Analysis Of The Burt’s Bees Case Study Homework Essay Sample

Burt’s Bees is an interesting case, which discusses the success story of an all natural skin care company. It is an unusual concept but the founder Roxanne Quimby saw the market for such a product and immediately started acting upon this opportunity to create the best skin care company in the world. It was interesting to notice how Roxanne and the co-founder Burt Shovitz started the concept of natural skin care products just for the extra income and then went on to make it their core product of the company. This is the best example of an unpredictable market.

Another interesting factor of the company is its use of natural products, keeping in mind the environment. The company doesn’t test its products on animals (like many other companies) and the company’s packages are designed such that they can be recycled which in turn have the lowest impact on the environment. This helped them to capture a wide market swiftly as the customers today are very sensitive and prefer natural products over chemical-oriented ones. With the increasing pollution, there is more awareness among the people to use environmentally friendly packages and products as far as they can.

Burt’s Bees seem to attract its customers covering both these aspects. The founders prove to be efficient business people since they saw the need of the customers and delivered the product demanded by them. According to me, the entrepreneur’s first and foremost quality is to know the market and deliver the exact product/service to get maximum profit and for the long life of the company. However, the case states three important questions needed to be answered in order for the founders to reach a desirable figure of $25 million and prevent it from selling.

Question1: How could Burt’s Bees establish its presence in such a crowded market? Answer: According to my analysis, Burt’s Bees has achieved a remarkable position in the market with its unusual product. This means that the company can do very well in the market provided some changes are made. The customers are at the top of any company. It cannot do well unless it has enough buyers for what it sells. So firstly, I feel it should undertake heavy survey methods to know what customers are actually looking for in their products, what are they missing, what are their desires. Time changes and so do people and their tastes.

I feel Burt’s Bees should have continuous updates on what is desired by its customers and be more in touch with them to get the sales. Secondly, I also feel the company should invest a certain lump for its advertisement. It lacks a lot behind in this area as compared to its customers. I did not know the company’s name until this case study. So, I feel it should also work towards its advertisement. Since, this is the world of technologies; Burt’s Bees should have its hands on the latest technologies out there to make it products up to the mark. It would also save some labor costs.

As far as financial aspect is concerned, as I have mentioned in my earlier discussions, I very strongly believe that the most important concern of the company is that it should never run out of cash. Burt’s Bees may come up with the best product and use the best technology available but it would be of no use if it runs out of cash. Hence, they should be very cautious towards their cost of goods sold and that its expenses never exceed its income/cash flow. I understand certain factors stated here are not directly related to creating a presence in market but I very strongly believe that indirectly they have a lot do with the company’s success.

Question 2: If retail wasn’t a good move for the company, where did Burt’s Bees future lie? Answer: According to me, we live in an internet era. Burt’s Bees should try selling its products online. Many people especially females always look for the products for their skin and hair online; to check if there is anything new in the market which is better than what they are using. It can also distribute free samples of their upcoming products to the customers along with their order to increase their awareness and ultimately their sale.

For starters, if they do not get direct sale online then they can have a tie up with a popular brand of a different industry, say clothing where people make their most online purchases and give out free samples along with their orders. This could be the best marketing strategy for the company. In my second opinion, they should try selling their products at the local market stores where people do most of their shopping. And lastly, in the worst scenario if nothing works out then it should be a wholesaler. The company can create products as per the retailers’ demand and sell them their products.

But looking at the company’s success and figures, I feel it shouldn’t have a problem doing retail considering the above stated suggestions. Question 3: What is the best route to reach $25 million in sales? Answer: This in my opinion will be the summary of all my suggestions. More research, get the right product for the customers, increased use of technology, controlling costs and selling products online. Taking care of all these factors would help the company achieve remarkable sales figure and ultimately the goal of $25 million.

Transparency In Corporate Governance

Transparency in Corporate Governance  The concept of transparency to corporate complianceThe degree of compliance with standards and law is ultimately an impressionistic judgment.

For example, an international NGO annually releases a Corruption Perception Index based on surveys that document the perceptions of analysts, academics, and business people.  The 2001 profile of ninety one countries ranks Finland first (9.9) 10 is a perfect clean score and Bangladesh last (0.4).

There are many ways to circumvent the disclosure of information. In spite of legal obligations, compliance is essentially measure of good faith. Compliance does not ensure that proffered information is useful. In instances of closed-door policy deliberations for example, “transparency” simply means that meeting minutes, however vague or incomplete are posted.

Essentially toothless, disclosure policies are no guarantee that information will reach the public. Both the IMF and the World Bank releases certain information only to their member governments, never directly to citizens. An agency may choose to disclose pedestrian data or to obfuscate information in lengthy documents couched in tortured language. And there are always exemptions.

