the proposed project will be financed by Foundation University. Developing a Distance Education for the Graduate School is part of the development and innovation of Foundation University. 8. Descriptive Definition of the Project 9. Long Range Objectives 10. Summary of Findings 11. Conclusions 12. Recommendations Works Cited Appendices Curriculum Vitae

Determinants of Tourism Destination

Recent conceptual work on tourism destination competitiveness has proposed a comprehensive approach that adds industry-level competitiveness attributes to more conventional tourism destination attributes. This study builds on these ideas by generating sets of both attributes, developing a methodology for assessing their relative importance and examining the degree to which their relative importance varies across locations. Survey data were gathered from tourism industry practitioners in three closely competing destinations in Asia Pacific and were subjected to statistical testing.

The results provide strong empirical support for the inclusion of both industry-level and destination attributes in studies of tourism competitiveness. The results also question approaches to competitiveness that assume that the relative importance of attributes is common across locations, suggesting, rather, that the importance of competitiveness attributes may vary across locations, depending on product mix and target market segments, especially in complex, multifaceted industries such as tourism. Keywords: destination competitiveness; industry and destination factors; comparison across destinations

Competitiveness is increasingly being seen as a critical influence on the performance of tourism destinations in competitive world markets. At a general level, industry competitiveness has become an established topic for researchers, policy makers, and practitioners, having expanded considerably since the publication of Michael Porter’s (1990) wellknown work. Tourism destination competitiveness, in particular, is becoming an area of growing interest among tourism researchers (see particularly Crouch and Ritchie 1999; see also Chon and Mayer 1995; Faulkner, Oppermann, and Fredline 1999; d’Hauteserre 2000; Hassan 2000).

Pearce (1997, p. 25) considers that “at a time when tourism worldwide is becoming increasingly competitive . . . all insights into the development, strengths, and weaknesses of competing destinations will become even more crucial. ” Ritchie and Crouch 2000 (p. 6) consider destination competitiveness to have “tremendous ramifications for the tourism industry and [it] is therefore of considerable interest to practitioners and policy makers. ” Dwyer, Forsyth, and Rao (2000, p. 10) reinforce this view, stating that it is “useful for the industry and government to understand where a country’s competitive position s weakest and strongest” and, hence, that it is important to know how and why competitiveness is changing. Crouch and Ritchie’s (1999) approach to destination competitiveness is among the best known of recent attempts to conceptualize an approach that includes elements of tourism competitiveness and industry competitiveness, and this has undergone a number of iterations since its earliest public presentation (Ritchie and Crouch 1993). Their approach extends previous, pioneering studies, such as Pearce’s (1997) technique of “competitive destination analysis,” hich was proposed as a technique for systematically comparing diverse attributes of competing destinations, drawing attention to the need for comparisons across competitors. These approaches also extend mainstream research focused principally on destination image or attractiveness (see Chon, Weaver, and Kim 1991; Hu and Ritchie 1993). Such studies are part of a long tradition of destination image research (see Gearing, Swart, and Var 1974 through to Gallarza, Saura, and Garcia 2002) and in keeping with that tradition have concentrated on those attributes that are seen to attract visitors, uch as climate, scenery, and accommodation. While tourism services in general are recognized as being important elements of destination image or product (Murphy, Pritchard, and Smith 2000), it is less common in destination image research to pay explicit attention to the firms that supply the services and to the factors that may affect the competitiveness of these firms. By including such additional factors, Crouch and Ritchie (1999) are proposing an approach that is, arguably, more comprehensive than mainstream approaches to destination attractiveness analysis. This article builds on the prior conceptualizations of

Crouch and Ritchie (particularly Crouch and Ritchie 1999, but see also Ritchie, Crouch, and Hudson 2001), to argue that a proper understanding of destination competitiveness requires, in addition to destination or tourism-specific factors, the inclusion of such factors that affect the competitiveness of firms and other organizations involved in producing the tourism “product. ” In other words, a destination is competitive if it can attract and satisfy potential tourists, and this competitiveness is determined both by tourism-specific factors and a much wider range of factors that influence the tourism service providers.

This study addresses the lack of empirical testing to date of such an approach, despite its seeming potential. Pearce (1997) points to the few studies that systematically examine competing destination attributes and the lack of such studies in both the literature and practical application. The initial aim of this study, therefore, was to operationalize the expanded approach and to do so in such a way that the relative importance of a broad set of competitiveness attributes could be determined. Hence, the perceived importance of the additional business factors, not usually captured in mainstream tourism attractiveness studies, ould be compared to the importance of the mainstream attractiveness factors and a broader profile of the determinants of destination competitiveness could be developed. Perhaps more critically, however, by implementing the research in more than a single destination, this study also addresses the issue of whether measures of competitiveness are universal with respect to location. The question is whether the same determinants have the same relative importance in different destinations. If so, then information from a single location can be used to understand and assess competitiveness across multiple locations and competitiveness at different estinations can be compared directly. However, if the relative importance varies across locations, then a more complex view must be taken—otherwise, there is the risk that incorrect comparisons may be made. In other words, if what is important for one destination is not important for another destination, policy recommendations and managerial actions based on a universalist assumption could lead to unwanted consequences. In this initial exploration of this issue, the sample for the study was restricted to three broadly similar destinations so as to minimize possible variations across locations.

Each of the destinations was therefore selected from the same geographical region, though in different countries, and the destination type (Abe 1996) was urban tourism. The study should thus contribute both to specific research on tourism destination competitiveness and also to research into industry-level competitiveness, partly by offering a methodology for operationalizing the expanded approach to destination competitiveness and more so by exploring the issue of universality in competitiveness research. The results should also be of value to managers and policy makers for a number of reasons.

First, the results identify a broader, and potentially more comprehensive, set of determinants of destination competitiveness than are generally offered by conventional destination attractiveness research. Second, they show the relative importance of the determinants through quantitative measures developed in the study. Third, they raise practical issues that must be addressed when applying measures of competitiveness to competing destinations. INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS A generally accepted definition of international competitiveness from a national perspective is the degree to which a ation can produce goods and services that meet the test of international markets while simultaneously maintaining or expanding the real incomes of its citizens (Waheeduzzman and Ryans 1996). There exist diverse ways of thinking about the topic, with the result that it may be considered a multifaceted, and possibly confusing, concept. Attempts to conceptualize and analyze international competitiveness have come from a variety of different academic disciplines, including economics, management, and politics and culture, each with its own perspective on the subject. From the perspective of economics come two broad strands.

One, rooted in the literature on comparative advantage, focuses on price as the dominant driver of international competitiveness and hence performance in international trade. The second views competitiveness as a multidimensional concept, depending on factors such as technology, capital, labor skills, management and organization, and government policy, among other things. While this second strand of economic analysis views competitiveness from a country perspective, the management literature views the firm as the competitor and hence focuses on a range of organizational and management variables. From this perspective, ational competitive advantage, therefore, is dependent on such factors as firm-specific resources and variables, organizational structure, and competitive environment and strategy. Other views are derived from the field of international relations, where the political and economic power of the state is seen as a key determinant of competitiveness. Last, sociocultural studies relate aspects of national culture to national economic outcomes (Waheeduzzman and Ryans 1996). The study of competitiveness, and its role in national policy making, has produced a lively debate in the literature, with Paul Krugman (1994a) among the leading critics (see

Prestowitz et al. 1994; Krugman 1994b). Krugman’s criticisms are focused on the contention that nations compete in the same way that firms compete, and his wide-ranging critique attacks this concept, the empirical evidence for national competition, and the policies that follow from what he terms “a dangerous obsession” (1994a, p. 28). Given the multifaceted nature of competitiveness, as discussed above, however, Krugman’s critique has itself been criticized as collapsing all approaches into a single notion and thus of being less relevant to certain specific conceptualizations and approaches Rapkin and Strand 1995). Porter (1990), in particular, whose approach includes aspects of both the multidimensional strand of economics together with an emphasis on the management and strategy field, focuses not on the competition between national economies but rather on the competition between, and competitiveness of, specific industries in different locations. The present study is therefore consistent with Porter’s approach, taking as its central focus the competitiveness of one specific industry in a number of different national locations. TOURISM COMPETITIVENESS: ATTRIBUTES

OF INDUSTRY AND DESTINATION This study builds primarily on the conceptual developments of Crouch and Ritchie (1999) and the core concept that generic industry-level attributes should be included, as well as the mainstream tourism destination’s attractiveness attributes. In developing the model, Crouch and Ritchie (1999) build on Michael Porter’s (1990) “diamond of national competitiveness. ” De Holan and Phillips (1997, p. 781) also explicitly recommend the inclusion of Porter’s framework, particularly when examining tourism in developing countries. They contend that for “countries like Cuba, the xistence of world-class ‘sun and sand’ provides a basis for competitiveness in tourism, but it does not guarantee development or success in the tourism industry. Other factor conditions such as human resources, infrastructure and capital, and the other three determinants that make up the diamond stand as potential barriers to development. ” Porter’s (1990) four-part framework, which was based on research undertaken in eight advanced and two newly industrialized countries, postulates that success in international competition in a given industry depends on the relative trength of an economy in a set of business-related features or “drivers” of competitiveness, namely, factor conditions, demand conditions, related and supporting industries, and firm strategy, structure, and rivalry specifically related to the industry. Government and chance are viewed as influencing competitiveness through their impact on the four basic determinants. This framework, or variations thereof, has been used in a number of studies of industries and individual economies (Crocombe, Enright, and Porter 1991; and Enright, Frances, and Scott-Saavedra 1996, for example). In more ecent conceptual developments, Enright, Scott, and Dodwell (1997) proposed an alternative framework that divides the drivers of competitiveness into six categories, namely, inputs, industrial and consumer demand, interfirm competition and cooperation, industrial and regional clustering, internal organization and strategy of firms, and institutions, social structures, and agendas. Crouch and Ritchie (1999, p. 146) incorporated concepts of such generic models to derive a model that postulates that tourism destination competitiveness is determined by four major components: core resources and attractors, supporting actors and resources, destination management, and qualifying determinants. As Ritchie and Crouch (2000) comment, the model is constantly evolving. To the earlier iteration, a fifth element, destination policy, planning, and development, was added. Common to all iterations is the element of core resources and attractors, which includes the primary elements of destination appeal. It is these “that are the fundamental reasons that prospective visitors choose one destination over another” (Crouch and Ritchie 1999, p. 146). These core resources and attractors constitute the primary lements of destination appeal and include physiography, culture and history, market ties, activities, special events, and the tourism superstructure. Physiography embraces landscape and climate, market ties includes linkages with the residents of tourism originating regions, and the tourism superstructure is comprised primarily of accommodation facilities, food services, transportation facilities, and major attractions. With the exception of market ties, therefore, these factors are consistent with mainstream destination attractiveness studies (see Kim 1998; Gallarza, Saura, and Garcia 2002).

