Malaysia’s Inflation Homework Essay Sample

The move by Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government to apply cuts on subsidies in 2013 to reduce Malaysia’s fiscal deficit and high debt burden is part of the reason for the faster increase in prices of essential commodities. So high was the inflation that the consumer price index surpassed the 3.1% December projection by Reuters poll; the index augmented from 2.9% in November to 3.2% in December (“Malaysia inflation jumps as the government feels the heat over living costs” n.pag).

Clearly, the drastic rise in the inflation rate had exacerbated political headaches in the Southeast Asian nation, given that this was the highest peak since November 2011. Again, Malaysia’s consumer index a year ago, that is, December 2012, was at 1.2%. Consumers are always the ones who bear the effects of inflation, as prices of products and services hike to cut-on the augmented inflation rate; this increases the living cost.

Taking a comparison to the 2008/2009 global meltdown, the Malaysian inflation does not only raises the prices of staples like meat and vegetables but also increases the prices of petroleum products and puts pressure on the central bank to adjust the interest rates.

Faster inflation weakens a country’s currency. The need to increase the interest rates in Malaysia is evident in the weak performance of ringgit against the dollar over the past seven months into March 2014; during this period, the ringgit has been down 1.5%. With an expectation of an increase in basis points to a value between 25 and 50, economists are right to argue that the government is under pressure to address the situation speedily (“Malaysia inflation jumps as the government feels the heat over living costs” n.pag).

The Prime Minister has to act before the prices of properties and levels of household debt soar further. Malaysia’s economic situation requires solidarity approach even from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which has been a rival clique within Najib’s party. Even though a bright global economy can fuel the country’s export division to help it grow its economy beyond the anticipated 4.5-5.0%, the government should put in place economic strategies that can assist in easing the pressure on prices of staple commodities.

Even with the government’s move to form a special cabinet committee to warn local markets against increasing the prices of their products, the prices have kept increasing. To tackle the cost of living effectively, the government should ensure that the price of petrol is within reach of consumers, as transportation costs have to be included when selling goods.

With high consumer debt at around 83% of the GDP and escalating prices of houses in key urban centers, the Malaysian economic classes are likely to move down the socioeconomic ladder due to the high cost of living.

With economists like Nor Zahidi Alias of the Malaysian Rating Corporation and Rahul Bajoria of Barclays Capital in Singapore holding that inflation is likely to be hotter from mid-2014, the government should address the factors for the weakening of the ringgit currency to prevent the central bank from tightening the monetary policy (Ng n.pag).

A supplementary reduction in subsidies on essential products like petrol and the expected implementation of a 6% consumption tax by the commencement of 2015 are indicators of non-stop inflation in the Southeast Asian nation. The moves by the government are the reasons for the lack of improvements in the property and food markets. Basing the argument on the government’s inappropriate moves to address the high living cost, the 3.5% inflation rate in February 2014 is likely to rise in 2015.

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, food and non-alcoholic beverages forms a huge percentage of essential components in the consumer price index by 30% of total weight, followed by water, housing, gas, and electricity at 23%. From the released report by the Department of Statistics, the government ought to institute regulatory efficiencies and plans that directly address the most affected segments.

Even though Malaysia performs comparatively well in its ease of doing business, the 29.5 million citizens expect to see a reduction in the cost of living. With over two-thirds of Malaysian’s earning below 5,000 ringgits, addressing the inflation will have to hurt everybody (Malaysia Inflation Rate par. 2). Apart from using interest rates as a macroeconomic tool to keep inflation below 3%, the Malaysian government should focus on creating jobs.

A renowned economist, Professor Joseph Stiglitz, held that increasing the interest rates raises a country’s exchange rate, thus reducing the competitive strength of its goods and services. As a result, imports become expensive and flood the market. This leads to job losses, which is not the top solution to addressing inflation. While the government can try to put necessary measures to solve the inflation menace, external factors like high prices of global oil and food are beyond the country’s control.

Inflation has been a global problem. Countries should come together to address these economic problems since economies of nations depend on each other. For instance, changes in the United States’ currency, the dollar, affect the value of other nations’ currencies. Apart from addressing the internal factors, economic giants in the globe should come together to harmonize the global food and oil prices, as they are beyond the control of individual nations.