Both the US Freedom of Information Act (1966) and the NAFTA transparency decision against Canada permit governments to withhold information those governments deem vital to national security (McBride, 2003).An idea spawned from a rich philosophical lineage, transparency states a goal, the freedom actualized by self-governance and the means for achieving it (McBride, 1997), open communication in the public sphere. Utopian transparency, which is impossible to fully measure and achieve, is the pithiest expression of the quest for self-determination and self-legislation. Ultimately, the dissemination of useful information will depend more on providing motives and incentives than the threat of sanctions and uncertain enforcement.

The Concept of Transparency to Corporate GovernanceProblems of transparency are linked to problems of accountability. Russian company officials who seek to avoid accountability will take all necessary steps to limit transparency. An offer, who wishes to take advantage of a corporate opportunity, or to arrange favorable terms for a supply contact with his own company, has no desire to expose his deeds to the scrutiny that accompanies transparency. Another problem for transparency is historical.

Russian company officials have emerged from a culture in which information was hidden and secrecy abounded. No matter what his background- red director, black marketer, or government bureaucrat-that company official learned the value and reality of secrecy, opacity, and obfuscation very early in his career.Transparency suffers when insiders rely on techniques other than good leadership and management skills to operate business successfully.Finally, transparency in corporate governance falls prey to a somewhat unexpected problem.

To many Russian company officials, transparency causes more problems than it solves. In today’s Russian, corporate predators abound. Illegal takeover attempts occur more frequently than legal attempts. Manipulation of the courts system, illegal attacks by minority shareholders, and sham transactions followed by equally sham bankruptcies are all threats that Russian companies face.

Also, their competitions, particularly those with great resources and influence with the authorities, are often prepared to flout the law to achieve their takeover objectives. They ignore or bypass laws that call for an independent share registry, that require announcements of large dividends, and that mandate the publishing of detailed financial statements, all of which are seemingly routine corporate acts that are consistent with transparency. For a company that is a takeover target, complying with these practices can be fraught with peril in the minds of company officials.Evaluation of Relationship:  Self-interests of Management and effective corporate governanceAgency theory is concerned with the agency problem exists when there is an agency relationship.

In an agency relationship, one party (the principal) delegates decisions and/or work to another (agent). The agency problem occurs when the principal and the agent have different goals. The underlying assumption of the agency theory is that agents are self-interested, risk-adverse, and rational actors. In the agency relationship, two typical problems could arise.

The first is the monitoring problem that arises when the principal cannot verify if the agent behaved appropriately. The second is the problem of risk-sharing that arises when the principal and the agent have different attitudes toward risks (Eisenhardt, 1989).The relationship between firm owners or shareholders (the principal) and the top management (the agent) is a typical principal-agent relationship. Agency theory sheds important light on how to design effective management control of such a relationship.

First, agency theory implies that agent’s self-interests can be monitored by information system. Thus, formal information systems, such as budgeting and management reporting, and informal information sources, such as managerial observation and surveillance are important aspects of control. Second, agency theory views control system aspects of compensation and incentive schemes tools for better aligning an agent’s motives with organizational goals. This explains the importance of share options or management ownership in the management control system of a company (McBride, 1994).

Stewardship theory is proposed as an alternative perspective to agency theory. The underlying assumption of the stewardship theory is that managers are good stewards of firms. They are trustworthy and work diligently to train high corporate profits and shareholder’s returns (Donaldson & Davis, 1994). Instead of focusing on goal conflict, stewardship theory proposes that the principal and the steward can cooperate with each other and achieve a goal alignment.

Thus, stewardship theory focuses on developing mutual trust and cooperation between principals and stewards. Indeed, the steward theory proposes that trustworthy and cooperative relationship between principals and stewards are positively correlated with firm performance. This has several important implications for management control systems. First, trust and cooperation can be enhanced by having effective information sharing mechanisms.

Under the stewardship theory, information systems are primarily for the principal to share information with and not necessarily to monitor the stewards. Second, arrangements that foster understanding and identification between principals and stewards will increase the degree of trust between them, thereby leading to better film performance.Stewardship theory differs from agency theory in several key aspects. Instead of relying on the premise that managers (agents) are opportunistic and self-serving, stewardship theory assumes that these managers are trustworthy and cooperative.