The other elements of the model however are more consistent with the generic industry-level approach to competitiveness. Supporting factors and resources include accessibility, entrepreneurship, communications infrastructure, local transportation infrastructure, and other inputs provided by public services, institutions (financial, education, and research), and the principal factors of production. Destination management includes destination promotion, service levels, information systems, the organization of destination management activities, and resource stewardship (the sustainable use of ecological, social, or cultural resources).

Qualifying determinants include safety, location, interdependencies within and between destinations, and cost (interpreted in a broad sense to include interdestination travel, local living costs, and exchange rate effects). Finally, destination policy, planning, and development include system definition, philosophy, vision, audit, positioning, development, competitive/collaborative analysis, monitoring, and evaluation. In summary, by adding generic business-related factors, captured within the supporting factors, destination management, qualifying determinants, and destination policy, planning, nd development, to the tourism-specific factors captured in the core resources and attractors, Crouch and Ritchie’s (1999) approach differs from, and advances, other studies that focus primarily on models of the tourist product or destination image (see also Schroeder 1996; Formica 2002). The use of both tourism-specific and generic determinants also differs from work on tourism competitiveness that used Porter’s (1990) basic framework but paid only limited attention to more tourism-specific elements (e. g. , Go, Pine, and Yu 1994).

The study has the potential, therefore, to offer a more comprehensive assessment of the factors that influence a destination’s capability to attract and satisfy its tourism customers. THE PRESENT STUDY It is perhaps not surprising that this expanded, and potentially more comprehensive, approach to tourism destination competitiveness has yet to be tested empirically, given its relatively recent conceptualization. With the aims of developing measures of the relative importance of this more comprehensive set of determinants and exploring whether the ubsequent ranking of relative importance is universal across destinations, it was therefore necessary to generate a set of ratings for the importance of the relevant attributes in a sample of locations and to test the results statistically for variances in the ratings across locations. A sample of three destinations in the Asia Pacific region was chosen for this study. Asia Pacific was considered an interesting and relevant location for the study in no small part because of the growth and share of global tourism arrivals within the region. Between 1990 and 2000, the average annual growth rate of arrivals in Asia Pacific was 6. % per year, almost double the world average of 3. 9%. Tourism receipts in the region grew at an average yearly rate of 7. 1%, well in excess of the world average growth rate of 5. 5% (Pacific Asia Travel Association 2003). The region’s share of world arrivals rose from 12% in 1990 to 16% in 2000, and its share of global tourism receipts increased from 15% in 1990 to 17% in 2000 (World Tourism Organization 2000). The World Trade Organization has forecast that by 2020, Asia Pacific will overtake the Americas to become the world’s second largest tourism region, as measured by arrivals, after Europe (World Tourism Organization 2002).

Given the relative performance of the industry in Asia Pacific, an analysis of the competitiveness of regional destinations should offer valuable insights. Similarly, an improved understanding of competitiveness should be important for destinations in the region as it may contribute to maintaining or improving market share in a changing global market. Among the major destinations in the region, China is the unrivalled market leader, followed by Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. The sheer vastness of China, however, renders it a complex and hence problematic case for nalysis, especially at this early stage of the development of the methodology. Hong Kong, by contrast, ranks second in the region with an 11. 9% market share of tourist arrivals in 2001 and offers a more compact and manageable case and was therefore chosen as the lead case study. To draw inferences regarding the degree to which the importance of attributes is universal, only close competitors were considered for this study, on the expectation that this would generate similar results. It was anticipated that this approach would be a precursor to future work on more distant competitors, work that ould explore more fully the issue of variations in the importance of competitiveness attributes. Methodology To generate the desired empirical data, a survey instrument was constructed itemizing the factors that were postulated to influence the competitiveness of tourism destinations. This was done by generating a set of tourism-specific items based, in the first instance, on the core resources and attractors and a set of generic business factors. As the business factors are more developed in the competitiveness literature than in the tourism literature, greater reliance was laced on the former in developing the specific items in this set. In developing the set of tourism-specific items, it was recognized that no universal set of items exists, even within the abundant literature on tourism destination attractiveness or image. Kim’s (1998, p. 343) summary of previous research into destination attractiveness indicates clearly the variety of items adopted by researchers in the field, although some items are common to many approaches. The tourism “attractors” derived directly from Crouch and Ritchie’s (1999) core resources and attractors (and shown in Figure 1) were equally consistent with such approaches.

Given that the sample for this study was restricted to broadly similar destinations, and that the selected type of destination was the city, a further review was considered appropriate, and more detailed items were added from prior studies of specifically urban destinations (Jansen-Verbeke 1986; Law 1993), as Figure 1 also shows. Crouch and Ritchie (1999, p. 148) recognize that in the construction of their model, there may be ambiguities in classifying some items. This was particularly so with the tourism superstructure, where the authors note that such items as accommodation and transportation could equally fall within he “supporting factors. ” Following discussions about the pilot instrument with practitioners and tourism experts in the region, these two items were classified within the business factors in the instrument. “Market ties” were also considered better classified as business factors, since market demand is a major element of the literature on business competitiveness. Crouch and Ritchie describe “market ties” as ethnic ties, visiting friends and relatives, and business ties. Consequently, these were translated for this study as “China market potential,” “other Asia-Pacific market potential,” and “long-haul arket potential” given the growing importance of China both in broad economic terms and in terms of outbound tourism growth, the Chinese diaspora throughout the region, and the global family and business linkages emanating from Asia. Similarly, shopping, which was added from Jansen- Verbeke’s (1986) work on urban tourism, was also treated as a business factor, being covered by the item “good retail sector,” which was derived from the competitiveness literature. The practitioners in the region also placed great stress, as do Crouch and Ritchie, on the importance of safety in determining the competitiveness of a destination and in this item eing of especial importance to tourism. As a result, “safety,” which appears in the conceptual model as a 342 MAY 2005 Items Derived from Core Items Added from Core Resources and Items Derived Directly Resources and Attractors Specifically Urban Tourism Attractors (Crouch and from Core Resources but Classified within Studies(Jansen-Verbeke Ritchie 1999) and Attractors Business-Related Factors 1986; Law 1993) Physiography Visual appeal; climate Interesting architecture; well-known landmarks Culture and history Different culture; notable history Local way of life Market ties Ethnic ties; visiting friends and relatives (VFR); business ties

Activities Nightlife; music and performances; museums and galleries; dedicated tourism attractions Special events Special events; interesting festivals Tourism superstructure Cuisine High quality; accommodation; transportation facilities Shopping1 An advantage of combining business competitiveness research with tourism research was that methodological approaches found in the tourism literature helped address a number of shortcomings in the competitiveness literature. The use of a large sample survey, rather than a limited number of interviews (such as used in Porter 1990) with all the inherent difficulties of that methodology, is one advance.

Second, most studies of competitiveness seem to assess a location’s competitiveness in a given industry by generating lists of pluses and minuses or advantages and disadvantages against a set of criteria without any means of prioritizing these criteria. This is one of the shortcomings of Porter’s framework and one that is remedied by the approach of this study, which quantified the importance of the posited determinants by the use of a Likert-type scale. A 5-point scale was adopted to rate the importance of the resulting 52 items, ranging from 1 (very unimportant) to 5 (very important) with a midpoint of 3 (neutral).

A further shortcoming of the competitiveness literature was also addressed in this study by establishing the competitive context, or “set,” within which a given destination must address issues of competition. On a conceptual level, most studies of competitiveness, including Porter’s (1990), assess the competitiveness of an industry without an appropriate context. However, competitiveness cannot be assessed in a vacuum. A given location is competitive or uncompetitive in a given industry not in the abstract but against relevant competing locations (Enright, Scott, and Dodwell 1997). Specific ourism destinations are not competitive or uncompetitive in the abstract but versus competing destinations, and it is important to establish which destinations comprise the competitive set (Kozak and Rimmington 1999). To address this shortcoming, the instrument began by asking respondents to identify the main competing locations, confining the competitors to similar types of destination, namely, other cities in the Asia Pacific region. The first study was carried out in Hong Kong beginning in early 2000. The instrument was distributed to practitioners among tourism suppliers in Hong Kong, identified by their embership of the Hong Kong Tourist Association and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), groups that include a wide cross-section of the service businesses active in tourism. The instrument was addressed to the most senior manager identified in the membership guide, and the responses showed that respondents were all at managerial grade. A total of 210 responses were received from the 1,253 companies contacted, representing a response rate of 16. 8%. Of the 210 respondents, 49 were in the hotel industry, 36 were in retailing, with the balance in travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, and other similar areas.

Respondents were first asked to identify the three main competitors for Hong Kong in urban tourism from a listing of 17 major city destinations in Asia Pacific. The results indicated that Hong Kong’s principal competitor is Singapore, followed by Bangkok. Singapore’s position was expected given the comparable roles of the two cities in economic terms, including transport and logistics as well as similarities in culture and historical background. The next closest competitor was Bangkok, which suggests that this city too has similarities with Hong Kong, although it is not seen as such a close competitor as Singapore.

