Islam And Shi Ite Branches Sample Paper

The World of Islam Today we do hear lots of happenings and news in the World of Islam, however, not many of us know much about what this complex religion is all about. The regions where Islam is practiced are filled with hot spots of sectarian tensions that lead to constant violence and even radicalism. The sectarian tensions are attributed to the ancient schism that occurred in 632AD once the unanimously accepted prophet, Muhammad, died and disagreements between who the following successor should be escalated. The Schism resulted in two different sects; Sunni Muslims and Shi’ite or Shia Muslims.

Although there are many doctrinal differences between the two sects, there still are many shared views and common beliefs. One of the primary shared views is that of the belief in the Five Pillars of Islam. The main differences between the Sunni and Shi’ite branches of Islam are how the leaders of Islam be selected- merit versus bloodline, the concept of the Imamate, Intercession between the Allah and human beings, Matters not addressed by Koran, Paradise and Hell on the Day of Judgment, and the Role and Status of Present-Day Imams.

When Muhammad died in 632 AD, he did not appoint a successor, so Majlis al-Shura, an assembly of knowledgeable advisors, selected Abu Bakras as the first Caliph, this represented the eventual Sunni view that leaders of the Islam faith should be appointed by piety and merit, where as the Shi’ite branch believed that Caliphs should be blood related to Muhammad. The small opposition became known as the first Shi’ite Muslims, they believed Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, who married his daughter Fatima, should be the next Caliph.

The Concept of the Imamate was another difference in which the Shi’ite believed the 12 Imams inherited their positions as the exclusive leaders of the Muslims through the authority of the Prophet Muhammad divine ordination. The next difference has to do with Intercession between Allah and human beings; Sunnis believe that no one can intercede between Allah and human beings, whereas the Shi’ite believed the 12 Imams can intercede between mankind and Allah.

The fourth difference is related to matter not addressed by the Koran; both branches used sources of Muslim Law in Koran, Muhammad’s teachings, consensus, and analogy, but the Shi’ites give more freedom to analogy than in Sunni branch. The fifth difference is in the Paradise and Hell on the Day of Judgment; Sunni had a more conservative view in which the Mercy of Allah will determine the redemption of all human beings, Shi’ites were guaranteed paradise if they obey and follow Muhammad and the 12 Imams.

The sixth difference has to do with the role and status of Present-day Imams- Sunnis believe that the 12 Imams and Shi’ites have no divine powers. Any knowledgeable Sunni can serve as Imam with prime function of leading prayers and interpreting Koran and Hadith. The Shi’ites believed the highest ranking present-day Imams could receive their guidance and spiritual enlightenment directly from the “Twelve Imams” who are in contact with their followers through contemporary spiritual leaders. Next, Shi’ites have a more elaborate religious hierarchy, and less of a need to rely on secular grants for money.

Religious officials make appointments to senior positions in the Shi’ite branch, whereas in the Sunni branch senior positions are made by the States. Finally, there are significant geographic differences between the two branches; Sunni are the majority in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, and Algeria. Shi’ite are the majority only in Iraq, Iran, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, with sizeable minorities in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Kuwait. The main similarities between the Sunni and Shi’ite branches of Islam are rooted back to the early days of the religion, and general views.

All Muslims believe that Allah chose Muhammad as the Prophet of Islam; they agree that with Allah’s blessings and continuous revelations, that Muhammad guided Muslims to lead life according to the Koran, and lead life according to the Hadith (Muhammad’s teaching and sayings based on ethics). Both Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims believe that piety, righteous observance of principles of the Koran and that striving for goodness in daily life are the greatest virtues of human beings. They believe that social justice is a fundamental right.

Finally, all Muslims agree on a strong ethical and moral code to regulate human behavior in all its manifestations. Another huge similarity between the Sunni and Shi’ite branches of Islam is the belief in the Five Pillars of Islam- what the Muslim faith is built upon. The First Pillar is the Shahabad, or the profession of faith. This pillar states the unity of Allah and the prophet hood of Muhammad; sent by Allah to organize their people on the basis of the guidance revealed by God (along with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus).

