Granite City Food & Brewery Company’s Value Chain Sample College Essay

Introduction to Value Chain Analysis

Founded in the year 1999, the Granite City Food & Brewery has grown into a fully-fledged company t6hat has more than 34 restaurants spread across 14 states across the US. The company was launched as a medium business in the region of St. Cloud and has become a household name in creating fresh menus for customers. The business concept of the Granite City Food & Brewery is merging a casual restaurant with a brewery on site.

The Granite City Food & Brewery “restaurants also showcase an open kitchen featuring chef developed, handcrafted made-from-scratch cuisine, including innovative signature entrees, flatbreads, and more”1. Among the renowned brands retailed by the Granite City Food & Brewery are Pale Ale, Bock, Double IPA, and the Stout. The business was named after its hometown in Minnesota, which is a granite capital. To have a unique brand, the Granite City Food & Brewery launched the Fermentus Interruptus brewing process, which was designed by the founder called Mr. Burdick Shawn.

At the time of its establishment, the core business of the Granite City Food & Brewery was restaurant services, which was known for the fresh menus made from local foods that the residents of Minnesota loved. The fresh menus included delicacies from different regions that were cooked and served fresh as the customer waited. As the Granite City Food & Brewery expanded, the founder introduced on-site brewery services which enable customers to place their orders and request for a specific blend of alcohol just behind the restaurant.

At present, the on-site brewery has become the main attraction because of the many “signature brews such as The Duke (Pale Ale), The Bennie (Bock), The Batch 1000 (Double IPA), The Northern (American Style Light Lager) and The Stout”2. Moreover, the company offers handcrafted beers that are retailed at very competitive prices to appeal to different classes of customers. Also, the Granite City Food & Brewery has unique flavors and styles that are very difficult to find in the entire region of Minnesota and beyond.

The primary founder of the Granite City Food & Brewery is Mr. Burdick Shawn who has seen the business grow from a medium company to a household brand with thirty-four branches across the US. The founder was inspired by the need to provide fresh menus and the on-site brewing culture to suit the Minnesota way of life. The firm was founded officially in the year 2009 after a year of experimental operations. The founder is currently the chairman of the management board of the Granite City Food & Brewery.

The company’s annual revenues have grown from $120,000 in the year 2000 to more than $18.5 million in the year 2015. The growth in revenues has been accredited to business expansion, increased customers, and the creation of different products and services that appeal to the targeted customers. The net income has equally grown from -$25,000 in the year 2000 to $18.5 million in the year 2015. On average, each restaurant has 15 to 20 employees working full time and more than 30 employees on contract. The Granite City Food & Brewery has about 1,300 employees and currently controls 11.5% of the market share in the regions it operates in.

Primary Value Activities

The Granite City Food & Brewery has been proactive in focusing on retailing premium restaurant and brewery services to its customers to suit their experiences and needs. The company’s restaurant premises are well furnished in an opulent manner to appeal to potential clients across the 34 branches. The Granite City Food & Brewery is committed to very high standards in observing ethical business practices in a dynamic and service-oriented value network proposed by Porter as summarized in the diagram below.

Granite City Food & Brewery Value Chain Illustration.
Figure 1: Granite City Food & Brewery Value Chain Illustration.

As indicated in figure 1 above, the Granite City Food & Brewery’s value chain starts with product development through its furnished restaurants and on-site breweries. As a regional brand in the US, the Granite City Food & Brewery has a strategic management team which ensures standardized production process to keep up with the demand of customers as the primary success factor3. More than 70% of the Granite City Food & Brewery products and services are independently produced with only 30% being outsourced from commissioned suppliers.

The 70% self-production capacity within the Granite City Food & Brewery is enough to cover the demand for customers, especially for the brewery products. The company’s on-site breweries are spread across the 34 branches that double up as the source of fresh menus.

As opposed to most of its competitors, which outsource the menus and beer from independent producers, the strategy to create in-house production points across the 34 branches has consolidated the company’s supply network and strengthened its long-term production capability. Besides, the evenly spread sourcing of less than 30% of products from external networks is significant in spreading the risks that the Granite City Food & Brewery might be exposed to.

The Granite City Food & Brewery has invested heavily in the corporate social responsibility initiatives across the 34 regions it operates in. In the last decade, the Granite City Food & Brewery has focused on facilitating education and health services for children within the communities surrounding its restaurants. As part of the CSR policies, the Granite City Food & Brewery has made it an annual responsibility to finance children’s education and sponsor-free medical camps within the regions it operates in4.