Thus, Singapore and Bangkok were selected for the second stage of the study, which was to replicate the survey in two broadly similar destinations and for which the appropriate resources and collaborators were then sought. Funding constraints unfortunately delayed the organization of this replication beyond the events of 2001 that caused such havoc to the global tourism industry and which disrupted the execution of the next phase. In early 2002, therefore, the survey was distributed to members of the tourism industry in both Bangkok and Singapore. This was done with the assistance of local tourism industry ssociations in each location and with additional assistance provided by PATA. In Bangkok, the instrument was distributed to members of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, the Thai Hotels Association, and also to Thai based members of PATA. A total of 125 responses were received from the 1,071 companies contacted, giving a response rate of 11. 7%. Of the 125 respondents, 37 were in the hotel industry, 68 were in travel agencies and tour operators, with the balance in airlines, retailing, and other similar areas. In Singapore, the instrument was distributed to members of the

Singapore Hotels Association, the National Association of Travel Agents of Singapore, and Singapore based members of PATA. A total of 78 responses were received from the 532 companies contacted, giving a response rate of 14. 7%. Of the 78 respondents, 40 were in the hotel industry, 24 were in travel agencies and tour operators, with the balance in airlines and other related areas. The Singapore respondents ranked Bangkok as their main competitor and Hong Kong second. The Bangkok respondents ranked Singapore as the main competitor and Hong Kong as second. While this does not indicate an exact mirroring of the Hong Kong result, it hows clearly that there is a broad consensus that the three destinations are close competitors and hence supports the choice of the destinations for this study. RESULTS AND ANALYSIS The mean responses for the importance of the two groups of attributes in determining tourism competitiveness in city destinations in Asia Pacific are shown in Tables 1 and 2. To test for nonresponse bias, the responses from successive mail shots were subjected to an independent t-test to assess whether significant differences existed between the two groups of respondents. As the differences were limited, onresponse bias was not considered an issue. Rank order correlations were then calculated to obtain an overall impression of the similarities in responses among the three locations. This was followed by an ANOVA analysis and a post hoc F test to determine where specific differences among locations lay. Finally, to remove any consistent location specific bias, the data were normalized and resubmitted to the ANOVA and post hoc F tests. Table 1 shows the results for the importance of the tourism “attractors,” as perceived by the respondents in each of the three destinations, ranked in order of the Hong Kong esults. The ratings, measured by the means of the responses for each factor, ranged from 3. 24 to 4. 64 for the Hong Kong respondents, from 3. 38 to 4. 67 for Singapore, and from 3. 50 to 4. 74 for Bangkok. Thus, there was both a similar and a fairly wide range in each case, suggesting a degree of discrimination between the factors, and there was consistency among the three groups in rating all the “attractors” above the neutral (3) midpoint of the Likert-type scale. In other words, there was a general consensus that all the attractors identified for the survey were of some importance, hence ending support for the original conceptual model of Crouch and Ritchie (1999) and for the framework of this study derived from the model. A cursory inspection of the rankings shows that there are considerable similarities between Hong Kong and Singapore responses but somewhat fewer between Hong Kong and Bangkok. It is interesting to note that there was consistency at the top and bottom of the rankings. “Safety” was ranked first in all locations and “music and performances” was last in each case. Table 2 shows the results for the importance of the “business factors” in etermining tourism destination competitiveness in Asia Pacific, again ordered by the Hong Kong rankings. The mean ratings ranged from 3. 61 to 4. 68 for Hong Kong, from 3. 60 to 4. 72 for Singapore, and 3. 61 to 4. 51 for Bangkok. Again, as with the “attractors,” there was a range between the top and bottom of the ratings, suggesting that respondents discriminated between factors; again, all the means were above the neutral (3) midpoint. When the rank ordering of the business factors is considered, again, a cursory inspection indicates that there is broader consistency between the rankings of the Hong Kong and Singapore espondents than between Hong Kong and Bangkok. “Political stability” was ranked first by all three groups, this being consistent with the ranking of “safety” as first among the attractors. If the two sets of results are compared, the Hong Kong and Singapore respondents rated both the top and bottom two “business factors” higher than the top and bottom two “attractors,” although this was not so with the Bangkok respondents. If the averages of the two sets of data are compared, Hong Kong rated the attractors as 3. 90 and the business factors as 4. 08, with Singapore at 3. 93 and 4. 2, respectively. Bangkok differed by rating the attractors as 4. 02 and the business factors as 4. 00. Thus, for two of the locations, the business factors are considered more important on average than the factors conventionally considered in tourism destination research. An important interim conclusion is, therefore, that the results lend considerable support to the usefulness of this expanded approach and that given the ratings for the business factors, these should certainly be included in any study of tourism competitiveness. The results also suggest that the level of importance of he two sets of factors may vary by location, raising the question of how universal the perceptions of importance are. To explore this issue in more detail, rank order correlations were calculated. Table 3 shows that overall, the ranking of the tourism attractors was strongly correlated among all three groups, with a very strong correlation (. 962) between Hong Kong and Singapore. However, for the business factors, the strongest correlation (. 824) was between Singapore and Bangkok. Thus, there would appear to be a very close, albeit not exactly the same, perception of the rankings of importance in the three different locations.

Similarities in the importance measures across the destinations suggest that they address similar markets with similar needs and similar concerns. Differences, on the other hand, could indicate that the destinations target different market segments with, potentially, a different product mix. ANOVA techniques were used to test for differences among the three groups of respondents for each of the factors. The hypothesis that the results came from the same population could be rejected for 8 of the 15 tourism attractors and 11 of the 37 business factors (as listed in Table 4).

In other words, there was a different perception of the importance of these attributes across locations. It is interesting to note that this points to far greater agreement regarding the business factors than the conventional tourism attractors, with a lack of agreement in more than half the attractors compared to a similar lack of agreement in around 30% of the business factors. The post hoc Ryan-Einot-Gabriel-Welsch (REGW) F test results for the factors where differences were found are also included in Table 4. For the eight attractors, Hong Kong and Singapore were consistently within the same subset, eaning that the hypothesis that all results come from the same population cannot be rejected in the case of these two locations. Singapore was within the same subset as Bangkok for four of the attractors, and Bangkok was a sole outlier in the other four cases. These results suggest that Hong Kong and Singapore are addressing essentially the same market segment and are the most directly competing among the three destinations, followed by Singapore and Bangkok, with Hong Kong and Bangkok being the least directly competing among the three destinations. This is consistent with the views registered in Hong Kong and Bangkok but not with hose registered by the Singapore respondents, who claimed that Singapore’s most direct competitor is Bangkok. The results for the business factors are also shown in Table 4, which indicates a lower degree of consistency than was found with the tourism attractors. Of the 11 factors exhibiting differences among the locations, 8 were factors in which the Hong Kong and Singapore responses could not be distinguished, again suggesting that both groups of respondents could be considered to be in broad agreement (or at least not in disagreement) on the importance of almost all the business factors.

This provides some evidence that the two destinations are addressing very similar market segments and are in particularly close competition. To correct for any systematic bias in the responses (respondents from a given location systematically responding with higher or lower importance ratings than respondents from the other locations), the mean of all of the importance responses of a given location (the mean of the location means in the attributes in Tables 1 and 2) was subtracted from the responses for each attribute from that location. The normalized responses were then reexamined using ANOVA, and he results are shown in Table 5, which lists the factors for which the null hypothesis could be rejected and in which differences were detected. The results suggest that in both the attractors and the business factors, there were very few disagreements among the respondents in the three locations. The null hypothesis could not be rejected for 10 of the 15 attractors and 32 of the 37 business factors. Again, the results were subjected to the REGW F test, and the results are also shown in Table 5. Among the attractors, the five factors where differences were indicated were notable history,” “different culture,” “music and performances,” “local way of life,” and “nightlife. ” As with the nonnormalized data, the responses from Hong Kong and Singapore all fell within the same subset, indicating consistency amongst the respondents. Within the second subset, responses from Singapore and Bangkok were consistent in three of the cases. The Bangkok responses differed from the other two locations for the remaining 2 attractors and differed from the Hong Kong responses in all five cases. The differences in the first five factors, especially the differences between the Hong Kong and Bangkok respondents, ay be explained by differences in the product and market emphasis of the two cities. These factors can be categorized broadly as cultural attractions, which are, arguably, more significant in Bangkok’s product and positioning than in Hong Kong’s. Singapore’s affinity with Bangkok for history, culture and music, and performances can be explained in a similar manner, given that Singapore places greater emphasis on the diversity of Southeast Asian culture and the role of these in the multiethnic mix of its society. When the business factors were subjected to the same analysis, the factors where differences were detected were good retail sector/shopping,” “China market potential,” “free port status,” “education and training institutions,” and “staff skills,” as shown in Table 5. For the first three factors, the REGW F test identified the Hong Kong responses as significantly higher than the Bangkok and Singapore responses, which were grouped together in a separate subset. The Bangkok respondents rated the “education and training institutions” factor higher than the other two groups. Overlapping subsets were identified for the factor of “staff skills,” with the Hong Kong and Singapore respondents in one and he Singapore and Bangkok respondents in the other. Again a different product mix could explain some of the differences. Hong Kong’s ability to access the China market, given its location and political context, would raise the importance of China market potential. The greater importance of tourists from the Chinese mainland would also explain why Hong Kong rated both shopping and free port status higher than Singapore, given the salience of these attributes to this market segment. Bangkok’s rating educational institutions higher than the others is perhaps because of the relatively lower numbers of institutions in Thailand hat specialize in tourism specific education and training. However, the thrust of this study is not to explain a small number of differences but to consider to what extent the importance attached to the factors, as indicated by the ratings results, is location specific. What is striking is that once a relative distribution was calculated, there was a fairly high degree of commonality, or lack of disagreement, in both sets of attributes and a much higher degree of commonality in the business-related factors. CONCLUSION The results of the present article demonstrate the usefulness of the methodology in investigating tourism destination ompetitiveness. In particular, the results reinforce the value of the more comprehensive approach suggested by Crouch and Ritchie (1999), which includes not only the conventional tourism attractors but also business-related factors drawn from the generic literature on competitiveness. The finding that, in all three destinations, many of the business factors were rated higher than the tourism attractors suggests that tourism policy, so often formulated solely in terms of tourism attractors, must also take account of the business factors. This study has advanced Crouch and Ritchie’s approach in ourism-specific competitiveness research and has also overcome a shortcoming in much of the general competitiveness literature by explicitly examining the relative importance of a wide range of competitiveness attributes. By obtaining quantitative estimates of the importance of each attribute, the present approach not only can be used to make statistically valid comparisons across locations, but it can also provide practitioners and policy makers with a means of prioritizing decisions by taking account of the weighting ascribed to the attributes. This study also draws attention to the need, especially for ndustry participants, to be aware of the degree to which the weightings are universal with regard to location. If the importance measures proved comparable across all competing locations, then it is likely that the same factors that influenced competitiveness in one location would influence competitiveness in other locations to the same extent and in the same ways. This would indicate that a “universal view” of competitiveness would be appropriate. However, this article has shown that there is not a total agreement (or absence of disagreement) among different locations regarding the mportance of all attributes, even for close competitors. The degree of agreement (or absence of disagreement) was greater among the business-related factors than among the tourism attractors, however, suggesting that there is a greater degree of universality in the former than the latter. Hence, as far as the business competitiveness factors are concerned, the three destinations would appear to be competing more directly on almost all of the factors. The greater disagreement among destinations regarding the relative importance of tourism attractors is, arguably, a more important finding than had universal agreement been bserved. Even when the possibility of systematic bias had been reduced by normalization, there were statistically significant differences in 5 of the 15 attractors. This suggests that what determines competitiveness in tourism may vary depending on the product mix of the location and the targeted market segments. This conclusion would be unremarkable if the comparison had been made between tourism destinations that are obviously different, for example, a resort and a city. But the study confined its focus to city destinations only to control for such variances.

