Methodists Church: Organizational Leadership Sample Paper

The United Methodist Church is a global missionary church that is on the verge of bringing the good news to the people who have not received it as yet. Like any other missionary church, there are lots of difficulties the church has to encounter. The leaders have to concentrate on the wellbeing of their people even before they start spreading the gospel. For the past few years, there has been some missionary work going on in Malaysia. Vietnamese and other ethnic groups found in the country are constantly wrongly accused and imprisoned, overworked, and even heavily fined for issues that do not necessarily impose a particular penalty. For the mission in Malaysia to be successful, the leaders have to be ready to get down to the standards of living of local people and then educate them based on their level. They have to make such decisions as building churches in prisons and attracting the prisoners to join the church. For the enslaved people, the church has the obligation to fight for them till the time of their sentence is over. For this church and any other organization, the management must make decisions bearing in mind that these choices shape up its future (Jackson, 2003).

For all these goals to be achieved, the church leaders have to make some choices that might have a long-term effect on the church. Such decisions may also bring misconceptions and destroy the relationships between the countries involved. Considering all those extremes, the leadership of the church, however, sticks to the mission of the church which involves planning and then the implementation of the set aims. The United Methodists Church has introduced what is currently known as the prison ministries. The leaders of the church wanted some way to get to those people wrongly accused by the government of Malaysia. A number of people have been accused and jailed for working illegally, for example, for illegal fishing in Malaysia’s waters. The church realized that the number of people in these prisons was increasing, and thus there was a growing need of reaching them inside the prison walls. They, therefore, made the decision of building prison ministries. Building them was a temporal solution as the church leaders went ahead to push for migration of those people to their countries to meet their families. One effect of these decisions has been felt by the ministers who have put up with the conditions of the prisons just for the sake of the church mission. They try as hard as possible to share God’s word with these people, and luckily most people give their lives to God (Tipton, 2007).

In Malaysia, there are no Christian leaders within the laborers and the migrant workers. The missionaries working with them try very hard to educate them on the leadership skills so that they could at least lessen the heavy burden they bear while managing these groups. Cambodian workers do not even recognize that they are enslaved. They were probably born in the country and have adapted to such working conditions when they have to overwork and fail to see that their human rights are violated. The missionaries have taken the step for the sake of these slaves to approach their respective embassies in Malaysia and approach the ministry of migration in the country so that the people may get an opportunity to re-unite with their families (Lim, 2008).

In the long run, most of the slaves will get freedom, especially once they are back to their mother country. This is one of the aspects the missionary is fighting as it would be impossible to talk to an individual about Christianity when the person has some other more pressing issues, for example, when the one is starving or craving for freedom. As much as the goal of the missionaries is to engineer the ministry for these workers, the church is first involved in more personal relationship with the people. In future, this will make it possible for the people to trust the missionaries and accept the world of God easily (Palmer, 1990).

All the decisions made by the United Methodist Church have one main goal, which is passing on the ministry. The church is willing to go to all depths just to reach the hearts of the people. Missionaries play the field leaders and, therefore, make day-to-day decisions on the behalf of the church leaders. In the year 2011, the church members in the company and the non-governmental organizations joined forces and donated clothes to the people of Malaysia. According to that act, they touched the hearts of many citizens, so today, the impact of that action can be seen in a number of people who have put their faith in God, which is actually the goal of the church (Ooi, 2010).

Once the leaders learned that many people are in the prisons, they made a decision to reach them. Most of these institutions contain ordinary citizens who may hold a position in the leadership of this ministry, though they have not yet learnt enough to lead on their own. Some have dedicated their lives to study; through which the missionaries have transformed the lives of many people in the country. The United Methodist Church has its goals, which are classified as both the long-term and the short-term. Management is the key to the success of the church, the best thing about the management of the church is that it never loses its focus on the goals of the church.

References

Jackson, M. C. (2003). Systems thinking: Creative holism for managers. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Lim, R. (2008). Federal-state relations in Sabah, Malaysia: The Berjaya administration, 1976-85. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Ooi, K. G., & Ooi, K. G. (2010). The A to Z of Malaysia. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press.