The Second Pillar is daily worship or Salat, obligatory five times a day (at dawn, midday, afternoon, evening, and night). The Third Pillar is the required “alms-levy” or Zakat, the obligation to share what one possesses with the less fortunate. Although Zakat has been left to individuals’ consciences, obligation to contribute to general welfare is continuously stressed. The Fourth Pillar is fasting during the month of Ramadan. Muslims are prohibited from eating, drinking, smoking, and sexual activities from dawn until dusk. The Fifth Pillar is the pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, required once (if possible) in all Muslims lives.

The Islam World does spread out across many countries, and differences are many but ultimately the fundamental basis of the different branches is quite similar. The teachings of Muhammad, which only went on for 22 short years have significantly impacted the religion today. The Five Pillars of Islam can be seen as the primary similarity between the two branches, a shared set of guidelines all Muslims lead their lives by. Unfortunately despite the underlying similarities, the differences can be over-powering leading to many conflicts that frequently escalate quickly.

Cover Girl 4p Executive Summary

The chosen executive summary is regarding Cover Girl, an American cosmetics brand. It was established in 1958 in Baltimore, Maryland by the Noxzema Chemical Company (later renamed Noxell). In 1989, Procter & Gamble acquired Cover Girl. Initially, they introduced six products and subsequently extended their product line.

Cover Girl is well-known for their famous tagline, “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Cover Girl”. According to Shilpa (2012), the marketing campaign significantly improved the position of Cover Girl cosmetics in the industry of cosmetics and personal care. Presently, Cover Girl has successfully identified the target audience and effectively marketed their products, leading to their recognition as the top-selling mass market cosmetic brand in the United States and a highly regarded brand among teenagers. It is crucial to comprehend the range of products offered by Cover Girl.

Grewal and Levy define a product as something that has value to consumers and can be exchanged through voluntary marketing (Levy, Product, Branding, and Packaging Decisions, 2012). Among the various types of products, Cover Girl falls into the category of shopping products/services. While Cover Girl is not the sole cosmetic brand on the market, consumers often spend significant time comparing it to other brands. Like any other company, Cover Girl aims to understand what customers seek in their products.

First, Cover Girl identified their target market: Women seeking beauty and skin care. Cover Girl defines their core customer value by stating that their products are easy to use, make you beautiful, have a soft texture that smooths your skin, leave you feeling refreshed but not oily, and have the best quality. According to Cover Girl’s mission statement, every woman can be a Cover Girl because we all want to look and feel beautiful with affordable makeup. This marketing approach for selling the products is smart and strategic!

It is common for most women to view posters, billboards, and TV commercials created by Cover Girl and secretly desire to possess the same appearance. Even though many may not openly acknowledge this, the idea still occurs to them, and Cover Girl successfully attracts numerous women to their products through this advertising campaign that promotes the concept that every woman can become a Cover Girl. Cover Girl boasts a diverse range of products, encompassing six distinct product lines with multiple offerings within each line. Furthermore, Cover Girl aligns its product designs with current fashion trends.

Technology is crucial for helping the company determine which new products to introduce to the market. It’s important for the company to consider the costs of having too much variety, especially since Cover Girl has a specific target audience. On their official website, Cover Girl mentioned recent additions to their product line such as the Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation, Clump Crusher by Lash blast Mascara, and CG Smoothers BB Cream (COVERGIRL, 2013). These products expand Cover Girl’s range but what sets them apart is that they have been revamped.

Cover Girl has introduced a new range of products with additional features that were absent in their previous offerings. To accommodate these new items, Cover Girl has ceased production of several older products including Cheekers Bronzer, Clean Makeup original, Tanfastic Bronzer, Outlast Smooth wear All-Day Eyeliner, and Outlast Lip stain. In order to aid customers in transitioning to the upgraded products, Cover Girl offers a webpage on their website where you can locate the enhanced version of any discontinued product you possess. The prosperity or downfall of a company greatly relies on brand awareness.

Consumers need brand knowledge to make a purchase, even if they know the brand name. In the US, the cosmetics market is highly competitive with many companies entering. Branding is essential in differentiating companies from their rivals. For instance, both Cover Girl and Maybelline are cosmetic brands; however, consumers might prefer Cover Girl because of its brand associations. It’s important to mention that these two brands are the top players in the American cosmetics industry.