Malaysia Inflation Rate
(Malaysia Inflation Rate par. 2)

Works Cited

“Malaysia inflation jumps as government feels heat over living costs.” Malaysia Mail Online [Kuala Lumpur] 2014: n. pag. Web.

Malaysia Inflation Rate. Web.

Ng, Jason. “Rising Inflation in Malaysia Turns Up the Heat on Central Bank.” The Wall Street Journal [Washington] 2014: n. pag. Web.

The Impact Of Humility And Leadership

The concept of humility has received mounting attention in organizational scholarship in the recent past, particularly in the wake of unprecedented corporate scandals that are often attributed to the unbridled personality, hubris, sense of entitlement and perceived self-importance of the corporate leaders involved (Owens, Johnson & Mitchell 1517).

Although humility has traditionally been associated with low self-esteem, it is becoming a fast-growing area of interest for researchers and one of the most needed characteristics for contemporary leaders (Ou et al. 35). The present paper attempts to discuss the impact of humility on leadership.

Humility has been defined in the literature “as an interpersonal characteristic that emerges in social contexts that connote (a) a manifested willingness to view oneself accurately, (b) a displayed appreciation of others’ strengths and contributions, and (c) teachability” (Owens et al. 1518). Drawing from this definition, it is evident that a key impact of humility on leadership entails enhancing the effectiveness of leaders.

Humble leaders are not only willing to listen and learn from others but are also prepared to compliment followers on their strengths and show appreciation for their unique contribution (Owens et al. 1523). Such an orientation, in turn, enhances the leader’s ability to work well with followers, not mentioning that it propels the performance and productivity of employees, hence ensuring that the organization remains competitive.

It is demonstrated in the literature that “leaders who show the behaviors of humility help legitimize learning and personal development and foster openness, trust, and recognition, which are antecedents of learning goal orientation” (Owens et al. 1528). Such a perspective enhances employee engagement, team learning orientation, and employee job satisfaction while reducing turnover.

Available leadership literature demonstrates that humility assists leaders to build trust in team settings and facilitate members’ confidence to learn and develop in team-based contexts (Elrod 18). Additionally, humility enables leaders to earn trust from team members, irrespective of the fact that such leaders may not be in positions of power or authority.

Moving on, it is argued that “humble people, in their reflexive consciousness, are willing to seek accurate self-knowledge and are open to feedback” (Ou et al. 37). When this statement is interpreted from a leadership perspective, it implies that humility impacts leadership as it facilitates leaders to become fully aware of their strengths and abilities, accept their imperfections, but their strengths in perspective, and actively seek feedback.

Again, these are noble leadership characteristics that have the potential to ignite organizational competitiveness and enhance employee performance, in large part because they demonstrate the tactical nature of humility in the attainment of leadership and organizational success.

Lastly, extant leadership literature demonstrates that the humility construct not only allows leaders to listen to followers, but also provides a safe zone to coach others and listen in, and also to develop trust and confidence that are essential in leading others (Elrod 17).

The ability to listen is of immense importance for leaders as they attempt to understand what is going on to determine how to assist followers to become successful in their endeavors, while that of coaching requires a delicate balance of confidence and a servant attitude. In all these, it is important to note that humility is a central tenet, thus its importance in leadership.

Overall, drawing from the discussion above, it is evident that humility impacts leadership in many positive ways. It is therefore recommended that contemporary leaders should consider exercising humility as they interact with followers for the attainment of optimal organizational outcomes.

Works Cited

Elrod, David J. “Of Confidence and Humility.” Strategic Finance. 95.8 (2013): 17-18. Business Source Premier. Web.

Ou, Amy Y., Anne S. Tsui, Angelo J. Kinicki, David A. Waldman, Zhixing Xiao and Linda Jiwen Song. “Humble Chief Executive Officers’ Connections to Top Management Team Integration and Middle Managers’ Responses.” Administrative Science Quarterly. 59.1 (2014): 34-72. Business Source Premier. Web.

Owens, Bradley P., Michael D. Johnson and Terence R. Mitchell. “Expressed Humility in Organizations: Implications for Performance, Teams, and Leadership.” Organization Science. 24.5 (2013): 1517-1538. Web.