For instance, in the year 2014 alone, the Granite City Food & Brewery in conjunction with the local education support agencies managed to restock more than 7 kindergarten centers within Minnesota. Besides the social perspective, the Granite City Food & Brewery has been proactive in engaging in sponsoring local healthcare mobile medical camps as a strategy for enhancing the image of the business within the US.

As a result of the above initiatives, the Granite City Food & Brewery has been able to increase its profits and sales as clear product differentiation, customer proximity, and strategic segmentation of its brewery and fresh menu brands. Specifically, the strong brand image as a result of quality services and CSR initiatives have expanded the company’s market from Minnesota to other 33 regions5. Besides, the company has increased its branches in the last 15 years and is currently present in 14 states.

The vivid presentation of the brands retailed by the Granite City Food & Brewery through image and store ambiance has anchored the differentiation perception held by its customers, who have developed brand loyalty towards the customized on-site breweries and fresh menus6. Also, the establishment of a strategic management team has led to the exponential growth of the Granite City Food & Brewery into a multi-branch organization.

However, the excessive focus on quality and on-site services has to some extent compromised the ability of the Granite City Food & Brewery to integrate the views of some customers in the final products. For instance, a section of the clients thinks that the Granite City Food & Brewery should be more flexible to the customers who are in a hurry by making some fresh food that is available on order without having to wait for 15 to 20 minutes. Also, the Granite City Food & Brewery has ignored the low-end market.

Supply Chain Management

By definition, “supply chain analysis is the examination of the management of the flow of information, inventory, processes, and cash flows from the earliest supplier to the ultimate consumer, including the final disposal process through value chain analysis”7. The Granite City Food & Brewery’s supply chain is based on the belief of minimal cost strategy suggested by Porter as a strategy for guaranteeing optimal competitive advantage in the dynamic market.

This approach integrates consistent and clear performance objectives that facilitate excellence and reduce complexity in the supply chain functionality. Specifically, the low-cost principle has been ideal in managing the 30% of the outsourced supply chain function to ensure that the Granite City Food & Brewery is in a position to not only align the targets but also expectations of the suppliers, irrespective of the market dynamics that might increase the cost of managing the supply chain8.

To execute the low-cost strategy, the Granite City Food & Brewery has been proactive in eliminating potential risks that are associated with the outsourced function of the supply chain, especially at the raw material acquisition stage for the fresh food and brewery brands. For instance, in the on-site brewery section, where the principle of low-cost management is directly proportional to failure or success of the brand, the Granite City Food & Brewery relies heavily on its technical knowledge of the market dynamics and strategic procurement process to create compact contract agreements with the suppliers. As a result, the company has been able to build a successful brand that is not over-dependent on the supplier forces.

Through excellent facilitation in the supply chain procurement, the Granite City Food & Brewery does not solely rely on the market swings that prevail in the regions that supply its raw materials such as barley, different ingredients, and exotic menus. Rather, the company uses the no-late delivery as a performance evaluation matrix besides the year-in-year-out cost reduction formula9. The Granite City Food & Brewery has been in the forefront in creating mechanisms for accumulating cost reduction from different economic risks from the primary barley suppliers from Greece.

As a strategy for realizing the desired sales merging and focused revenues every quarter, the Granite City Food & Brewery’s supply chain function has been modified to incorporate the aspects of market entry, competitive advantage sustainability, and strategic market segmentation since the current competitors are very strong10. To minimize the effect of strong competition, the supply chain has been customized to operate as an efficient, proactive, and dynamic system that tracks the potential challenges and address them as they arise.

Besides, as a strategy for increasing credibility and maintaining ethical business conduct, the Granite City Food & Brewery’s outsourcing plan encompasses features and processes that are responsible for affiliating and facilitating a healthy interaction between the business and suppliers. For instance, the Granite City Food & Brewery has created successful distribution, redistribution, and quality tracking systems to ensure that the suppliers meet the minimum requirement on quality and pricing11. As a result, the current relationship between the company and the suppliers can be described as functioning on confidence and professional contractual networks.

Within the Granite City Food & Brewery, there is an organized supply chain management system that coordinates the purchasing functions from the local and international suppliers. This system is programmed to identify the appropriate suppliers, need for supplies, quality and quantity to order, and the price guide to ensure that the low-cost strategy remains functional12. Besides, the system is strategic in evaluating the general effectiveness of the current supply chain management practices at the Granite City Food & Brewery.