Understanding the brand is essential for establishing a strong connection between the consumer and the company. Cover Girl has successfully achieved this by creating and cultivating brand awareness. The brand effectively conveys the message that women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful, and by using Cover Girl products, they can enhance their beauty even further. Additionally, the numerous celebrity endorsements associated with Cover Girl further inspire consumers to strive for a similar level of beauty and fashion. According to, Cover Girl has enlisted various notable endorsers, including Brandy, Tyra Banks, Rihanna, Drew Barrymore, Faith Hill, and most recently Taylor Swift (Mahalo, 2013).

If an individual has never bought Cover Girl, the mere knowledge of its existence can lead to a purchase. The advertising and promotion strategies employed by Cover Girl have been instrumental in establishing their company. Their advertisements feature lively, brilliant hues, stunning models, and often incorporate lively music or other exciting elements to captivate the viewer. Branding and all its associated aspects hold great significance for companies like Cover Girl, as every company aspires for their product to be superior, and the most effective approach to achieve that is by raising consumer awareness. Equally crucial is how a company presents its product through packaging.

Different packages come in various shapes, sizes, types, forms, and offer multiple benefits. Cover Girl offers both a primary package and a secondary package. The consumer uses the primary package, like the pressed powder from Cover Girl. The secondary package contains the pressed powder. This secondary package includes additional details that the primary package may not have. Both packages impact how the consumer perceives the product, distinguishes it from competing products, and demonstrates its appeal to diverse markets.

Cover Girl has recently made changes to their products, including a different logo design compared to ten years ago. The packaging for their makeup products has become edgier and more vibrant, whereas before it was dull and colorless. While their new product line is more in tune with current fashion trends, some of Cover Girl’s products still lack clarity. Certain packages have no color, some offer a mundane look, and there is nothing attention-grabbing. However, overall, Cover Girl’s packaging stands out from their competitors by providing consumers with labels that highlight why their products are superior to other brands. Despite taking risks by introducing new products and modifying their appearance, Cover Girl remains the top cosmetic brand in the United States. This information demonstrates that Cover Girl has an effective marketing strategy.

Regarding placement, it is crucial for Cover Girl to carefully consider where their products are positioned. Unlike other businesses, not all stores carry cosmetics and local shops often only provide small samples.

Ensuring that the right retail partners are chosen and collaborating with retailers is crucial for Cover Girl. It is essential that their products are readily available for customers to purchase, both offline and online. Although Cover Girl has a selective distribution strategy by being present in specific stores, they also align with the Proctor and Gamble Company’s approach of intensive distribution. This entails having a sufficient supply of products in stores so as not to run out before the next shipment.

In retailing, Grewal and Levy (2012) stress the importance of “location, location, location”. Consumers prefer having easy access to products nearby so they can conveniently make purchases. The proximity of the product influences consumer behavior, as many people are unwilling to buy items that are too far away. Even with the option to shop online, certain consumers still prefer seeing and examining the product in person before making a purchase decision.

Unlike Starbucks or Target, Cover Girl, a cosmetic company, does not have its own standalone stores. Instead, they collaborate with various retailers such as Wal-Mart, Family Dollar, Dollar General, Walgreens, and Target to distribute and sell their products. It is important to note that Cover Girl operates as a subsidiary of Proctor and Gamble. Consequently, their products are distributed to numerous large distribution centers and wholesalers rather than being exclusively sold at Cover Girl stores.

An idea to enhance product accessibility is for Cover Girl to establish their own store, although this possibility appears unlikely since most cosmetics are commonly sold in retail stores. Despite this, Cover Girl is a well-known brand with a dedicated website for Canadian customers and their products are available in multiple locations worldwide. One intriguing strategy employed by Cover Girl is organizing the Stardoll National Cover Girl contest (Stardoll, 2013).

Stardoll is the biggest online community for girls who have a passion for fashion, shopping, decorating, creativity, and forming new friendships with people from all over the globe. Once you join, you are able to design your own MeDoll avatar, explore virtual stores, experiment with different outfits, adorn your suite, unleash your creativity, and engage with other members. The National Cover girl contest celebrates the most outstanding avatars and serves as a platform for Cover Girl to connect with customers and promote their merchandise in numerous countries. Currently, 93 countries participate in the National Cover girl contest.