Palmer, D. C. (1990). Managing conflict creatively: A guide for Missionaries and Christian workers. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library.

Tipton, S. M. (2007). Public pulpits: Methodists and mainline churches in the moral argument of public life. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

Research Analysis: Trying On Different Lenses

Roger’s (2002) work is inclined towards an aim of understanding rather than changing the situation; thus, within the interpretive/critical continuum it can be precisely said it is “making sense of the way things are”. The research focuses on events being shaped up in the education life (that is, Vicky). The study documentation opens up with describing Vicky’s education quest with less focus on the challenges posed by the education system and policy regulation. The study seems to capitalize on the objects weaknesses in decision making, thus justifying the strengths of the education system and over sighting policies rather than suggesting improvement areas within the education system that will strengthen the chances of making better choices. This makes it difficult to understand how the research intends to advocate for changes as part of its aim. However, the study gives a clear exposure on the difficulties in understanding and categorizing cases that fit special education without causing emotional harm on the people affected. The argument on researchers’ aim at making sense of the way things are, is further reinforced by the emphasized desire to use the research opportunity to fill a lurking research lacuna on culture of social reproduction in the education process based on the immediate case of Vicky (Rogers, 2002). The fact that the study has less concern on the nexus with other reported cases of similar nature, indicates that the response to study questions is bred on the knowledge closely tied to the immediate case of Vicky. Crepeau (2000) works are designed based on the aim of delivering change, that is “unsettling and transforming the way things are”. The study progresses from assessing the professional ethics to the way of doing things to best practices, which is a departure from “making sense of the way things are” (Schram, 2006, p.47). The change is delivered through the depiction of a paradigm shift from preset mindsets by practitioners to a proactive and progressive approach. The researcher aims not to expose the wrongdoings but recommends professional best practice beyond personal limits. The researcher does not fault the professional practice of the practitioners but their failure to measure up the immediate case of Gloria.

Rogers (2002) gives a more feminist perspective by focusing on the weakness experienced by the female gender in their pursuit for academic achievement would give. In order to justify this, the effect of this would mean that part of the study recommendation would include special provisions to improve the education process in order to ease problems in decision making for the female student or pupil. The study by Rogers (2002) focuses on the experience of decision making by the objects rather than exposing the backdrops facing them. Such a shift in focus will deliver a feminine focus.

Filtering or refining research ideas, aims and methods through an ecological perspective has the danger of being more critical on the role of the object within the system. For instance, research focuses on Vicky’s weakness to make right decision rather than what best fits her in order to maximize the benefits from the education process. Filtering through the ecological perspectives gives the research impression that those in special education are disadvantaged lot, thus a burden to the education system.

References

Crepau, E. B. (2000). Reconstructing Gloria: A narrative analysis of team meetings. Qualitative Health Research 10(6), 766-787.

Rogers, R. (2000). Through the eyes of the institution: A critical discourse analysis of decision making in two special education meetings. Anthropology and Education Quarterly 33(2), 213-237.

Apple’s Reputation Regarding Ethical And Social Responsibility

Introduction

Apple has been embroiled in issues related to the company’s ethical and social responsibilities. Recent reports about inefficiencies and suppliers’ non-compliance with the ethics and social responsibility code has raised a lot of public attention (Chen, 2013). While the media has been putting Apple on the spotlight, legal experts may argue that Apple has no direct responsibility for their suppliers’ possible ethical misconduct and non-compliance.

In a recent supplier responsibility report, Apple reported that all its manufacturers were trying as much as they could to ensure they comply with all codes and improve working conditions in their manufacturing plants (Barboza, 2011). In the light of the recent suicides, deplorable work conditions and poor wage policies, Apple has stepped up its efforts to ensure that its conglomerate of manufacturers comply with its supplier Code of Conduct (Chen, 2013).