Consequently, this study suggests that the ratings ascribed to the tourism attractors are close but not invariant. This finding thus argues against a single, universal view of what drives tourism competitiveness and suggests that rather than a single policy prescription or strategy, destinations must take a more tailored approach to enhancing and developing tourism competitiveness. At a practical level, it also suggests that care is required when implementing destination competitiveness models, including carefully developed conceptual models such as Crouch and Ritchie’s 1999), given that “one size does not necessarily fit all” in terms of the importance of attributes. It also argues for the identification of key competitors in competitiveness research and hence for tailoring both policy and strategy to a particular set of close competitors, addressing those factors that are common to the competitive set. The variations observed in the ratings can also be used to assess the degree of directness of competition and thus to verify more general perceptions of which destinations are, and which are not, close competitors. This study provides additional guidance for several areas hat future research may address. The deliberate choice of three destinations perceived to be the most direct mutual competitors in the Asia Pacific region, while necessary for the purpose of this particular study, is of course also a limitation of the research. Additional studies of cities in different regions would be valuable and would help determine whether the findings based on the Asia Pacific sample are consistent with cities in other major tourism regions. Second, future studies could take other types of destination, such as resorts, as the sample, and in both cases, the results within and between regions could be investigated.

With an expanded database, not only can issues of universality be further considered but also wider questions of competitiveness, including the issue of competitiveness between unlike destination types, can be addressed with the benefit of empirical results. In addition, further research can also address the issue of universality over time as well as space. Just as this study has indicated that the importance of the determinants is not universal with respect to location, so it is not impossible that their importance may vary over time. Further research can also raise additional issues that are ertinent to the study of city tourism per se and hence help address a lack of attention in the tourism literature to the analysis of urban tourism (see Ashworth 1989; Page 2000). In particular, given the importance of business tourism in cities and the generally higher expenditures of such visitors (Yong and Gartner 2004), a more refined approach could be developed to assess whether determinants of destination competitiveness vary with respect to business or leisure tourism. City destinations were used in this study to test the variability of the importance of competitiveness determinants in losely competing destinations, and hence, the focus of the survey was on tourism in general. Given the findings of this study, however, an approach that refines the market segments in greater detail would provide valuable and fruitful results. The issue of relative competitiveness, or “performance,” is also a valuable area for further investigation. Such work will offer a more detailed guide to managerial and policy action through the combination of importance and performance measures. This is commonly done through the technique of importance performance analysis (Martilla and

James 1977; Evans and Chon 1989; Uysal, Howard, and Jamrozy 1991), which in essence weights performance by importance and, through a graphical representation, offers a readily accessible tool for managerial decision making. When combined with the findings of this study regarding the caution with which universal importance measures should be viewed, the future findings should offer valuable additional insights for both practitioners and researchers. In summary, the study has reinforced, with empirical data, the proposition that both business factors and as well as tourism attractors should be incorporated into studies of ourism competitiveness. In showing that attributes that contribute to destination competitiveness may vary in their importance across locations depending on the product mix and target market segments, especially in a complex multifaceted industry like tourism, it calls into question the universality of any particular recipe for tourism competitiveness. This conclusion should inform the more generic work on competitiveness that generally applies blanket and equal weightings to attributes of competitiveness across very different locations and economies. This study has also developed nd tested a methodology that can be replicated in other destinations to enable more precise identification of direct competitors and a more detailed assessment of the importance of the attributes that determine tourism destination competitiveness. REFERENCES Abe, K. (1996). “Tourism: A New Role for Japanese Cities. ” In Tourism in Major Cities, edited by C. M. Law. London: International Thomson Business Press, pp. 233–49. Ashworth, G. J. (1989). “Urban Tourism: An Imbalance in Attention. ” In Progress in Tourism, Recreation and Hospitality Management, edited by C. P. Cooper. London: Bellhaven, pp. 33–54. Chen, J.

S. (2001). “A Case Study of Korean Outbound Travelers’ Destination Images by Using Correspondence Analysis. ” Tourism Management, 22 (4): 345–50. Chon, K. S. , and K. J. Mayer (1995). “Destination Competitiveness Models in Tourism and Their Application to Las Vegas. ” Journal of Tourism Systems and Quality Management, 1 (2–4): 227–46. Chon, K. S. , P. A. Weaver, and C. Y. Kim (1991). “Marketing Your Community: Image Analysis in Norfolk. ” Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 31 (4): 24–27. Crocombe, T. G. , M. J. Enright, and M. E. Porter (1991). Upgrading New Zealand’s Competitive Advantage.

Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Crouch, G. I. , and J. R. B. Ritchie (1999). “Tourism, Competitiveness, and Social Prosperity. ” Journal of Business Research, 44: 137–52. d’ Hauteserre, A. M. (2000). “Lessons in Managed Destination Competitiveness: The Case of Foxwoods Casino Resort. ” Tourism Management, 21: 23–32. DeVellis, R. F. (1991). Scale Development: Theory and Applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Dwyer, L. , P. Forsyth, and P. Rao (2000). “The Price Competitiveness of Travel and Tourism: A Comparison of 19 Destinations. ” Tourism Management, 21 (1): 9–22. Enright, M. J. (2000). Competitiveness in the New Millennium. ” Working Paper, Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy. Enright, M. J. , A. Frances, and E. Scott-Saavedra (1996). Venezuela: The Challenge of Competitiveness. New York: St. Martin’s. Enright, M. J. , and J. Newton (2004). “Tourism Destination Competitiveness: A Quantitative Approach. ” Tourism Management, 25 (6): 777– 88. Enright, M. J. , E. E. Scott, and D. Dodwell (1997). The Hong Kong Advantage. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press. Evans, M. R. , and K. S. Chon (1989). “Formulating and Evaluating Tourism Policy Using Importance-Performance Analysis. Hospitality Education and Research Journal, 13 (2): 203–13. Faulkner, B. , M. Oppermann, and E. Fredline (1999). “Destination Competitiveness: An Exploratory Examination of South Australia’s Core Attractions. ” Journal of Vacation Marketing, 5 (2): 125–39. Formica, S. (2002). “Measuring Destination Attractiveness: A Proposed Framework. ” Journal of American Academy of Business, 1 (2): 350– 55. Gallarza, M. G. , I. G. Saura, and H. C. Garcia (2002). “Destination Image Towards a Conceptual Framework. ” Annals of Tourism Research, 29 (1): 56–72. Gearing, C. E. , W. W. Swart, and T. Var (1974). Establishing a Measure of Touristic Attractiveness. ” Journal of Travel Research, 12: 1–8. Go, F. , R. Pine, and R. Yu (1994). “Hong Kong: Sustaining Competitive Advantage in Asia’s Hotel Industry. ” Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 35 (5): 50–60. Hassan, S. S. (2000). “Determinants of Market Competitiveness in an Environmentally Sustainable Tourism Industry. ” Journal of Travel Research, 38 (3): 239–45. De Holan, P. M. , and N. Phillips (1997). “Sun, Sand, and Hard Currency— Tourism in Cuba. ” Annals of Tourism Research, 24 (4): 777–95. Hu, Y. Z. , and J. R. B. Ritchie (1993). Measuring Destination Attractiveness: A Contextual Approach. ” Journal of Travel Research, 35 (4): 42–49. Jansen-Verbeke, M. (1986). “Inner-City Tourism: Resources, Tourists and Promoters. ” Annals of Tourism Research, 13: 79–100. Kim, H. B. (1998). “Perceived Attractiveness of Korean Destinations. ” Annals of Tourism Research, 25 (2): 340–61. Kozak, M. , and M. Rimmington (1999). “Measuring Tourist Destination Competitiveness: Conceptual and Empirical Findings. ” International Journal of Hospitality Management, 18 (3): 273–84. Krugman, P. (1994a). “Competitiveness: A Dangerous Obsession. Foreign Affairs, 73 (2): 28–44. ——— (1994b). “Proving My Point. ” Foreign Affairs, 73 (4): 198–203. Law, C. M. (1993). Urban Tourism: Attracting Visitors to Large Cities. New York: Mansell. Martilla, J. A. , and J. C. James (1977). “Importance-Performance Analysis. ” Journal of Marketing, 41 (1): 77–79. Murphy, P. , M. P. Pritchard, and B. Smith (2000). “The Destination Product and Its Impact on Traveller Perceptions. ” Tourism Management, 21 (1): 43–52. Pacific Asia Travel Association (2003). Pacific Asia Tourism Forecasts 2003–2005. Bangkok, Thailand: Keen. Page, S. J. (2000). “Urban Tourism. In Tourism Management: Towards the New Millennium, edited by C. Ryan and S. J. Page. Oxford, UK: Pergamon, pp. 197–202. Pearce, D. G. (1997). “Competitive Destination Images: Analysis of Association Meeting Planners’ Perceptions. ” Tourism Management, 17 (3): 175–82. Porter, M. E. (1990). The Competitive Advantage of Nations. New York: Free Press. Prestowitz, C. V. Jr. , L. C. Thurow, R. Scharping, S. S. Cohen, and B. Steil (1994). “The Fight Over Competitiveness:A Zero-Sum Debate? ” Foreign Affairs, 73 (4): 186–97. Rapkin, D. P. , and J. R. Strand (1995). “Competitiveness: Useful Concept, Political Slogan, or Dangerous Obsession? In National Competitiveness in a Global Economy, edited by D. P. Rapkin and W. P. Avery. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, pp. 1–21. Ritchie, J. R B. , and G. I. Crouch (1993). “Competitiveness in International Tourism: A Framework for Understanding and Analysis. ” Proceedings of the 43rd Congress of the Association Internationale d’Experts Scientifique due Tourisme on Competitiveness of Long- Haul Tourist Destinations. St. Gallen, Switezerland: A. I. E. S. T. , pp. 23–71. ——— (2000). “The Competitive Destination: A Sustainability Perspective. ” Tourism Management, 21 (1): 1–7. Ritchie, J.