This demonstrates the global reach of Cover girl as a brand and highlights their unique marketing approach in comparison to other cosmetic companies. In the past, promoting products like Cover girl would have been extremely challenging without the presence of the Internet and Television. As Cover girl does not operate physical stores and relies on their website to disseminate information, consumers would have struggled to understand where Cover girl stands in the market. While Cover girl is typically recognized as a makeup brand when encountered in a store, little is known about them as a company beyond what is heard and seen.

Cover girl has expanded its product line and gained a deeper understanding of consumer shopping behavior through the use of the Internet. By leveraging the power of the Internet, Cover girl is able to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, while also extending its market reach. Given that Cover girl has limited physical locations and distribution channels, the internet plays a crucial role for the brand. Without the television or internet, it is hard to imagine how Cover girl would have achieved its current popularity, considering its widespread recognition through taglines, magazine ads, commercials, billboards, and models.

Is this style of communication truly responsible for Cover Girl’s success in the beauty industry? In today’s highly competitive market, a marketing strategy like Cover Girl’s, which incorporates both television and the internet, is vital for remaining relevant and thriving. It is crucial to maintain the brand image that customers associate with — as Cover Girl embodies beauty, elegance, and fashion-forward women — ensuring that customers do not become confused or lose trust in the brand. However, it is worth noting that prices are constantly fluctuating. Recently, Cover Girl experienced a significant price increase which led to the loss of many customers who found the cost too high.

In the current economic climate, businesses are constantly seeking effective ways to advertise their products. The cosmetics industry, in particular, is highly competitive. Cover Girl must carefully consider its pricing tactics compared to major rivals like L’Oreal and Revlon. Understanding the impact of price changes, Cover Girl makes pricing decisions that address both competition and customer needs. Their approach aims to maintain a strong position by encouraging competitors to lower prices and deterring new market entrants.

Customer orientation is a key aspect for Cover Girl, as they specifically target a niche group of women aged 16-45 who highly prioritize their products and remain loyal to the brand. These customers are determined to find value and the highest quality available. Despite not being the most luxurious cosmetic brand, Cover Girl manages to make their products widely accessible by distributing them in stores such as Family Dollar or Dollar General, which are known for offering products at lower prices. This strategic decision may seem paradoxical, considering Cover Girl’s reputation as a prominent cosmetics company.

Cover Girl’s strategy revolves around appealing to a wide target audience and making their products accessible to all women, regardless of income. They understand that while make-up is not essential, it is desired by many due to its connection with fashion and the belief that it enhances appearance. This desire is often influenced by TV and magazine ads. Cover Girl recognizes the importance of understanding price elasticity of demand in order to assess how changes in price will affect sales.

It is evident that consumers are more inclined to notice price hikes. Having knowledge of the price elasticity of demand will aid Cover Girl in creating a plan to retain current customers and entice new ones by setting prices. Moreover, when calculating expenses, the company must guarantee they reach at least a breakeven point. Although most companies strive for profit, it is essential to prevent falling behind or enduring substantial losses that might lead to discontinuation of operations.

Cover Girl can ensure customer satisfaction and stay competitive in the cosmetics industry by offering an “average” price on their products. This strategy helps mitigate the threat of competition, which is a major concern for the company. In a market saturated with cosmetic companies, new competitors emerge regularly, making price wars a common occurrence. Consequently, Cover Girl faces numerous threats in their monopolistic competition environment, where they must vie against rivals based on features, style, quality, and value.

Cover Girl has established itself as a top player in the cosmetics industry by leveraging the influence of prominent celebrities, offering a comprehensive website that provides in-depth information on their products, and expanding their market through strategic partnerships with programs like America’s Next Top Model. With these numerous opportunities, Cover Girl demonstrates its dominance in the industry. Proctor and Gamble confidently values Cover Girl products, considering the company’s extensive promotions and partnerships, including their presence on the Internet, which serves as an added advantage for the brand.