Since mechanization and capacity expansion of the production matrix requires a proper balance between production efficiency and sustainability of the supply chain function, the Granite City Food & Brewery has created systems for matching the two variables as proposed by Porter in the inbound logistics and procurement model13. Specifically, the company has automated its supply chain management function to ensure that decisions that are made are not only reliable but also consistent and relevant to the production needs.

At the Granite City Food & Brewery, all the inputs from each production section for the brewery and fresh food menu are processed in line with the trend of a reliable supplier in terms of timeline in delivery, quantity, and quality over a specified period 14. This supply chain quality guide has been instrumental at the company towards minimizing the risks associated with product rejection due to the poor quality of the raw material used. The entire process is described as a primary proficiency since “improvements in delivery time, price, and product line-ups can add significant value to a business’ offering and can help it to find a true niche in even the most crowded markets”15.

As a result, the Granite City Food & Brewery has been able to reduce delivery delays, thus, boosting complete process efficiency on the side of the suppliers. In most cases, the management of the Granite City Food & Brewery has become proactive agents who facilitate the inventory planning to ensure that the customers at the base of the supply chain pyramid get optimal value from their purchases. In tracking the success of this competency process, the supply chain management agents of the Granite City Food & Brewery are always in the forefront in measuring logistics processes, supplier contentment, and supply chain efficiency16.

This course of action is taken at the company in a bid to create sustainability strategies in the general supply chain function such as cost reduction and revenue growth. For instance, the suppliers’ satisfaction is measured by the company from their live feedback with the integration of special IT tools such as PACK, Epod, and Aramex17. Also, the Granite City Food & Brewery often conducts supplier reliability surveys that mare aimed at getting information that might help the company to track the quality of items that are procured from external suppliers.

To remain competitive in the dynamic market, the Granite City Food & Brewery’s supply chain management strategy has been customized to incorporate logistics outsourcing and benchmarking of the entire supply chain function18. Under the logistics outsourcing, the Granite City Food & Brewery has been relieved of fixed costs as a result of dynamics on the supplier’s source and market demand. For instance, the company has outsourced its barley supplier and menu ingredients to several agents who are expected to compete based on prices, reliability, and quality. These outsourced units have enabled the Granite City Food & Brewery to develop a strategic control system that is sustainable, in terms of dependability, costing, flexibility, and general efficiency19.

The outsourced units have also offered a rationalized scientific management approach in supply chain management at the company since it is possible to general data from trends observed by the management. Since the outsourcing function is well balanced, the Granite City Food & Brewery has been able to achieve efficiency in the general supply chain management.

The aspect of benchmarking of the management processes within the supply chain function at the Granite City Food & Brewery has been organized into cost monitors that control the logistics involved in procuring raw material for the restaurant and brewery product brands20. This means that the primary success puzzle for the Granite City Food & Brewery’s supply chain management functions on the ability to balance the soft skills such as organization culture, business values, and production-distribution channel.

Also, the company has created efficient contracting rules such as the “Contract Manufacturing (CM), Third-Part Logistics (3PL), and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)”21. These rules have ensured that the Granite City Food & Brewery is in a position to track the reliability of the suppliers at specific contractual standards through the supply chain optimization process.

Operations

In the last three years, the Granite City Food & Brewery has opened six new branches in Arizona, Chicago, Illinois, and Missouri. As a result, the total number of branches grew from 30 in the year 2012 to 34 in the year 2015. The expansion through the opening of the new branches can be related to the Granite City Food & Brewery’s ability to experience uninterrupted growth in revenues since its establishment in the year 1999. The performance of the Granite City Food & Brewery about its primary competitors, in terms of physical expansion, is summarized in the table below

Company Number of branches in the year 2012 Number of branches in the year 2015
Granite City Food & Brewery 30 34
AppleBee International 25 29
Rock Bottom Restaurants 25 28
Carlson Restaurants 45 47

The Granite City Food & Brewery has experienced the highest physical expansion as compared to its competitors with 6 new branches in the last three years. This was followed by AppleBee International at 4 new branches and Carlos Restaurants with only two additional branches. This is an indication that the market share of the Granite City Food & Brewery is likely to increase shortly if the above trend continues.

Same-Store Sales

The same-store sales for the Granite City Food & Brewery for the last three years are summarized in the table below.