In its 2014 Supplier Responsibility progress report, Apple asserts that all employees have the right to secure, safe and ethical work conditions and that its staff are on the forefront. The company has established what it says to be the toughest and strictest code in the electronics industry, and that it has continued to make it even stronger to meet the emerging supplier challenges.

Apple has been fast to perform thorough audits at shorter intervals to determine whether its supply chain and suppliers comply with the regulations. In addition, Apple understands that it is not easy to be fully compliant or make their suppliers achieve the highest compliance levels with follow up or action plans such as audits alone (Stainburn, 2013). To address this challenge, the company has been keen to drive its suppliers to achieve up to 95% compliance. The company is now shifting from handling things as they come to tackling the root causes and systemic issues to curb similar ethics and responsibility issues before they arise.

The impact that the publication of ethics and social responsibilities violations made by Apple’s suppliers has had on Apple’s reputation

Apple has had a fair share of negative publicity following reports of bad labor practices such as underage labor, forced overtime and violations of minimum wage, not to mention unsafe worker conditions in its Chinese manufacturer (Barboza, 2011). Supplier malpractices have damaged Apple’s position as a market leader posting over $13 billion in profits only in the first quarter of the year (Porter, 2012).

The Consumer pressure has drove Apple to make huge changes in its Supplier Code of Conduct that is audited and monitored almost regularly. Apple is reported to be the first mobile company to be a member of the Fair Labor Association, an organization that monitors working conditions (Porter, 2012). These actions have been quick-fix steps to seal the already torn garments that have been in the public domain.

Establishment of training programs for all workers in the manufacturers is indicative of the impact that bad publicity has had on the company’s reputation. To turn its image around, Apple has tried to come out clean saying it was working to make sure that its suppliers achieve 95% of standard worker conditions (Porter, 2012).

Methods that Apple can utilize to ensure that its suppliers adhere to wage and benefits standards going forward

Apple believes that every worker has a right to better remuneration. In line with good HR practices, Apple has been making significant progress in making its suppliers comply with this requirement. However, the company needs to up its game through employee awareness programs that can help workers in supplier plants to raise their concerns with boldness and courage.

Many employees at the manufacturing plants are unable to raise burning issues or lack proper channels of escalating problems to the right authorities. Therefore, it is crucial for Apple to enroll as many employees as possible in a strong employee rights awareness program. Experts believe that a comprehensive employee training on rights and privileges can have a far-reaching impact on the wellbeing of the staff (Porter, 2012).

Secondly, by encouraging its suppliers to respect international labor laws and regulations, Apple can be able to help workers obtain wages that are commensurate with the type and magnitude of work they do. While it would be difficult for Apple to achieve this goal through a contractual agreement, Apple can establish measures to ensure that working hours are in line with the wages that workers draw.

Unfair wages arise when an employer allow employees to work more hours with low pay rates. For instance, employees have had issues with working for over 60 hours in most of the Apple plants (Klein, 2011). In addition, the problem of overtimes remains top on the agenda of Apple. To help workers who make Apple grow its business, Apple can begin to track the number of hours that employees attend at the suppliers’ manufacturing plants (Klein, 2011). The mere fact that Apple will be publishing this kind of information about its suppliers can go a long way in eliminating unhealthy labor policies while ensuring that employees earn salaries and wages that are commensurate with their effort.

Though this initiate can be difficult for Apple, especially because of the challenges in predicting changes in work plans, Apple can require all its suppliers to give early notices when the suppliers anticipate that production plans will be changing. In this way, Apple will be able to forge ahead together with suppliers (Stainburn, 2013). Apple should come up with a framework requiring suppliers not to charge recruitment fees for qualified contract employees who are assigned to work on its projects. In order to ensure that the practice is applied indiscriminately, Apple and the suppliers will be able to reduce the burden of paid fees and increase the overall wages for all workers.

Would Apple’s customers be willing to pay more for its to provide better wages and benefits for suppliers workers?

However, it is expected that a new twist will immediately change this position when argued from the point of view that incremental prices are meant to increase wages for its workers.