Due to the absence of a physical Cover Girl store, the internet has become a valuable tool for consumers to browse and purchase products at their own convenience. The internet has played a significant role in propelling Cover Girl to the top of the market. Integrated marketing communications is crucial in promotions for Cover Girl, as they have tailored their entire strategy around it. In today’s world, media is an incredibly effective platform for reaching an audience. However, understanding how to successfully reach a specific target audience can be a challenging endeavor.

Cover Girl promotes products by clearly identifying the target audience. To expand their market, Cover Girl collaborates with teenage girls and urges all teenagers to register as models for an exclusive Cover Girl runway event. Afterwards, a diverse group of girls is selected to participate in the pageant. Subsequently, all TV ads, magazine articles, front covers, and any content related to Cover Girl promote the upcoming major event for teenage girls to enjoy the runway experience.

Once Cover Girl has identified their target audience, they wait in anticipation to see if their message has been received. If the message successfully reaches the consumer, it creates a memorable event and paves the way for future similar events. However, if there is interference in the message transmission, it is likely that the target market has not been reached, resulting in a flawed event. The AIDA model is a powerful tool for engaging consumers with a product, making them aware and interested in it.

Consumers desire and take action on the product, which are the steps in the AIDA model. However, these steps do not necessarily need to be followed in the specified order. It is common for people to make spontaneous purchases without any initial interest or desire, solely based on their emotions and actions.

Both public relations and sales promotions play significant roles in Cover Girl’s promotional activities. Public relations ensures the continuous functionality of Cover Girl and enhances the company’s positive image through the creation of brand awareness. This is achieved by consistently publishing information about the brand.

Cover Girl consistently holds sales promotions to attract customers to purchase their products. These promotions include coupons, rebates, and contests, which have contributed significantly to building a reliable brand for Cover Girl. These promotions serve as a guarantee to customers that Cover Girl products are superior, and other companies cannot provide these exceptional offers. Mobile marketing, a recent marketing strategy implemented through handheld devices, poses a challenge as most individuals dislike being bothered by mobile ads.

It will be fascinating to observe how Cover Girl utilizes mobile marketing to cater to people’s needs. Marketing through websites, blogs, and social networks has become the predominant approach nowadays. Websites provide valuable information that retail store employees may not be able to offer. Additionally, by perusing online product reviews, consumers can make quicker and more informed decisions about whether or not to purchase a particular item. Cover Girl’s dedicated page for online product reviews contributes to enhancing customers’ trust in their brand, thereby intensifying competition among other brands.

Blogs feature individuals’ posts discussing various topics, ranging from company operations to product reviews. While some blogs may lack accuracy, their purpose is to provide honest insights. Blogs play a crucial role in enhancing interaction between companies and consumers, enabling companies to gather valuable feedback for improvement. Social media platforms have become the most rapidly expanding means of communication. In conclusion, consumers now have numerous applications, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, among others, to discuss and share information about products, locations, pricing, and promotions.

Cover Girl, like any other company, needs to determine their desired results and build their strategy accordingly. Setting a goal and striving for it is what sets the company apart as the top contender in the market. If customers remain loyal to the products, which are reasonably priced, then the strategy is successful. According to Jackie Silver, Cover Girl is responsive to women who express their desire for makeup that also takes care of their skin (Silver, 2013). With their latest product line and the positive feedback they receive, Cover Girl is establishing themselves as a pioneering brand with long-lasting appeal.

Despite the challenges in the cosmetics industry, Cover Girl has consistently built a strong and reliable brand that has gained the loyalty of consumers.