Year Estimated Sales

(1st quarter) (Million dollars)

(2ndquarter) (3rdquarter) (4thquarter) Total
Year 2013 2, 500, 000 2,600,000 2,700,000 2,900,000 10, 700,000
Year 2014 2,900,000 3,100,000 3,300,000 3,600,000 12,900,000
Year 2015 4,000,000 4,500,000 4,800,000 5,200,000 18,500,000

From the above table, the estimated sales for the Granite City Food & Brewery grew since six more stores were added in the last three years. The sales grew from $10,700,000 to $18,500,000. This is an indication of an upward trend in sales. If this trend persists in the next two years, the Granite City Food & Brewery is likely to expand its market share. The estimated sales for the Granite City Food & Brewery against that of its competitors are summarized in the table below.

Year Granite City Food & Brewery Carlson Restaurants Rock Bottom Restaurants AppleBee International
2013 10, 700,000 20, 300,000 16, 100,000 22, 400,000
2014 12,900,000 22,400,000 16,700,000 24,400,000
2015 18,500,000 22,500,000 17,400,000 25,900,000

From the above estimations, the Granite City Food & Brewery experienced the highest sales increase in the last three years because of the rise in the branches from 28 to 34 followed by AppleBee. The Rock Bottom Restaurant experienced the least growth. The above results indicated that the Granite City Food & Brewery is well-positioned to increase its market share and become number two if the above trend remains constant in the next three years.

Other Metrics

Internal Assessment

Ratios 2013 2014 2015
Sales growth rate 24.94% 28.21% 28.31%
Operating income margin (USD million) 10 12 18
Net income margin (USD million) 4.5 6.7 9.7
Administration and marketing expenses divided by total sales 0.2 0.3 0.35
Current ratio 0.79 1.12 1.22
Debt-to-Worth ratio 2.19 1.30 1.22
ROA (return on assets) (%) 0.31 0.93 1.28

IFE Matrix

The IFE Matrix for the Granite City Food & Brewery is summarized in the table below.

Key Internal factors Weight Rating Weighted Score
Strengths
Brand name

Low debt

Wide range of innovative products

Developing of own hardware and software

Web technology used for product awareness & sale

Global coverage

Low cost

Luxury

Discounts

High-quality products

Low inventory cost

Investor confidence

Strong management team

Focused long-term strategy

Efficient supply chain management

0.15

0.12

0.14

0.11

0.13

0.01

0.01

0.03

0.21

0.01

0.41

0.13

0.01

0.14

0.04

4

3

4

4

3

3

4

4

4

5

3

3

4

3

3

0.46

0.42

0.42

0.45

0.40

0.03

0.03

0.22

0.21

0.14

1.01

0.12

0.13

0.12

Weaknesses
Lack of in-house management consulting division

Intellectual capital is underestimated

No aggressive investment in R & D

No good people retention policy

Competition

Frequent market swing

Traditional business model

Terrorism in the Middle East

Relatively higher prices than competitors

Excess focus on high-end customers

Limited cargo handling capability

The high cost of modern technology

High inventory cost, in terms of airplane maintenance

Changed customer preference

Labor challenges as a result of frequent strikes

0.14

0.13

0.13

0.11

0.10

0.01

0.01

0.03

0.21

0.01

0.31

0.13

0.01

0.14

0.04

4

4

4

4

3

3

4

4

4

5

3

3

4

3

3

0.56

0.52

0.52

0.44

0.30

0.03

0.03

0.22

0.21

0.14

1.01

0.12

0.13

0.12

Total 1.00 3.02

SPACE matrix

Internal Strategic Position External Strategic position
Financial Strengths (FS) Environmental Stability (ES)
Return on Investment

leverage

Working Capital

Liquidity

Price-earnings ratio

Total

Average

+5

+3

+4

+5

+4

+21

+4.2

Technological changes

Rate of Inflation

The price range of Competing products

Competitive pressure

Barriers to entry into the market

Demand variability

Total

Average

-3

-2

-3

-5

-4

-2

-19

-3.17

Competitive Advantage (CA) Industry Strength (IS)
Market Share

Product Quality

Customer Loyalty

Technological know-how

Control over suppliers and distributors

Total

Average

-2

-3

-2

-2

-4

-13

-2.6

Growth Potential

Profit Potential

Financial Stability

Labor cost

Technological know-how

Total

Average

+5

+5

+4

+3

+4

+21

+4.2

Bibliography

Barney, John. “Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage.” Journal of Management 17, no. 6 (2009): 99–120.

Bodily, Emile and Allen, Michael. “A Dialogue Process for Choosing Value-Creating Strategies.” Interfaces 29, no. 6 (2009): 16-28.

Bowman, Samson. “Corporate Restructuring: Reconfiguring the Firm.” Strategic Management Journal 1, no. 4 (2006): 5–14.