R. B. , G. I. Crouch, and S. Hudson (2001). “Developing Operational Measures for the Components of a Destination Competitiveness / Sustainability Model: Consumer versus Managerial Perspectives. ” Consumer Psychology of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure, (2): 1–17. Schroeder, T. (1996). “The Relationship of Residents’ Image of Their State as a Tourist Destination and Their Support for Tourism. ” Journal of Travel Research, 34 (4): 71–74. Uysal, M. , G. Howard, and U. Jamrozy (1991). “An Application of Importance-Performance Analysis to a Ski Resort: A Case Study in North Carolina. Visions in Leisure and Business, 10: 16–25. Waheeduzzaman, A. N. M. , and J. K. Ryans Jr. (1996). “Definition, Perspectives, and Understanding of International Competitiveness: A Quest for a Common Ground. ” Competitiveness Review, 6 (2): 7–26. World Tourism Organization (2000). Tourism Highlights 2000. Madrid, Spain: World Tourism Organization. ——— (2002). Tourism Highlights 2002. Madrid, Spain: World Tourism Organization. Yong, K. S. , and W. C. Gartner (2004). “Preferences and Trip Expenditures— A Conjoint Analysis of Visitors to Seoul, Korea. ” Tourism Management, 25 (1): 127–37.

Fitness Plus

Students should begin by analyzing the capacity of the facility; however, the analysis is not as straightforward as it first may seem. There is an issue of how capacity should be measured. Students should quickly recognize that an overall measure of capacity for the facility isn’t much help in determining if Fitness Plus is capacity constrained. If the service delivery process for each member were homogeneous, such as a cafeteria or airline flight, then an overall measure of capacity, such as the number of members serviced over a given period of time, would be an appropriate measure of capacity.

However, the service delivery process at Fitness Plus is a menu-driven process where each member chooses from a range of services the club provides. Therefore, capacity must be measured for each service item provided. In some areas of the club, such as aerobics, this may be an “output measure” of capacity, such as the number of members per hour that can do aerobics. In other areas, such as the Nautilus equipment, the measure may be an “input measure,” the number of machines available. A second set of complicating issues deals with the impact that management policies and assumptions have on capacity measures.

In their analysis the students need to determine how many members can be serviced in each area of the club. The number served per hour in the cardiovascular area, for example, will depend on whether management chooses to limit the time on each machine during peak hours of demand. Many health clubs limit the use to 30 minutes per member during periods of heavy load. This would, in effect, double the output measure of capacity per hour, but it would not affect the input measure of total machine hours available. An assumption that could be made is that each member takes one minute for each piece of Nautilus equipment used.

If management arranges the equipment in a sequential flow so that members begin at the first station and continue through the equipment in a set sequence, then the capacity can be measured by cycle times and throughput per hour in a manner much like measuring the capacity of an assembly line. With these issues in mind, the students can develop capacity estimates similar to the following: 1. Aerobics *Assumption: Aerobics classes begin on the hour and last for 50 minutes. *Capacity: 1 class per hour for 35 members 2. Cardiovascular *Assumption: During peak demand times, each piece of equipment is limited to 30 minutes per member. Capacity: With 29 pieces of C-V equipment, 58 members per hour peak capacity 3. Nautilus *Assumptions: Each member takes 1 minute to complete each exercise. The machines are set up so members flow through in a sequential manner. *Capacity: Maximum capacity at a steady state; cycle time 1 minute. 60 members per hour Over the three-hour peak demand period, the Nautilus area may only process 156 members because it will take 24 minutes for the first member to complete the entire 24-machine cycle. These three areas of the club are the major areas of concern due to customer complaints, and they are where students should concentrate their analysis.

The tennis and racquetball areas can service the following number of members per hour: Tennis:12 members/hour for singles 24 members/hour for doubles Racquetball:16 members/hour for singles 32 members/hour for doubles There were no details given in the case to determine the capacity of the free-weight area. So, if we aggregate the individual capacities into an overall measure, the club can accommodate a peak capacity of 181 to 209 members per hour, excluding the free-weight area—far more than the peak demand of 80 per hour.

Of course, what is important is not the aggregate demand level, but rather the demand mix and how this mix matches the individual area capacities. The next step in the analysis is to focus the students on estimating the demands that are placed on the club facilities. Because this is a service being provided, the focus should be on looking at the club’s ability to satisfy peak demand. Students should quickly derive the following estimates of peak demand: Arrival rate at peak=80 members/hour Aerobics @ 30%=24 members/hour Cardiovascular @ 40%=32 members/hour

Nautilus @ 25%=20 members/hour Racquetball @ 15%=12 members/hour Tennis @ 10%=8 members/hour Free-Weights @ 20%=16 members/hour These potential demand rates during the peak times indicate a number of things. First, when compared to the area capacities calculated earlier, there seems to be plenty of excess capacity in all areas of the club. Second, it is obvious that members use more than one area of the club during their visits, as the total potential demand across all areas of the club adds to 112-person hours, impossible with only 80 members arriving per hour.

At this time, the instructor needs to direct the students’ attention and discussion toward the issue of determining the size of capacity cushion that Fitness Plus should target to maintain acceptable service levels for its members. One reason complaints may be occurring, even though the comparison of demands and capacities looks fine, is that a member may enter the club, warm up in the cardiovascular room for a few minutes, then go through a Nautilus workout before doing more cardiovascular training or an aerobics workout.

In effect, we made the inherent assumption in the earlier analysis that members use only one area of the club during their visit and that they work out for only 1 hour. These are simplifying assumptions that ease the burden of analysis. However, assumptions such as these and the use of averages in measuring demands and capacities can lead to an underestimation of the capacity actually required to meet demands at some established service level. Once the discussion of “capacity cushions” has taken place, the final issue of capacity expansion needs to be addressed.

The fact is, members are complaining, and expected service levels are not being met. The analysis should focus on both short-term and long-term solution alternatives and looking at the pros/cons of each. Exhibit TN. 1 gives an example of how to present this analysis. Be sure to tie the alternatives into other operating decisions and discuss how each may impact different competitive priorities, such as convenience and location, full-service range of activities with quality facilities, availability of services in a timely manner, or low costs/price.

Recommendations When this decision case is used as an outside assignment, the instructor should be prepared to respond to three types of recommendations: 1. No action needed: Students who compare the demand rates at peak times with the designed capacity may conclude that there is plenty of excess capacity. These students will not seriously consider the need for a capacity cushion, or conclude that it is already large enough. 2.

Expand the existing facility: The use of short-term measures and the limited expansions of the existing facility are enough to create a reasonable capacity cushion. Some students may recommend adjusting the capacity space allocations among competing areas of the club. This is a short-term, middle-of-the-road type of recommendation. 3. Expand to a new location: This is a more long-term strategic decision that should focus on competitive priorities. Students recommending this course of action are looking to expand into new markets and meet competition head on.

Influences on My Family’s Food Choices

Influences on My Family’s Food Choices October 12th 2009 Food choices within a family are influenced by a number of different factors. From how many people are in a family, to the amount of income the family makes, to the lifestyles of the family members, to health factors, the choices of food to be purchased for the family is narrowed down quite significantly when considering how many different foods there are in the world. Living in a house with only one other person, my mom, has its pros and cons. When it comes to food, because there are only two of us, we tend to buy small amounts of food when grocery shopping.

The small amount of food that we do buy usually ends up being the basics that we both need and/or enjoy: eggs, bread, apples, bananas, milk, yogurt, oatmeal, sliced ham, cheese, and the occasional frozen dinner. Having a household of two people certainly helps our family money-wise as well; my mom, currently a student, does not earn any money through a job. Having to buy only small quantities of the basics saves our household money that can be spent on other things. Breakfast seems to always be the best meal of the day in my household. As both of us are equired to wake up fairly early for school, we need to start our days out right by having a good breakfast that will keep us energized until lunch. I sacrifice plenty of the limited time that I have in the morning to make sure that I have something tasty to wake me up. My mom and I are always on the go; most of our time awake is spent outside of the house. We lead lifestyles that can sometimes be stressful and hectic, and our food choices reflect that. We buy food that can be prepared easily, or better yet, is already prepared. Both me and my mom do not spend very much time preparing meals.