Works Cited

  1. COVERGIRL. (2013, April). COVERGIRL. Retrieved from Covergirl. com: www. covergirl. com/beauty-buzz/new-makeup Levy, G. &. (2012).
  2. Product, Branding, and Packaging Decisions. In G. &. Levy, Marketing 3rd Edition (pp. 296-297).
  3. New York: McGraw-Hill. Levy, G. &. (2012). Retailing and Multichannel Marketing. In G. &. Levy, Marketing 3rd Edition (p. 491). New York: McGraw-Hill . Mahalo. (2013).
  4. Cover Girl Cosmetics. Retrieved from Mahalo Learn Anything: www. mahalo. com/cover-girl-cosmetics SHILPA. (2012, March 31).
  5. Cover Girl . Retrieved from Beautytipshub: www. beautytipshub. com/cosmetics/cover-girl. html Silver, J. (2013, April 1).
  6. COVERGIRL’s new products promise staying power, innovation. Examiner. com. Stardoll. (2013, May 1). National Covergirl. Retrieved from Stardoll: www. stardoll. com/en/contest/winner. php? type=5

Labor Unions’ Effects On Productivity

Unions’ Effects on Labor Productivity Labor unions have long been a central issue of economic debate in the United States, and since their emergence in the mid-19th century, the role of unions in industry has changed very little given the changes to the make-up of our economy. Although employer abuses of power aren’t nearly so blatant or extreme as in the early days of unions, the need to protect workers’ rights and ensure fair wages and benefits still exists. Employees should be able to take problems directly to management.

They should be able to miss work without being fired and have a say in how much they are paid or the benefit packages they receive. Labor unions and other collective bargaining strategies make these things possible. Of concern is not whether unions are good for union workers, but whether they are good for the economy as a whole, namely the labor market. Economists often ask critical questions such as: How do labor unions affect non-union workers’ wages? Do higher wages for union workers lead to more unemployment? Are union workers more or less productive than non-union workers?

The focus of this paper will primarily be on the effect of unions on labor productivity and how productivity might suffer or in fact gain from unionized labor. It’s important to investigate as to whether the gains of union workers both in compensation and opportunity are not at the cost of the firms’ productivity and profitability, or perhaps that of non-union workers. Union participation has been in steep decline since the 1970’s when 27% of U. S. workers were covered by union contracts. Now, only 12% of the labor force consists of union members.

Compare these figures to countries like France, Belgium and Sweden, and one can see how substantially small U. S. unionization is when these countries have over 90% union participation. Such comparisons are helpful when looking at U. S. productivity growth and how it compares to productivity in heavily unionized nations over time. Many believe that unions achieve their goals not only by taking away from the profits of firms but by also making those firms less productive. Those critics go to great efforts to explain away perceived productivity gains in unionized industries and companies.

One possibility is that because unionized workers receive higher pay than non-union workers, they work harder than if they were paid less. Others argue that unions will only keep productivity high so long as they are a relatively small portion of the workforce. If everyone has a high-paying union job, there is no incentive for workers to strive and work hard to keep their prime union positions. Unions have, in the past, been blamed for keeping wage rates above equilibrium levels, leading to unemployment or at least less employment in unionized sectors of the economy.

This would cause an excess supply of union members over available work, which gives the least competent room to fall out of the labor pool, as well as forcing them to compete with each other to hold the available jobs. Naturally the effect of this would be greater labor productivity attributable to unions. So perhaps, to the extent to which labor unions do increase productivity, they do so by forcing less competent workers out of the labor market, because they are not worth union pay.

Another reason for this effect may be the significant reduction in transaction costs when finding and retaining labor, such as in construction trades, where it is more efficient to call the union and have them send over 50 guys instead of hire them individually. To me, however, this is a strong argument for the legitimate ability of unions to increase productivity, not a phenomenon to be written off for the sake of arguing against unions. Draca, Machin, and Van Reenen explore the effects of higher wages demanded by labor unions on a firm’s productivity and how they might reduce the firm’s profitability.

They cite a significant negative relationship between higher wages and firm profitability (DM&R, 130). On a side not, they found the effects of higher wages from unions varies depending on how perfectly or imperfectly competitive the industry is. In imperfectly competitive firms with greater market power, profits would often fall as firms took on more of the burden of paying higher union wages, while in competitive markets, the costs of wage increases are passed on more directly to consumers (DM&R, 132). They concluded that wage rates increases lone did not directly reduce the productivity of firms, nor did it increase labor productivity. Any increases were generally followed by profit reductions. In analyzing labor productivity for unionized and non-unionized workers, some critics point out that firm unionization is “not a double-blind random experiment. ” Those firms that unionize are likely to be the firms that are more productive in the first place, because they are already more profitable and have more profit surplus to be captured by unions in the first place.