Cohen, Samson and Roussel, James. Strategic Supply Chain Management: The Five Disciplines for Top Performance. New Jersey: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

Cox, Arnold. “Managing with Power: Strategies for Improving Value Appropriation from Supply Relationships.” Journal of Supply Chain Management 37, no. 2 (2009): 42-47.

Dolgui, Amos and Jean-Marie, Paul. Supply Chain Engineering: Useful Methods and Techniques. New York: Springer Science & Business Media, 2010.

Hilletofth, Pamel and Hilmola, Osman. “Role of Logistics Outsourcing on Supply Chain Strategy and Management: Survey Findings from Northern Europe.” Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal 3, no. 1 (2011): 46 – 61.

Janus, Pius. Pro Performance Point Server 2007: Building Business Intelligence. Alabama: Press, 2008.

Leclerc, Yuar. “Sustainability and the Supply Chain: How to Reduce Cost and Save the Environment.” Manufacturing business technology 2, no. 1(2012): 67-71.

Liu, Zuen and Nagurney, Arnold. “Supply Chain Networks with Global Outsourcing and Quick-Response Production under Demand and Cost Uncertainty.” Annals of Operation Research 208, no. 1 (2010): 251-289.

Mankiw, Glaslow. Principles of Economics. Mason: Thomson Higher Education, 2009.

Murphy, Joseph. Organization Theory and Design. Hampshire: Cengage Learning EMEA, 2010.

Plunkett, Warren. Plunkett’s Transportation, Supply Chain and Logistics Industry Almanac 2007: Transportation, Supply Chain and Logistics Industry Market Research, Statistics, Trends and Leading Companies. Houston, Texas: lunkett Research, 2008.

Sehgal, Volyt. Supply Chain as Strategic Asset: The Key to Reaching Business Goals. Hoboken: Wiley, 2011.

Sercu, Patchyt. International Finance: Theory into Practice. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2009.

Stadtler, Howk and Kilger, Collins. Supply Chain Management and Advanced Planning: Concepts, Models, Software, and Case Studies. Berlin: Springer, 2013.

Swaminathan, Johne and Tayur, Siwsz. “Models for Supply Chain in e-Business.” Management Science 49, no. 10 (2010): 1387-1406.

Thompson, James and Martin, Flickim. Strategic Management: Awareness and Change. Andover: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2009.

Trompennars, Fielding. “Resolving International Conflict: Culture and Business Strategy.” Business Strategy Review 7, no. 3 (2009): 51-68.

Wood, Don. International Logistics. New York: AMACOM, 2009.

Footnotes

  1. John Barney. “Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage.” Journal of Management 17, no. 6 (2009): 45.
  2. John Barney. “Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage.” Journal of Management 17, no. 6 (2009): 45.
  3. Samson Cohen and Roussel, James, Strategic Supply Chain Management: The Five Disciplines for Top Performance (New Jersey: McGraw-Hill, 2008), 34.
  4. Emile Bodily and Allen, Michael. “A Dialogue Process for Choosing Value-Creating Strategies.” Interfaces 29, no. 6 (2009):18.
  5. Samson Bowman. “Corporate Restructuring: Reconfiguring the Firm.” Strategic Management Journal 1, no. 4 (2006): 9.
  6. Amos Dolgui and Jean-Marie, Paul, Supply Chain Engineering: Useful Methods and Techniques (New York: Springer Science & Business Media, 2010), 45.
  7. Arnold Cox. “Managing with Power: Strategies for Improving Value Appropriation from Supply Relationships.” Journal of Supply Chain Management 37, no. 2 (2009): 44.
  8. Pamel Hilletofth and Hilmola, Osman. “Role of Logistics Outsourcing on Supply Chain Strategy and Management: Survey Findings from Northern Europe.” Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal 3, no. 1 (2011): 67.
  9. Pius Janus, Pro Performance Point Server 2007: Building Business Intelligence (Alabama: Press, 2008), 34.
  10. Yuar Leclerc. “Sustainability and the Supply Chain: How to Reduce Cost and Save the Environment.” Manufacturing business technology 2, no. 1(2012): 65.
  11. Zuen Liu and Nagurney, Arnold. “Supply Chain Networks with Global Outsourcing and Quick-Response Production under Demand and Cost Uncertainty.” Annals of Operation Research 208, no. 1 (2010): 263.
  12. Joseph Murphy, Organization Theory and Design (Hampshire: Cengage Learning EMEA, 2010), 23.
  13. Glaslow Mankiw, Principles of Economics (Mason: Thomson Higher Education, 2009), 45.
  14. Warren Plunkett, Plunkett’s Transportation, Supply Chain and Logistics Industry Almanac 2007: Transportation, Supply Chain, and Logistics Industry Market Research, Statistics, Trends and Leading Companies (Houston, Texas: lunkett Research, 2008), 29.
  15. Volyt Sehgal, Supply Chain as Strategic Asset: The Key to Reaching Business Goals (Hoboken: Wiley, 2011), 59.
  16. Patchyt Sercu, International Finance: Theory into Practice (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2009), 34.
  17. Howk Stadtler and Kilger Collins, Supply Chain Management and Advanced Planning: Concepts, Models, Software, and Case Studies (Berlin: Springer, 2013), 39.
  18. Johne Swaminathan and Tayur Siwsz. “Models for Supply Chain in e-Business.” Management Science 49, no. 10 (2010): 1389.
  19. James Thompson and Martin Flickim, Strategic Management: Awareness and Change (Andover: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2009), 75.
  20. Fielding Trompennars. “Resolving International Conflict: Culture and Business Strategy.” Business Strategy Review 7, no. 3 (2009): 56.
  21. Don Wood, International Logistics (New York: AMACOM, 2009) 45.