Preparing a meal from scratch is oftentimes out of the question because of our lack of free time. Although we do not have very much time to spend on cooking food, both me and my mom are aware of healthy eating. We rarely ever have fast food or eat out at restaurants, because of our lack of time and money. This translates into healthier eating because our food at home is often not high in fat, oils, or calories, as many fast foods are. We also are conscious of healthy drinking, as we both try to drink as much water and herbal teas as we can each day in order to keep us hydrated.

Being hydrated is important, especially when you lead an active lifestyle, which we both do. I learned about healthy eating at a young age, as my mother often made home cooked meals and would only allow me to eat things such as vegetables for snacks. She would also put a strict limit on the amount of sweets I could eat each week. When I would insist that I didn’t like a type of food without ever having tried it, she would make me taste a morsel of the food and then allow me to make a judgment. Because of that, today I am still open to trying an assortment of different foods, and am not a icky eater. As a child, my mother was forced to eat all of the food on her plate at dinner each night, whether she liked the food or not; from hating the experience so much as a child, she vowed that she would never enforce that rule upon her children when it came to dinner. For that, I am thankful. Fortunately, there are no health problems within our household that restrict us from certain foods. On the other hand, me and my mom do try to shop for food that is healthier and lower in fat as we both care about our outward appearances. We can hope that eating healthier might lower our risk for eveloping certain health issues later in life. By eating healthier and watching our weight, we are not only benefiting ourselves right now, but also helping us out in the long run. Traditions of certain foods during holidays is something that me and my mom look forward to with the approach of each coming festivity. Eggs: hard boiled, chocolate, or poached, are always to be expected to appear at my house around Easter. During thanksgiving, we gather my extended family together and celebrate with a home-cooked meal with turkey and mashed potatoes. Christmas dinner ften consists of a ham, mixed vegetables, and plenty of dessert. Though my mom is fairly religious while I am not, religion does not influence the food choices that we make. The media does have an influence within our household when it comes to food. My mom and I are both avid magazine readers; when we see something tasty while flipping through one, we’re tempted to try it, and oftentimes, do. The same thing goes for television; if we see somebody on t. v. boasting about a certain food, especially if the dish is healthy or low in fat, my mom will sometimes go ut of her way to make or buy this food to see if we agree or disagree with the person on television’s views. In conclusion, there are many influences that determine which food could be found in my, or any, household. From eating healthy, to budgeting money, to holiday traditions, each factor that influences our food choices is different from the others, but are each holds an significant importance in helping us decide which food to buy. The food values that have been passed on to me from the members of my family will likely remain with me for years, and eventually, be passed along to my own children, which I might have one day.

Cash Basis and Accrual Basis of Accounting

1. Under cash basis of accounting, revenue and expense recognition would occur when cash is received and disbursed. Contrast cash basis of accounting with accrual basis. Give suitable examples. ACCRUAL BASIS OF ACCOUNTING – An accounting basis wherein revenue and expenses are recorded in the period in which they are earned or incurred regardless of whether cash is received or disbursed in that period. This is the accounting basis that generally is required to be used in order to conform to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in preparing financial statements for external users.

CASH BASIS OF ACCOUNTING – The accounting basis in which revenue and expenses are recorded in the period they are actually received or expended in cash. Use of the cash basis generally is not considered to be in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and is therefore used only in selected situations, such as for very small businesses and (when permitted) for income tax reporting.

In simpler terms, Accrual Basis accounting will record an item as an expense if a firm incurs debt that is to be paid off at a later date; it will likewise assume an item as revenue if a counter party agrees to pay the firm on a later occasion. This is unlike the Cash Basis Accounting method, which ignores pending inflows and outflows of cash and instead records them when cash is received and paid out. To put it as simply as possible, accrual accounting adds income as it’s accrued (earned) Cash basis doesn’t add income until it is actually received.

If a company gives a customer a product that they will actually pay for later, the income is entered into their accounting ledger even though payment has not yet been received. This is accrual accounting. It has the advantage of tracking upcoming expenses and income for better future planning. In Cash Basis all accounting is done strictly on the actual movement of cash or cash value in an account. It is simpler and does not recognize promises to pay or debts owed as either expenses or income.

Personal Values Development Paper

Personal Values Development Paper Karen L. Bailey RN University of Phoenix – Online Ethics in Management PHL323 Nichole Anderson Harris January 04, 2010 Personal Values Development Paper Many wonder about someone’s personal values and how or when value were and are developed. Through research and discussions I found that personal values are developed at an early age. When we are born we have no personal values but as we grow we are taught and learn those personal values by our parents, peers, and community.

There are so many people with different values and ethical standards that there may be some that are similar to ones own, however, it would be hard to find any two exactly alike. In essence “a value is a belief, a mission, or a philosophy that is meaningful. Whether we are consciously aware of them or not, every individual has a core set of personal values” (Posner, 2007). Human nature as well as life experience come into play in further development of values, serving to both reinforce and moderate our value sets. When people are faced with dilemmas about values certain questions will arise, such as what forged the feelings and beliefs.

Today’s globalizations also requires people to understand different cultural ethics. An individual’s personal values that he or she hold should be regarded as worthwhile. Those values will represent that person’s highest priority and driving force. Personal values and ethics are carried by an individual in both personal and business worlds. If an individual carries personal values and ethics into the workplace and that workplace doen’t maintain ethics as a priority then the individual would not succeed at that company. Personal values development occurs in three levels containing various stages (Kohlberg, 1971).

The first level, preconventional level, is when a child responds to the cultural rules, characterized as good and bad, right or wrong and are interpreted in terms of physical or self gratifying consequences like punishment, rewards or exchange of favor or even the physical power of those who express the rules and the labels. This first level is then divided into three stages: Stage Zero which is the egocentric judgment stage in which a child makes judgements of good on the basis of what he likes and wants as well as bad on the basis of what he doen’t like or what hurts.

No concept of rules or of obligations to obey or conform independent of his wish. Stage One is the punishment and obedience orientation stage. Here where the physical consequences of action determin its goodness or badness regarless of the meaning or value of these consequences. Stage Two and final stage of level one is the instrumental relativist orentation in which the metaphor “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” comes into play and not loyalty, gratitude, or justice (Kohlberg, 1971).

The second level, conventional level, is where an individual perceives the maintenance of the expectations of the family, group, or nation as valuable in its own right, regardless of immediate and obvious consequences. That persons attitude is not only one of conformity to personal expectations and social order but also of loyalty to it. This level consists of two more stages. Stage Three is the interpersonal concordance or “good boy-nice girl” orientations in which good behavior is what pleases or helps others and is approved by them.

Stage Four known as the “law and order” orientation and is where an individual is oreinted toward authority, fixed rules, and the maintenance of the social order. Otherwise known as doing one’s duty, showing respect for authority, and maintaing the social order for its own sake (Kohlberg, 1971). The third and last level is the post-conventional, principled level. On this level, which has two more stages, is where an individual defines what moral values are and prinicples that have validity and application a part from the authority of the groups of persons holding him or her a part from the individual’s own identification with the group.

In this level there is Stage Five, the social contract legalistic orientation in which the right action tends to be defined in terms of general individual rights and standsards that have been critically examined and agreed upon by the whole society. Stage Six called the univeral ethical-principle orientation in which right is defined by the decision of the universality, and consistency. Also known as the “golden rule” of equality of the hman rights, and respect for the dignity of human beings as individual persons. My values may have both positive and negative impact in the workplace.

Treating others with dignity and respect, might help my patients surroundings and would be considered a positive impact. In turn this will help those same patients decide on how others should be treated because they enjoy being treated respectfully and with dignity. Positive value occurs when my values and ethics guide me to treat patients in a respectful and honest manner, which will ensure my integrity as a medical professional and will allow me to gain the trust of those patients. This would increase my performance. Offering nursing care to patients with respect will give me a sense of pride in what I am doing.

However, there is a negative side to nursing as well. That negative side, e. g. patient overload, will also have an impact on my perfomance and on patient care, which will decrease the workplace equity. One could say that an individual’s values are made of all that has happened in the course of one’s life. This includes influences an individual learns from parents, church, family, friends, peers, education, culture, and reading as well. Most people will realize all the environmental factors that influence them and will develop a clear and meaningful set of values and priorities.

Once an individual has defined those values, the values will then impact ever aspect of that individuals life. In conclusion, when implementing values in an indivial life or in the workplace that individual will continue to stay focused and work hard. Many factors contribute to the development of values and guide actions that are learned through life experiences, teachings at home, school and or church. Personal work values can change throughout and individuals life and have a large impact on performance in the workplace.

People should remember that someones personal values or beliefs should be welcomed in the workplace as a way of developing the company or organization and help it move into the future. One must never forget that when making decisions values play a key role in those decisions. References Kohlberg, L. (1971). Stages of moral development. Retrieved January 04, 2010, from Xendodochy: http://xenodochy. org/ex/lists/moraldev. html Posner, R. (2007). The Power of Personal Values. Retrieved January 04, 2010, from Gurusoftware. com: http://www. gurusoftware. com/GuruNet/Personal/Topics/Values. htm

Marketing and Ikea

Azfariza Abdul Razak (G77052) IKEA – The Global Retailer How has the globalization of markets benefited IKEA? IKEA has been a great success in its home country. By expanding its market globally, now the same great products are offered in 33 different countries. As the middle class target group enjoys having great looking furniture but at an affordable price. And because of having this strategy there is a lot of demand in which makes IKEA renowned brand. IKEA managed to avoid the costs that associated with shipping the product all over the world.