Failing firms do not unionize, and when comparing unionized firms’ productivity with other unionized firms, it’s just as likely that unions are causing significant productivity drag, not gain (DM&V, 130). The positive effects of unions on productivity may work only at the firm level, not at the macro, economy-wide level. For example, if you pay workers more, you may get better workers. But the not so good workers do not just disappear, they must find jobs elsewhere, and the better workers come from other firms, who now have fewer good workers.

Also, no empirical evidence shows a strong positive relationship between the psychological effects of job security and labor productivity, not to mention how unreceptive unions have traditionally been to increases in technology that threaten to reduce the work force in some industries. All the above arguments against unions and their potentially negative effects on labor productivity go up against a great deal of empirical data suggesting the exact opposite. One mostly undisputable positive effect of unions on firms is lower transaction and hiring costs when presented with a lower turnover rate.

In a non-union company, and employee’s primary means of dealing with job dissatisfaction is to simply leave. Being in a union, however, increases the probability that the resolution of a problem will be a change in working conditions (Hanlon, 45). When backed by a union, the employee will be less likely to quit and therefore unionized firms will have lower turnover rates. This of course would lead to lower hiring and training costs. Wal-Mart, which has one of the highest turnover rates among employers, could learn a lesson or two in this instance.

Hanlon cites Richard Freeman when he explains that unions increase the employee’s sense of ownership in the firm when he sees it as fair and responsive to his needs. In turn, the union members are motivated to become stakeholders and to view their own interests in terms of the well-being of their company (Hanlon, 45). While pro-union labor economists admit that union aspects like work rules, seniority, labor protections, and long grievance processes can hurt company productivity, the majority of what unions do boosts labor productivity.

The positive effects aren’t exactly counter-intuitive either; pay workers more and you’ll get better, more productive and efficient workers. That labor unions can and usually do reduce company profits is not a bad thing. It’s proof that they force firms to share more of their revenue with their lower level employees. Richard Freeman, in his own study, found that one fifth of the greater productivity of unionized firms was attributable to lower quit rates or turnover rates (Hircsh, 5).

He notes that “unionism per se is neither a plus nor a minus to productivity. What matters is how unions and management interact at the workplace” (Hircsh, 5). As we have studied before, the U. S. has very low levels of union participation, and yet shows no greater labor productivity levels or greater productivity growth rates than European countries with high unionization. In fact, compared to countries like Sweden, the U. S. has even lower productivity growth since the 1970s as union participation declined.

Returning to the issue of labor productivity and competition: it would seem that an industry often deteriorates in labor relations and fails to maintain productivity gains along with wage gains partially because there is little competition in that particular sector. Freeman declares in What Do Unions Do? that “higher productivity appears to run hand in hand with good industrial relations and to be spurred by competition in the product market, while lower productivity under unionism appears to exist under the opposite circumstances” (Hirch, 5).

It seems that the argument about unions and labor productivity is a complex and multi-layered one. Such is obviously the case when both sides must admit they’re wrong on some levels. While labor unions are not the only form of worker protection agreements, they are often the most powerful and preferred ones of workers. To say that unions hurt labor productivity as a whole goes against 40 years of comparative data with European economies. Without a doubt, labor unions take away from a company’s total profitability.

To some that is not an acceptable consequence of equity, but to others it is a perfect way of giving more back to the workers whose own income dwarfs that of management. The above research suggests that unions boost labor productivity in their own firms, and do so at little expense to the firm in comparison. While employment may suffer from higher wages, there is little empirical evidence suggesting massive unemployment or layoffs have taken place because of higher union wages, nor does it seem that non-unionized workers suffer the cost of such changes, but may in fact benefit from it.

Works Cited Hirsch, Barry T. “What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?. ” IZA. 892 (2003): Print. Hirsch, Barry T. , Stephen Machin, and John Van Reenen. “Minimum Wages and Firm Profitability. ” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. 3. (2011): 129-151. Print. Hanlon, Martin D. “Unions, Productivity, and the New Industrial Relations: Strategic Considerations. ” Interfaces. 15. 3 (1985): 41-53. Print

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