Mohandas Gandhi And Eleanor Roosevelt As Social Change Agents

Mohandas Gandhi

Gandhi’s struggle against human social injustices in the society in which he is known to have been a vocal activist started in South Africa in the late 18th century. At the time South Africa, like many other countries in Africa and elsewhere was sharply polarized along with racial backgrounds and many forms of discrimination that would later become apartheid were at its peak (Gandhi, 2007). It was in South Africa that Gandhi experienced firsthand discrimination because of his ethnicity that led to his deep involvement in fighting for his tribesmen’s human rights by agitating for social reforms that were fair and just.

Throughout his life span of human rights activism, politics, and fight for freedom both in South Africa and India where he was later to return, Gandhi turned out to be an influential leader who adopted what would have been described as unconventional tactics at the time to achieve freedom and social justice among his people. By the time that he was assassinated in 1948, he had achieved much especially for India where he later shifted for most of his later and adult life (Gandhi, 2007).

To this day Gandhi is revered in India and elsewhere for having driven and accomplished several political and social changes that had been considered to be among his greatest while he was alive. Key among them include agitating for social justice in South Africa among Indians and thereby helped bring this injustice to the limelight; in India, he achieved more than his fair share by leading the people in revolting against exploitation of the British colony and payment of taxes (Gandhi, 2007).

As he amassed more clout he was elected as a member of the Indian legislature which he helped to reform and later using the same platform become influential in securing the freedom for the country (Gandhi, 2007).

The greatest social and political achievements that Gandhi gained both in India and South Africa was through the use of what he referred to as ahimsa to mean the use of non-violence or non-resistance and another principle referred to as satyagraha which translates to “devotion to the truth” when fighting the British oppressors in India and white settlers in South Africa (Gandhi, 2007).

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt also is known as Anna is mostly known for her accomplishments in fighting for human rights not only in the United States where she was born but even worldwide. Eleanor was born at a time when America was going through revolution changes and the state of human rights across the continent has remained unaddressed for hundreds of years.

As luck would have it she happened to be the first lady of the US for more than ten years starting from 1933 and was therefore in a strategic position to achieve the impossible task of addressing the human rights issues that were prevalent in the United States and which had by then almost become unnoticeable (Beasley, 1998). It was during that time when she was the first lady that she becomes actively involved in advocating for civil rights across the country in efforts that would later culminate in the formation of the present-day United Nations which was known at the time as the League of Nations (Beasley, 1998).

Eleanor was the person who oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is still used by the UN to promote human rights globally; it was one of her greatest achievements in her lifetime and the single most act of human right advocacy worldwide (Beasley, 1998). Indeed, it would be fair and accurate to state that Eleanor’s early efforts on human rights activism were part of the civil rights activism that contributed greatly to ushering the reforms on human rights issues at a very early stage in US history. To an extent, her efforts were part of the achievements that led to the reform of human rights issues in the United States which made it became a model country long before other countries could get to embrace the same principles.

References

Beasley, M. (1998). Eleanor Roosevelt: Transformative First Lady. Kansas: University Press of Kansas.

Gandhi, R. (2007). Gandhi: the man, his people, and the empire. California: University of California Press.