Its strategy to engage with suppliers in each company’s big market has led IKEA to reduce price of its products and boost the number of sales. The main strength of IKEA is low of product price and combines with solid sales performance. The globalization of market made IKEA establish its stores almost in every country in the world as the cost of transportations, labor, and materials can be reduced. How has the globalization of production benefited IKEA? It has benefitted IKEA beyond their expectations.

As the barriers for doing business with other countries being low, they were able to contract different manufacturers for each item they would introduce later on in their shops. They can find low cost suppliers, which in exchange can make them, lower the prices of the product where the consumer will also benefit from. Globalization of production benefits IKEA also by letting them save in the shipping department, seeing as they use local suppliers in the biggest stores that they have.

IKEA’s success is based on principal marketing strategies that remain the same throughout the world, which include a catalogue that is printed in different languages, for many countries, and the use of the colors of the Swedish flag blue and yellow in the IKEA logo. This is combined with an emphasis on customer freedom and choice with regard to buying and taking home products, and low prices intended to create a “sale” mentality amongst customers.

This aggressive price strategy coupled, with a wide product range catering for every potential lifestyle and life stage of a consumer, can best summarize the company’s recipe for success. The fact that IKEA targets all age groups and households makes it an attractive proposition to a wide spectrum of most countries’ consumers. To have strong sales performance IKEA understands the uniqueness of target market in each country. What does the IKEA story teach you about the imits of treating the entire world as single integrated global marketplace? Every country is unique and has different cultures. The preferences and tastes of consumers are different according to the lifestyles and needs. So, in order to penetrate the global market, a company must know what to offer in which market. If the strategies to provide low price of product offer a company must identify what and which factor that can bring the lowest cost in term of labor, transportation, materials and so on.

It taught us that should try to fit the needs of each country and culture into our way of doing business with them in order for both sides to benefit from it. Not even if the demand in other countries might be different for a certain product, we should always be prepared to fit into the preference of the country we’re established in. Every culture in every single country varies when it comes to taste. Need to adapt local product in these markets for these consumers (China in comparison to United States).

Chien de Printemps

‘The narrator of Chien de printemps could not have chosen a more mysterious and elusive subject for his biographical project than Francis Jansen. ’ Discuss. This novel opens up with the simple straightford lines « J’ai connu Francis Jansen quand j’avais dix-neuf ands, au printemps de 1964, et je veux dire aujourd’hui le peu de choses que je sais de lui. » the author’s intent is to put down in black and white all his memorys of jansen. He wants to catagorise, and organize his memories and by making them tangiable he feels that in doing this they will be reaffirmed.

His time spent with jansen was so brief, yet significant and he wants to validate his memories to try and gain some closure from this elusive mentor figure that he had known when he was young. The author always had a passion for organizing things, and we can see this as he volunteers himself to categorize all of jansens photos which are strewn haphazard between 3 suitcases. it was while doing this job that the author began to get close to jansen and admire him immensely.

This novel has no chapters, it is formed from a series of memories, each of different length all strung together and giving us snapshots of information from the author’s past. In fact, reading this novel is much like leafing through a photo album. In a photo we see a frozen memory that is boarded on all sides and in this novel we are given snippets of information here and there and must essentially fill in the blanks ourselves to complete the story. Jansen is a very mysterious character throughout this novel and we never gain a true insight into his complex personality.

From the mere glimpses we are shown we may deduce that jansen is a very solitary man who enjoys his own company. He is minimalistic in his decor and does not care for material possessions. We can also see that he is a different man from who he used to be. It is clear to us that jansen has lost his spark, his enthusiasm and his joie-de-vivre. As the story progresses it becomes apparent to us that jansen was only ever truly close to 2 people in his life, his mentor in photography Robert Capa and his lover Collette Laurant.

Unfortunately both of these people died in circumstances unbeknownst to us and it is clear that jansen has never been the same since. In losing these people he lost what he cares about most in the world. Jansen slips into a form of depression and isolation which he describes as ‘trous noires. ’ He loses interest in the world and doesn’t even like contact from other people- no phne calls, no answering the door. Jansen is a very private person and as few friends so it is no surprise then, that the author finds so it so difficult to get jansen to open up to him. Jansen is the polar opposite to ‘la lumiere natural qui baignait chacune de ses photos’ as he himself is shorouded in mystery. We can, however gain many clues into this ambiguous character through thorough examination of the text. Jansen’s atelier provides many clues about this character. His decor is minimalistic with only a few sofa’s and pictures in the room, whether this minimalism is by choice or by lack of money we are never told.

He has no whiskey left to offer the author a drink which would suggest that he does not have much money, although later in the novel we learn that he frequently checks into a hotel for nights at a time which would cost a lot! This shows that once we think we are on track for discovering a bit about jansen and being able to pin him down in our minds, something else will be uncovered which will discredit our theory entirely. In jansens apartment there hangs a picture of him and Capa. From reading jansens expression we see that he is ‘timide et melancolique, et ne semblait pas tout a fait a son aise. Capa has his hand on his shoulder and ‘on aurait dit qui’il le soutenait. ’ Although we never find out the circumstances of jansens unhappy adolescence this portrait provides us with the key to jansens love and affity for his mentor Robert Capa. It is ironic then that now jansen is ‘une sorte de double de Capa’ who now has a protige of his own. There is a lot of similarity in fact, including the ages of the author when he started working for jansen and jansen when he started working with capa.

Also as the novel progresses we can see that in both cases, once the mentor figure is taken away from from the protige, darkness and confusion become a dominant feature of their lives. ‘moi aussi il m’est souvent arrive de tomber dans des trous noirs…’ Throughout his time spent with jansen the author learns various facts about jansen’s life which he is able to recall and write down… ‘il etait ne en 1920 a Anvers…sa mere et lui avaient la nationalite italienne…il a passe quelques annees d’etudes a Bruxelles… but these mere facts do not satisfy the author.

He knows the facts and that’s it. What he craves to know is the person and he is using this ‘biographical project’ on jansen in order to piece together all the information he has in order to get some kind of answers. This does prove difficult for him as jansen is a difficult person to get information from – ‘il se replia de plus en plus sur lui meme…c’etait un home qui parlait peu. ’ Jansen did not reveal much information about himself to the author, in fact ‘la qualite qu’il possedait dans son art et dans la vie qui est si precieuse mais si dificile a acquerir: garder le silence. Une photographie peut exprimer le silence, mais un ecrivan utilise les mots pour s’exprimer. It is mentioned in the novel que ‘de tout les caracteres d’imprimerie, il [jansen] m’avait dit qu’il preferait les points de suspension’ this is mirrored in his life when we see him leave the author on a point of suspension when he departs for mexico. This suspense and unfinished business is what contributes to the inspiration of the author to write the book. It proves increasingly difficult for the author to understand francis jansen.

His photos seem to serve as a painful reminder of something in his past ‘je ne supporte plus de les voir…chacune de ces photos etait pour moi un remords…il vaut mieux faire table rase. ’ He carries immense burden with him which has caused him to lose his joie de vivre and become a very complex person. Although no definitive explanation to the reason behind this is offered, it is strongly suggestedque ‘c’est peut-etre a cause de certains eventements de sa vie…’ His whole life fell apart when he lost his lover collete laurant and his dear friend and mentor Robert Capa.

Their deaths ‘avaient produit une cassure dans sa vie’ and now his life seems to have no importance or purpose. We see that jansen is becoming increasingly depressed and losing interest in life. Il excerce de moins en moins son metier. ’ He wants to start anew. He wants to escape. It is so difficult for the author to find out about jansens past because jansen himself is trying to forget but the author wants to remember.

Finally, 30 years later, the author successfully collects all his thoughts and experiences of jansen and finally puts them on paper, in doing this he begins to contemplate and think and it suddenly becomes clear to him why jansen left the way he did. Jansen pensait qu’un photographe n’est rien, qu’il doit se fondre dans le decor et devinir invisible pour mieux travailler et capter ‘la lumiere naturelle’ he pulls away from people because the best way to experience life is to ‘fondre dans le decor’ and observe and quietly appreciate things without a fuss.

His life was dedicated to fighting the bleakness of reality with photography and jansen found that the only way to find ‘natural light’ both in terms of photographs and indeed happiness in life is to remain silent and in the background. After realizing this, the author is finally at peace and can, at least to some extent, comprehend the person that was the elusive Francis Jansen.

A Report on a Case Study on Measuring Intangible Assets an Indian Experience

A REPORT ON Case Study on Measuring Intangible Assets – Indian Experience – 1 – BEYOND BALANCE SHEETS… Measuring Intangible assets- an Indian case study “Just as you can’t measure what you can’t describe, you can’t manage what you can’t measure… ” While many companies have strived to differentiate their annual reports and make them informative, attractive and easy to read, most still take a rear-view-mirror approach, focusing almost exclusively on history and analyses of past performance.

But in today’s world, as we have advanced into the Information Age, more companies will find that those assets most easily measured are not necessarily most valuable; increasingly they will be forced to measure intangible assets in a predictive way that is more reflective of how the company is actually run. Today, even traditional manufacturing companies are finding themselves not simply selling a product, such as a car, but selling customer service, a lifestyle, convenience, and so much more. If we take the example of airline industry, it also provides another clear example of this phenomenon.

Where airlines once had large tangible inventories of aircraft on their books, they now lease the equipment, changing the nature of the business to one built on intangible assets – landing rights, booking systems, customer service, and brand. Unfortunately, knowledge itself cannot be “managed. ” But knowledge that is captured and converted into an asset (tangible or intangible) is indeed a commodity one can count on, literally, to improve the performance of the company and help generate profits.