First , customers in the electronics industry are savvy and knowledgeable, so they understand that it is the responsibility of the company to work its way out and present better wages for its employees (Stainburn, 2013). This means that while it is important to note that wage increment is indisputably welcomed by the customers, it may not be a reason sound enough to justify overpricing of products.

Given that Apple is a giant company with a visible footprint on the market, and appreciating that the company has made serious progress in terms of profits, many customers would be skeptical about premium prices. The argument could be that the company has not made significant losses that warrant price increases for the sake of paying off its employees (Chen, 2013).

From a legal standpoint, the whole proposal would be trashed given that Apple is not legally responsible for suppliers’ non-compliance of labor practices. Perhaps the most important thing to note is that the Apple can only have a renegotiated contractual agreement that would allow suppliers an extra income that can cater for additional wages.

Apple’s current overall marketing response and actions that Apple can take in order to improve its competitive advantage in the global marketplace

As a market leader with a footprint on the global computers and phone market, Apple has remained the subject of competition from other industry giants such as Dell, HP, Samsung and more. Operating amidst controversial labor, health and corporate practices, especially by its suppliers, Apple has received significant publicity at least on the negative side (Klein, 2011).

However, Apple has been able to counter its adversaries and develop a strong brand. The strategic marketing plans adopted by Apple have been unique from the rest of the players (Seel, 2012). First, Apple rides on its assertion of quality for money and knows that producing products that are sold at premium prices can be significant in turning around its profit base. The price premium spans Apple’s product portfolio, including its signature products such as iPod, Macintosh, iPhone and computer &telephone accessories. Apple has come out strong in positioning itself to appeal to a reliable customer base that is less sensitive to price. Realizing that they have a formidable customer base that could drive its culture of high quality products, Apple has been able to make its position of component quality known to the market (Seel, 2012).

Apple leverages a solid and efficient supply chain that cuts across the globe. The company benefits from the advantages of the releasing advanced products such as iPhone and iPod that feature numerous characteristics such as touch screens and quality flash memory. These features have been able to make iPhone and iPod prices to go below what other competitors offer.

Giant and rival companies in the industry such as Samsung run their marketing campaigns in different market segments that one would expect that it would beat the market. Because of affordable and reliable technology, Apple has been able to remain on top of the game disallowing other players to compete favorably in the short- and long-term. Using the pricing model adopted by Apple for all its signature products and accessories has served to show Apple’s products as a company to buy from (Porter, 2012).

The other strategy that Apple uses is the hybrid distribution channel to navigate the volatile and competitive environment. The channel integrates physical outlets, online store, and exclusive service provision and retail points. The fact that Apple has multiple channels through which it communicates and distributes its products seamlessly means it cannot be possible for another company to move near Apple’s product distribution channel (Seel, 2012).

Apple has established a new segment involving students to help influence brand preferences during the early days of product development. This strategy has been successful in influencing new users and new technology adopters on the bandwagon.

Apple’s “jobs-led” initiative makes up the company’s fourth marketing mix. Apple continues to build a vibrant consumer base by establishing new retail outlets that operate across the world. By stocking iPhones and iPods in virtually all retail outlets, Apple has been able to reach out for all customers. Additionally, e-commerce websites such as Amazon and Apple’s website have made Apple’s product easy to purchase.

References

Barboza, D. (2011). Workers Sickened at Apple Supplier in China. New York Times. Web. 

Chen, M. (2013). More Bad Apple: Watchdog Exposes New Chinese Factory Abuses. The World Post. Web.

Porter, E. (2012). Dividends Emerge in Pressing Apple Over Working Conditions in China. New York Times.

Klein, P. (2011). Where Is Apple’s Social Purpose? The Fobes. Web.

Stainburn, S. (2013). Apple supplier Pegatron ‘worse than Foxconn’: China Labor Watch. Global Post. Web.

Seel, P. (2012). Triple-Profitability-Bottom Line: Supplier responsibility in a multistakeholder perspective and the power of the markets in the Apple-Foxconn case. Web.

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