Video Games And Teenage Behavior

Introduction

Video game refers to an electronic game played by a human being in a video devise interface to generate feedback that is visual in nature on a screen. There are several interfaces that support video game such as computers and televisions by using game controllers which include gamepads, keyboards, and mobile devises among others. Video games have existed for more than four decades. Many parents believe that video games corrupt mind and are time wasters to their children. Besides, many instances of teenage violence have been blamed on video games that have violent themes, which catalyze anti-social behavior.

However, some experts opine that video games are actually beneficial in positively modifying the behavior of teenagers. For instance, many psychologists believe that video games are educative to teenagers by improving their thinking and creativity skills. This research paper will establish the effect of video games on teenage behavior, obesity, and social problems. The paper supports argument that video games have negative effects on behavior, obesity, and social problems among teenagers.

Video Games and Teenage Behavior

Video games have several negative effects on behavior of teenagers. For instance, interaction and sense of shared values has lowered the commitment towards academics since addiction to video games takes a lot of the productive time of teenagers. Technological development particularly digitalization has discouraged proactive research and honesty in carrying out assignments as more teenagers prefer rushing their assignments to have time for Video games (Cramer, 2014).

The need of internationalization, and easy visual entertainment accessibility, has seriously influenced the teenagers to belong to the video game culture that has negatively affected their performance. It is apparent that addiction to video games has also been blamed on poor academic performance which translates into strain in family relationships, as the family will develop perception that excessive time is spent on the game platforms than in studies (Norman, 2008).

According to Joinson, McKenna, Postmes, and Reips (2009), “video game addicts argue a lot with their teachers, fight a lot with their friends, and score lower grades than others who play video games less often” (Joinson et al. 2009, p. 54). As a result, the face to face interaction and classroom commitment is greatly affected as the teenagers develop rebellious attitude and loner personality when engaged in interactive learning.

Excess in this area compromises the time that teenagers take consulting and doing assignments. Violence and aggression has also been identified as another negative effect of excessive dependence on video games, especially among teenagers. Since most of the teenagers who spend excessive time playing video games lack social etiquette and negotiation skills, they are easily angered and response may lead to abusive language and physical confrontation (Norman, 2008). Furthermore, these teenagers are often forced to emulate characters and attitudes they obtain from video games rather than seek guidance on the reality from family members.

According to Ryan and Westring (2010), teenagers “who play more violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and decreased pro-social helping” (Ryan & Westring, 2010, p. 23). Specifically, the excessively interactive games such as those which reward players who are very violent and this act are repeated in different stages.

Therefore, the teenager who is experiencing the visual violence through the kicking, killings, and shooting scenes may develop aggressive behavior over a long period of exposure (Daniels, 2009). Excessive exposure to video games among teenagers may influence them to be socially isolated since more time may be spent in playing the video games than in doing assignments and interacting with everyone in the real world. As a result, a teenager who is addicted to online games may develop a passive social interaction behavior characterized by self centeredness and delinking from the family or friends. This is because most of these games have the potential of confusing the fantasy and reality in the young mind. In the end, the teenager may lose the vital social interaction skills which define how well an individual in able to fit within macro and macro levels of the society.

Video Games and Teenage Obesity

According to the Center for Disease Control (2014), approximately 17 percent of children in the U.S. suffer from obesity. This percentage is very large in other developed countries as well. Moreover, in the future, these people can develop such disorders as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. Since teenagers who are addicted to video games sit for long hours playing each day, they are at a high risk of developing obesity related conditions. Since most parents of obese teenagers do not perceive it as a disease, they do not emphasize on reversing the condition (Ding & Gebel, 2012).

This implies that if the condition is indeed not reversed, this expose the teenagers to experience several impairments in various domains of functioning. This means that teenagers who are addicted to video games and spend several hours on different game platforms are likely to be victims of these impairments (Norman, 2008). Despite the fact that teenage obesity does not have recognized medical symptoms, social and emotional factors have immediate implications on the teenagers’ lives. This is demonstrated in discrimination, stigmatization, and negative stereotyping the obese teenagers are subjected to by other teenagers. In particular, overweight teenagers tend to be bullied or stigmatized in schools, and many of them can encounter various psychological difficulties such as the complex of inferiority or anxiety (Ding & Gebel, 2012).

In the long-term, their social skills can be significantly impaired. In the end, teenagers who are obese as a result of addiction to video games are likely to develop low self esteem and depression due to criticism from peers because of their ‘fatness’.