Amazon Company’s Customer Service

Why did books and CDs sell successfully online immediately while many other products took some time to sell online?

It is easier to sell such items and books and CDs online because these goods have fixed contents. If one goes to an e-store to purchase a book, they are likely to be already aware of the exact title and author of the item they need. All they have to do is find the book online and pay for it. Books and CDs are goods with fixed content.

This means that consumers pay for standard items. For example, buying a book by Paolo Coehlo called “the Alchemist” and getting disappointed by its contents a customer would not blame this on the e-tailer. At the same time, such goods as shoes, clothes, household appliances, toys, or home improvement products need to be tested, researched, compared with other similar products and checked. In other words, books and CDs are sold quicker because the customers experience less doubt while purchasing them.

Do you think consumers who buy from Amazon.com also shop at other Web sites for books and CDs and buy from the site that offers the lowest price?

In my opinion, in online sales, one of the major aspects of store loyalty depends on is quality of services presented by the store. Amazoon.com has a very well developed system of customer support and an easy to browse a website that memorizes one’s choices reflect the older requests and suggests items that might be interesting for each particular customer.

This grants the feeling of a special approach. Besides, once a customer gets used to a certain website and its interface, the other platforms would gradually lose their value for this individual because of them being accustomed to a certain order of things.

Maintaining customer loyalty is crucial for the online stores because statistically, the loss of one customer may cost them up to four thousand dollars of income a year (Peter & Olson 2010). There is a variety of ways and techniques of raising customer loyalty to a store, and Amazon.com successfully employs and pioneers most of them. As a result, this online store remains very successful when other stores lose their popularity and go out of practice.

What aspects of customer service have contributed to Amazon.com’s success?

During the last several decade’s online communication has gradually grown to replace most of the physical communication. For example, texts and instant chat messages are more popular than actual meetings; video chats and conferences are practiced more often than physical gatherings.

Shopping has also become more digital. As a result, in 2012, the National Retail Federation announced Amazon.com as the “Number one in Customer Service.” In the overall rating table, the five first positions were taken by online retailers and only then came traditional stores.

Online stores’ customer services were evaluated according to such aspects as reliability, politeness, easiness, efficiency, speed, and free shipping (Goodfellow 2012). Amazon.com is appreciated by the customers because it is responsive, its customer service reps react and address the issues and questions quickly and always are ready to engage into a personal conversation via chat with the customers to help and solve the problems.

What are the differences in the purchasing experience between buying a book at Amazon.com and a Barnes & Noble brick-and-mortar store?

The differences between Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble are of quantitative and qualitative character. First of all, Amazon.com can offer a large list of items. The variety of book titles present at Amazon.com estimates in millions of items. No brick-and-mortar book store can provide such a section. Besides, Amazon.com is available for customers all over the world; they can purchase from this store without leaving their homes.

At the same time, brick-and-mortar store such as Barnes & Noble provides its customers with a completely different kind of experiences. For example, shopping at Barnes & Noble, a customer can look through the books, touch them, and feel the amazing smell of brand new books many people like so much.

Besides, Barnes & Noble book selling stores attract and please their customers by selling freshly made coffee. At such a store, one can sit down, open the books they are interested in, look through their contents. None of these services can be provided by online stores such as Amazon.com.

What problems arose when Amazon.com expanded its offerings to products other than books?

When Amazon.com decided to expand and start selling products other than a book, it endangered its profile and reputation as a global online book retailer. At the same time, it’s brand name “Amazon” was not tied specifically to books, so they decided they could go for other goods. Such expansion led to the need to create more warehouses and centers. As the variety of goods sold through Amazon.com grew, the number of their customers increased too.

As a result, the intensity of work of the employees in Amazon centers became unbearable and the kind of management provided by the company to maintain control and speed of the working process quickly turned into dictatorship where the employee’s bathroom breaks, talking and rest were strictly monitored and considered as “time theft” and resulted in conflicts with workers (Head 2014).

Reference List

Goodfellow, P. (2012). Amazon #1 In Customer Service, But Will This Lead To Sustainable Loyalty? 

Head, S. (2014). Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers

Peter, J. P. & Olson, J. C. (2010). Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy (9th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.

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