Instead of emphasizing the need for monitoring and control, stewardship theory directs our attention to trust and relationship-building between principal and stewards. Thus, while agency theory focuses on the independence of different groups (for example, board members, monitoring committee, and management), stewardship theory underlines understanding and identification between them.The relationship between the agent and the principal is formalized in agency theory, which describes the relation between the company’s decision makes the officers, directors, and management and its owners, and the issues related to potential conflicts of interest between agents and principals. In a small business, the owners and managers are often the same, so there is no potential conflict of interest between the owners and the decision makers.

However, in larger business, there is separation of ownership and decision making, and therefore the owners must entrust directors, officers, and managers with the responsibility to make decisions on behalf.In conclusion, the aim of this paper was to link transparency to economic growth. A growing level of awareness in both the public and the private sector about the necessity of implementing best practices of transparency and corporate governance. Is it encouraging? Yes, it is.

Is it adequate? No. A lot more needs to be done in order to lay down the solid foundation for the development of the democratic society, economic prosperity and social wealth. By coordinating efforts of all parties involved, by building a multilateral multinational anti-corruption network, and by setting up clearly defined corporate governance and anti-corruption agenda for each of the nations and companies involved, we will be able to drastically reduce the strain of corruption and make one more step towards a better world.  References Davis, P.

& Donaldson, J. (1994). Seven Principles for Cooperative Management. Cooperative Management.

A philosophy for business. Chelterham: New Harmony Press. Eisenhardt, K. M.

(1989). Agency theory: an assessment and review. Academy of Management Review, (Vol. 14, pp.

57-74) McBride, W. L. (1997). Existentialist Politics and Political Theory.

Taylor & Francis. McBride, S. & Griffin, M. (2003).

Global Turbulence: Social Activist’s and Response to Globalization. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. McBride, P. (1994).

Managing Quality. Boston: Butterworth Heinemann.        

The Use Of Production Techniques In A Film Character Analysis

The use of production techniques in a film helps the audience understand the ideas. To what extent do you agree with this view? Respond to the question with close reference to one or more films you have studied. In Atonement, directed by Joe Wright, it is very true that production techniques play a key role in helping the audience understand the ideas. Wright focuses on various scenes, such as the fountain, preparation for dinner to make these techniques most effective. The efficiency of these scenes is influenced by camera shots, point of view, crosscutting and sound effects.

Wright intended to engage the audience by allowing them to feel a sense of suspense, understand one’s perception and feel connected to the audience. Crucial scenes, like the fountain scene, lay building blocks for future situations that occur. This scene, in part one of the film portrays Robbie Turner and Cecilia Tallis, who grew up together in the idyllic surrounding of the Tallis house in Surrey, arguing over a valuable Tallis vase that had accidentally been broken by Robbie.

The dialogue, “move in different circles” implies that although they went up to Cambridge together (there being no mixed colleges at Cambridge until forty years later), they were separated by a much more fundamental divide. Cecilia was of upper class and Robbie was a Tallis household maid. The use of mid shots, wide and close up shots emphasise the mixture of irritation, showing off and contempt underlie Cecilia her undressing to her undergarments and retrieving the piece of Meissen vase that had fallen into the fountain.

It is important to note Robbie’s misunderstanding; he wants to help her but does not realise what she is doing mirrors Briony’s behaviour later on in the film, in that the young thirteen year old had subconscious prejudice that Robbie was not a suitable partner for Cecilia and that prison would keep him out of the way. The broken vase is symbolic of the lives that would be destroyed later in the film: lover’s Robbie and Cecilia, and Briony (Cecilia’s younger sister) as a consequence of misunderstanding.

Social class however, is not responsible for all the misunderstanding that occurs. During the fountain scene in Atonement, you are given a fine example of how devastating one lie can turn out to be, by the use of a range of production techniques. The scene begins with a wide shot of Briony, upon where the audience hears the non-diagetic sounds of a buzzing bee. This bee is what leads Briony to the windows where she witnesses the scene from a high angle before her. The bee erhaps symbolises the eminent danger of what is to follow, for in nature the yellow and black stripes are a warning sign to any predator, if you venture too close, you will be stung. It also indicates that Briony has no auditory sense of anything beyond the glass and no clear reception of its meaning. This is shown by Briony also observing Robbie and Cecilia’s fury at the fountain. Needless to say, Briony believed Robbie had forced Cecilia to undress to her undergarments and retrieve the broken piece of vase. The use of a high angled shot allows Wright to portray Robbie as low to the ground and therefore vulnerable.

The high angled shot allows the audience to understand the situation from Briony’s perspective as this scene establishes the frame of mind in which her later interception of Robbie’s sexually explicit letter to Cecilia allowed her to view him as a “sex maniac”. Furthermore, in the library scene, Briony witnessed Cecilia being ‘pinned’ against the wall and instantly believed that Robbie had raped her. This allows the audience to understand Briony’s misinterpretation and ultimately understand that Briony’s perception was very removed from the truth of what actually happened.