Video Games and Social Problems

Problem behavior theory is a socio-psychological framework that explains the nature and development of problem behaviors such as violence and immorality, which are symptoms of deviancy castigated by excessive addiction to violent and explicit video games. This theory views problem behavior as purposeful, psychologically meaningful, and a component of individual development (Fleming, 2015).

In other words, person-environment interaction issues cause problem behavior. This theory has been widely applied to risky problem behaviors associated with deviancy among teenagers addicted to violent video games. The primary focus of problem behavior theory is on three systems of psychosocial influence; the personality system, the perceived environment system, and the behavior system (Cramer, 2014).

The variables in the personality system are at the socio-cognitive level and reflect social meanings and developmental experience. These can be values, expectations, beliefs, attitudes, and orientations toward an individual and others. In relation to the social problems, excessive addiction to violent video games has the potential of creating an ideal environment for deviancy among teenagers; since this age is characterized by constant experimentation of everything conceptualized in the visual fantasy in the reality. For instance, a teenager addicted to video games may acquire abusive language that he or she might use when interacting with family members (Fleming, 2015).

This might cause conflict with siblings or parents and lead to avoidable confrontation, which may strain family relationship. Besides, addiction to video games is associated with passive attitude which might result to low grades in school, skipping classes, school dropout, and drug abuse in attempt to cope with situation.

According to Cramer (2014), some of the violent or explicit online video games may teach wrong values to teenagers such as aggression, immorality, and prejudice. For instance, in the violent video games, there is no room for negotiation between players. Besides, the female characters are portrayed as extremely sexually provocative. When the games are played repeatedly over a long period of time, the player may internalize such prejudice and exercise them in the real world. In the video games, it is so easy to kill and main the characters who you hate by simply pressing a button. When a teenager who is addicted to violent video games is under emotional stress as a result of conflict with another party, he or she might be tempted to do what happens in these games as a way of conflict resolution. Besides, teenagers addicted to video games may pick explicit language that is abusive and irresponsible to use when interacting the real world.

Counterargument

Despite the negative effects of video games on teenage behavior, obesity, and social problems, several authors have indicated that video games have positive impact on teenager behavior. Among the notable positive impacts of video games on teenager behavior are improvement of coordination between hand and eye as a spatial skill, improvement of creativity and problem solving skills, and multitasking skills. For instance, interactive and educative video games may help in improving the spatial skills of teenagers since they are expected to be alert and properly coordinate the actions and eyes and hands in solving different puzzles. This means that the educative video games might actually improve the intelligence and analytical skills of the player, especially when regulated and coached (Fleming, 2015).

Since video games require maximum focus and proper coordination, teenagers who play video games have the opportunity for improving their thinking and decision skills since the games give the brain a true workout. This can also be related to teenagers in terms of developing situational awareness as a positive behavior orientation. Among other positive behavior change as a result of playing video games among teenagers include inductive reasoning, proper judgment, memory adjustment, and concentration since the content in video games are designed to present challenges that should be solved by the player (Cramer, 2014). Therefore, it can be argued that teenagers who play video games are less likely to involve themselves in unbecoming habits such as drug abuse, immorality, and alcoholism since it is a perfect distracter.

Conclusion

In summary, there are negative and positive impacts of video games on behavior of teenagers. Among the negative impacts of video games are passive attitude, violence, and poor academic performance among others, especially when the teenager is addicted to violent and explicit video games. Besides, long hours spent playing the video games might increase chances of obesity among teenagers in addition to developing unbecoming social behaviors. Nonetheless, there are positive impacts of regulated and educating video games such as improved concentration, creativity, problem solving skills, and distraction from harmful hobbies. However, the negative impacts outweigh the positive impacts, especially when the video games are unregulated.

References

Center for Disease Control. (2014). Overweight and obesity. Web.

Cramer, J. (2014). New study: Video games and teens’ behavior. Web.

Daniels, S. (2009). Complications of obesity in children and adolescents. International Journal of Obesity, 4(33), 60-65. Web.

Ding, D., & Gebel, K. (2012). Built environment, physical activity, and obesity: what have we learned from reviewing the literature? Health & place, 18(1), 100-105. Web.

Fleming, R. (2015). The positive and negative effects of video games. Web.

Joinson, A., McKenna, K., Postmes, T., & Reips, U. (2009). The Oxford handbook of internet psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Web.

Norman, K. (2008). Cyberpsychology: An introduction to human–computer Interaction. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Web.

Ryan, M., & Westring, F. (2010). Personality and inter-role conflict and enrichment: Investigating the mediating role of support. Sage Journals, 63(12), 1815-1834. Web.