No company can own either of the critical assets, neither the employees nor the customers. The value they provide to the company is only temporary and cannot be considered a measurable asset unless it is captured and converted into something the company can own – any new knowledge or skill that can be reused or applied in other areas, be it a new learning process or a new operating policy. There is a three grid system in any organization that can be measured as intangible assets. They are Customers, People and organization. Customers People Organization

Adopted from: www. celemi. com – 2 – – 3 – However, there are also factors that may be revised during the years, such as certain investments and initiatives we need to focus on as they are implemented and developed. For example, the development of our IT capabilities, which at one time was a key measure when establishing new offices, is now monitored in relation to other investments in R&D and marketing. In the future, we expect other factors will periodically be measured to give an accurate assessment of our intangibles as the business evolves.

Before any company starts measuring their intangible assets, everyone has to be helped to understand what their intangible assets are, and what impact they have on the performance of the company. With this knowledge of the “big picture,” employees can begin to see how individual performance affects organizational performance. For example, the managers understand the importance of assigning a new employee to a competence-enhancing client rather than an image-enhancing client. In any case, the companies should use caution before jumping in and measuring the intangible assets.

First, there must be a shared understanding internally of what the intangible assets are and what they mean to the overall performance of the company. With this knowledge, people are able to interpret the information and make effective decisions in line with the strategic plan. At the same time, they are developing their own extraordinary business sense – an essential key to how companies and employees can face challenges as an innovator in a global environment. Reasons of initiating Intangible asset measurement The pressure for more disclosure is already significant.

A growing number of academics, consultants, and regulators see the lack of information on intangible assets as a major deficiency in the GAAP regime. And this has been one of the most important reasons of initiating the measurement of intangible assets in the balance sheet. Leading companies in India are actively seeking ways of leveraging their “human capital” to develop a strategic advantage. They are moving from a departmental focus on human resources to a far more strategic and expansive focus on human capital management.

Roles and responsibilities are in ever-changing as companies explore new ways of building and leveraging talent. But Human Capital Assessment/Management is not limited to the enterprise itself. This new perspective also draws on the networks of talent that lie beyond immediate corporate boundaries. It is a key element of the ongoing drive toward “collaborative commerce” or “enterprise relationship management. ” – 4 – The payoff by using this method promises to be quite powerful.

Watson Wyatt, a management consulting firm that has developed a Human Capital Index based on 30 key indices of effective human capital management, has observed that a significant improvement among the 400 publicly traded companies it studied was associated with a 30 percent increase in market value. Watson Wyatt monitored five key dimensions of effective HCM: recruiting excellence; clear rewards and accountability; a collegial and flexible workplace; communications integrity; and prudent use of resources. Companies that demonstrated the highest ratings on the index generated returns of 103 percent over five years.

This proves that Human accountability is certainly important. But the question arises of which department would be responsible for it. This is still a challenge that cannot be delegated to any person or department; in fact it becomes the responsibility of everyone in the organization. While HR has taken its share of criticism for not being business-focused, it’s reasonable to assume that HR professionals generally have not been incentivized or encouraged by top leadership to play the strategic role that is now being sought. It’s a matter of organizational design.

It still remains an enigma about whether the top level executives or lower level executives would be responsible for the accounting of the Human talent in the organization. Measuring intellectual assets These are some general techniques that are used to value intangible assets, specifically Human Valuation. The techniques change from company to company related to its importance in the functions. 1. Balanced scorecard. Supplements traditional financial measures with three additional perspectives — customers, internal business processes, and learning/growth.

It was originated with a couple of Harvard Business School professors. 2. Competency models. By observing and classifying the behaviors of “successful” employees (“competency models”) and calculating the market value of their output, it’s possible to assign a dollar value to the intellectual capital they create and use in their work. 3. Benchmarking. Involves identifying companies that are recognized leaders in leveraging their intellectual assets, determining how well they score on relevant criteria, and then comparing your own company’s performance against that of the – 5 – leaders.

Example of a relevant criterion: leaders systematically identify knowledge gaps and use well-defined processes to close them. 4. Business worth. This approach centers on three questions. What would happen if the information we now use disappeared altogether? What would happen if we doubled the amount of key information available? How does the value of this information change after a day, a week, a year? Evaluation focuses on the cost of missing or underutilizing a business opportunity, avoiding or minimizing a threat. 5. “Calculated intangible value. “

Compares a company’s return on assets (ROA) with a published average ROA for the industry. Brand valuation techniques that are usually in use by the Indian companies are as follows. A number of authors and consulting firms have proposed different methods for brand valuation. 1. The market value of the company’s share 2. The difference between the market value and book value of the company’s shares (market value added) other firms quantify the brand’s value as the difference between the shares’ market value and adjusted book value or adjusted net worth (this difference is called goodwill). . The difference between the market value and book value of the company’s shares minus the management teams managerial expertise (intellectual capital) 4. the brand replacement value a. Present value of the historic investment in marketing and promotions b. Estimation of an advertising investment required to achieve the present level of brand recognition 5. the difference between the value of the branded company and that of another similar company that sold unbranded products (generic products or private labels) 6.

The present value of the company’s free cash flow minus the assets employed multiplied by required return. – 6 – ROLTA INDIA PVT LTD Rolta India limited is an Indian company operating in India and overseas. It provides software/information technology based engineering and geospatial solutions and services to customers across the world and has executed projects in more than 35 countries. Rolta is headquartered in Mumbai and operates through a network of twelve regional/branch offices in India and seven subsidiaries located in USA, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

It is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange in India. Rolta is India’s leading provider of GIS/GeoEngineering solutions and services and one of the major AM/FM/GIS photogrammetry service providers in the world for segments such as Defense, Environment, Electric, Telecom, Gas, Emergency Services, Municipalities and Airports. The company’s customer base for GIS projects is spread across 17 countries with multi million dollar projects executed in various parts of the world.

Rolta is also leading provider of plant design automation solutions and services in India and one of the major plant information management services providers worldwide. The company’s customer base for such business is spread across 22 countries with over 500 projects executed in various parts of the world. To move up the value chain in the engineering domain, the company has established a joint venture with Stone & Webster Inc. , USA, namely SWRL- Stone & Webster Rolta Limited. SWRL has access to Stone & Webster’s proprietary technology.

This joint venture provides high quality engineering services worldwide and undertakes selective refinery, petrochemicals and power projects in India. The company provides eSecurity implementation services, rapid application development and software testing services to its customers worldwide. In on-going partnership with CA’s, the company has executed over 350 projects globally in 18 countries. Rolta globally has around 2500 employees. Nearly 75% of the company’s workforce has engineering qualifications, including significant umbers with master’s degrees or doctorates and Rolta ensures constant ongoing training to its professionals. The annual IDC-DQ best Employers Survey has consistently ranked the company as one of the top employers in the IT industry in India. Rolta quality standards are benchmarked to world class levels, with top quality certifications such as ISO 9001:2000, BS 7799, and SEI CMM level 5. The British Standards Institution (BSI) has awarded Rolta the BS15000 certification for its entire range of IT service management processes.

This unique accreditation has been bestowed on less than 25 companies globally. Measuring the intangibles – 7 – A company’s balance sheet discloses the financial position or rather health of the company. The financial position of an enterprise is influenced by the economic resources, financial structure, liquidity, solvency and its capacity to adapt to changes in the environment. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that intangible assets have a significant role in defining the growth of a company.

So often, the search for the added value invariably leads us to calculating and evaluating the intangible assets of the business. A Concept of Economic Value Added (EVA) Economic Value Added (EVA) is the financial performance measure that aims to capture the true economic profit of an enterprise. EVA is developed to be a measure more directly linked to creation shareholder wealth over time. Hence, it focuses on maximizing the shareholders wealth and helps company management to create value for shareholders. EVA refers to the net operating profits of the company which is opportunity cost.

EVA is calculated as Net operating Profit after tax (NOPAT) – (Capital*Cost of Capital) Generally, all intangible assets are being measured in terms of economic value added by those particular intangible assets. Brand Value – an important intangible asset Brands are more than just a name, a trademark for a product or a service mark for a service. A brand is a complex concept that creates organizational value and performs number of important functions for every enterprise. Brands and their combined Brand equity constitute a major economic force within the entire global economy, delivering market place value, shareholder ealth, livelihood, prosperity, and culture. Successful brands are recognized as rare and valuable assets that must be exploited carefully, with wise and knowledgeable management that retains their financial value, their economic power and their social significance. A brand is a very special asset and in many businesses it is the most important asset. This is due to the far reaching economic impact that brands have on enterprise. Brands usually influence the choice of customers, employee’s, investors and government authorities.

In a world of abundant choices such influence is crucial for commercial success and creation of shareholder value. Brands have also demonstrated a unique durability and sustained competitive advantage unmatched by any other corporate asset. Brand is an intangible asset and there are several methodologies suggested and prevalent for valuing brands. Some of these methods are cost, market value, economic use and royalty relief. Rolta utilizes “Economic Use” model. This model is one of the standard methodologies in brand valuation by companies in the software industry. 8 – This method is basically a combination of market factors and financial parameters to arrive at the value of the brand. It uses Brand Strength Model which arrives at a brand strength score based on various market parameters. This score is multiplied by the net brand earnings to estimate the brand value. The Brand strength Model is used to determine the value of a brand based on the assumption that a strong brand is more reliable for future earnings with lesser risk. Rolta has used the following method to calculate the brand valuation. Table:1 Calculation of Brand Value of Rolta India Pvt.

LtdItem No. Particulars 2004-05 2003-04 2002-03 1 Profit Before Interest and Taxes 1,226 1,014 1,504 2 Less – Non Brand Income 103 88 57 3 Adjusted PBIT (1-2)=3 1,123 926 1,447 4 Profit for the brand and associated intangibles 1,123 926 1,447 5 Average capital employed 5,723 6,200 5,410 6 Remuneration to Capital % 5 % 7 Remuneration to capital 289 8 Profit attributable to Brand and Associated intangibles (4 – 7) = 8 834 9 Income Tax 305 10 Profit after tax attributable to Brand and associated intangibles 529 11 Brand Multiple Applied 15. 15 12 Brand Value 8,011