Wright’s use of flashbacks, in the fountain and Library scene portray acts of love between the Robbie and Cecilia. He does this by providing Briony’s perspective and then the actual situation. Thus, the dialogue “I love you” said by both Robbie and Cecilia in the Library expose their passionate act of love, which Briony could not recognise. Wright focuses on the scene where Robbie and Cecilia are preparing for dinner at the Tallis manner by use of crosscutting. The intended effect of crosscutting allows the audience to gain a sense of suspense and to see the tension build between the two characters.

Crosscutting, or parallel montage, is a technique which shows things happening at the same time, thus Wright quickly switches from one scene to the next and back again several times; aided with a series of close up and wide shots. Wrights portrays this when Robbie is in his room and Cecilia in hers. The scene crosscuts to Cecilia dressing for dinner, Robbie-smoking, Cecilia-smoking, Robbie writing the sexually explicit letter, Cecilia pulling on the ‘famous’ green dress and looking in the mirror.

The simplicity of the fabric of the green dress contrasts with the patterns of her earlier clothes and the patterns of the house- she is already taking a step away from her family, thus this idea can relate to Cecilia’s behaviour in the fountain scene, and also in the library. Also, Wright has relied on the traditional understanding that mirrors are used to show uncertainty about one’s self and are symbolic in the film as they are frequently used to portray uncertainty (Cecilia), two-facedness (Briony) and keeping feet between two social groups (Robbie).

Wright’s use of Crosscutting portrays the link between Robbie and Cecilia which is emphasised by the same aural, both smoking, Robbie-talking, Cecilia-talking. Wright does this to capture a sense of the two almost metaphysically talking to one another, thus allowing the viewer to understand the connection of love between the lower class Robbie and upper class Cecilia. In addition, crosscutting is also used when Cecilia is waiting alone for Robbie- Briony approaches Cecilia’s room and searches for the letter- this is reflected in the mirror, which reinforces that mirrors portray Briony’s two-faced behaviour.

As the crosscutting occurs, from Briony searching for the letter to Cecilia making a statement to the police-“I wouldn’t necessarily believe everything Briony tells you”. Wright uses this to indicate to the viewers not to trust Briony’s version of events in the film. However, it is questionable, that Briony wrote this into her novel, Atonement, in an attempt to portray that someone of high class would oppose her prejudice accusation, as it is revealed that her mother, Leon and the police were willing to believe her uncorroborated story, because rape was known as ‘working class behaviour’.

In the scene where Robbie is preparing for dinner in the Tallis household, Robbie is typing on his typewriter and listening to the orchestral piece ‘La Boheme’. This shows that although he is of lower class, he has an acquired taste in music that wealthy men would have. The classical aural foreshadows the tragedy of Robbie’s charge of rape of Lola Quincey, imprisonment, being separated from his true love and death. This is backed up by the dialogue said by Briony, who was the catalyst to Robbie’s ‘crime’ – “I feel I prevented the time together that they had so longed for”.

The aural mirrors the fate of Robbie and Cecilia as the song is about an ill fated love affair between two lovers of different class stature. Furthermore, the frequent use of the non- diagetic sound of the typewriter is used by Wright to indicate to the viewer the return of Briony to the story and generally in time with the frequently heard piano music. The sound of the typewriter underlies that she is lying, or to question to the audience what is truth in her writing. This is shown y the scene where Briony is interviewed by the police about her accusation of Robbie. The dialogue “Yes I saw him. Just as you see me? I know it was him… I saw him, I saw him with my own eyes” is emphasised instantly by the clacking of the typewriter and as such is a warning for the viewer not to trust her version of events. In addition, the typewriter’s noise is a repeating sound, to indicate that the story must continue, and hints the author’s Ian McEwan’s input in the film.

This is implied by the phrase “Briony is a writer-she is always a writer. This is a story about a writer. It’s about storytelling; it’s about the story teller’s imagination. That’s something Ian McEwan kept impressing on us”. Therefore, it is correct to say that Wright’s use of non-diagetic sound of the typewriter is used to signify to the viewer that the film represents Briony’s point of view and can be expected that what is portrayed is an account of the mind of a naive and later atoning woman.

It is very true that production techniques play a key role in helping the audience understand the ideas. Wright focuses on various scenes, such as the fountain, preparation for dinner to make these techniques most effective. The efficiency of these scenes is influenced by camera shots, point of view, crosscutting and sound effects. Wright intended to engage the viewer by allowing them to feel a sense of suspense, understand one’s perception and feel connected to the viewer.

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