Friday, 16 July 2010

Inventory Optimization Techniques: A comparative Study of the Inventory Optimization Technique Used by Telecom Retailers

A key concern for retailers today is reducing inventory and inventory driven costs across their supply and distribution networks. Pressure to cut inventories continues to build for several reasons. Manufacturers no longer manage linear or stable supply chains. In the last few years a new paradigm has emerged: where one finds operations teams and planning teams of the manufacturer applying the latest techniques and technologies to improve inventory visibility, control and management across the extended supply network. We call this collection of efforts as Inventory optimization. Inventory optimization helps retailers control inventory driven costs and address today’s demand volatility and the uncertainty of demand. We discuss several trends in inventory optimization including opportunities to apply this new technology to solve more than just high inventory costs. Inventory optimization can enable smarter product launches, lower direct material cost of goods and faster manufacturing and distribution execution. The objective of this dissertation report is to find out the inventory optimization techniques used by the telecom retailers. The objective is to find out the inventory optimization technique used by retailers for AIRCEL and AIRTEL and then to do a comparative analysis of both the inventory optimization technique, to find out the best inventory optimization technique The aim of this research is to study about the inventory optimization techniques that are available to optimize the inventory. This will definitely give me knowledge about the insights of inventory optimization and about the model that may be used in inventory optimization. The objective of the dissertation is: (1) To find out the inventory optimization technique, used by telecom retailers for AIRTEL and AIRCEL SIM cards. (2) To do a comparative analysis of the two techniques to find out the best technique of inventory optimization for telecom retailers.

Executive Summary

1.0 Introduction
Inventory Optimization
Need for Optimizing Inventories
Introduction to inventory optimization practices
Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)
The Total Cost function
Profit Driven Analysis
Inventory Misconceptions
A New Opportunity for Inventory Savings
Critical Role of Technology in Inventory Management
Pressures, Actions, Capabilities, Enablers (PACE)
Benefits of Inventory Optimization

2.0 Statement of Research Question

3.0 Research Design

4.0 Research Methodology
Scope of the Study

5.0 Sampling
Universe

6.0 Design of Instruments

7.0 Procedure

8.0Discussion
Questionnaire with Answer of Respondents

9.0 Conclusion
Parameters for comparison

10.0 References
INTERNET
Books

11.0 Annexure
Inventory Questionnaire

12.0 Timescale
GANTT chart

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China’s Grand Oil Strategy in a Post-Peak World

This is a tale about energy and power. At the heart of this narrative is the historic re-emergence of China which has undergone revolutionary changes since the Maoist era of Communist austerity and energy self-sufficiency. President Nixon’s ‘opening up’ of Communist China in the seventies started a process of engagement with the capitalist world for China’s oligarchs. The resulting transformation into a super-charged globalised economic powerhouse has transformed the lives of millions of people. Hundreds of millions of Chinese are pursuing a Chinese Dream; of cars, modern flats, TVs, designer clothes, refrigerators, electricity, and a western-style diet. Along with materially aspirational Indians and Arabs, the Chinese middle classes have led an explosion of energy demand. Global supply of oil and gas production has risen to new heights to sustain the growth of energy consumption in the developing world by the private oil majors and the state-owned oil companies. Economists have argued that rising demand will lead to technological improvements and development of suitable substitutes which will ensure that supply will always keep up with demand. However, a closer reading of the statistics suggests some worrying trends in the global petroleum industry. Robert L. Hirsch, a leading energy expert was paid by the US government to investigate the potential implications of a global peak in world oil production. The Hirsch Report came to some startling conclusions regarding future supplies of petroleum. Contrary to the claims of economists and based on the history of domestic US oil production ‘higher prices and improved technology are unlikely to yield dramatically higher conventional oil production’.2 Moreover, conventional, ‘cheap’ petroleum fields are startling to deplete, and will accelerate in the coming decades. New fields coming on-stream tend to be in geographically and geopolitically ‘hard’ locations, for example the Arctic or Siberia. Not only it is capital and energy intensive to develop these fields and the needed infrastructure (pipelines etc), the energy ‘return’ from these fields is a fraction of the older larger fields in the Middle East. Energy experts call this the EROEI, Energy Return on Energy Invested. The depletion rates on the newer unconventional oil and gas fields are far higher than the old, larger fields meaning that it is only economically for the major oil majors to finance these developments if petroleum prices are very high. Forecasting future projections of oil and gas supply is a problematic science, but a consensus has emerged that at some point in the next five years, the global production of oil and gas will start to contract and this will accelerate in the coming decades. The era of cheap energy is over.

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Literature Review

Chapter 3. The emergence of the Dragon
Russia
Central Asia
Greater Middle East
Africa
Latin America
Grand Strategy in international relations

Chapter 4: Historical Materialist framework to Peak Oil and China

Footnotes & References

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Cultural Differences and Aspects of Internet Privacy

This final year research project has been derived from the initial research phase of the project whereby the problem of privacy was examined in the context of globalisation, that current approaches to privacy are culturally biased, reflecting only one of a number of possible standpoints. Substantial research conducted on internet privacy resulted in countless cultural standpoint theories but few studies focused on the consumer’s expectations which are the key to gaining a successful competitive advantage in the global business market. In recent years there has been some interesting debate about privacy; particularly interest in storage of personal data; that has several social, cultural and economic implications attached along with apprehension towards the information society. Current philosophy focuses the problem of privacy mainly on Western society’s expectations that is shown to be limiting growth and development of e-commerce businesses. Results based on surveys are used to demonstrate this point, comparing the privacy perceptions in the Asian culture to the Western culture. This paper pursues the following research question: does the Internet’s current system for protecting individual privacy cater for differences between cultural perspectives?

Summary of IP Research
The Critical Evalaution
Introduction
Aims and Objectives
Why is there a need for further research?
Evaluation of the effectiveness of the processes followed
Response Rate
Methodology
Survey Results
Literature Search
Summary
Assessment of whether the research has met the requirements
Alternative approaches
Recommendations for any Further Development of the Work

Research Report
Introduction
Literature Review
Introduction
Defining Culture
Cultural Differences
Conceptualisations of Privacy
Cross-Cultural Differences in Privacy
The ‘Great Firewall of China’
Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Model
Summary
Methodology
Introduction
Method
Questionnaire Design
Sample Size
Response Rate
Disscussion
Introduction
Discussion
Summary
Conclusion
Futher Work
References
Bibliography

Statistical Analysis
Online Survey
Statistical Analysis
Results of UK Survey
Results of China Survey

The Project Log
Project Log
Project Plan
Development Stage Gantt Chart
Revised Research Gantt Chart
Supervision Meetings Records
Professional Development Log

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The Affects of Illegal Music Downloads on Music Retailers

This project describes how music retailers have been affected by the upsurge of illegal music download. In the presence of illegal music downloads, which are accessible when using the Internet, users are in fact downloading as many music files as possible for their personal use and furthermore for the event of trading, these files are copied into disc and are being sold illegally as pirated copies. Record companies need to unite with their buyers (i.e.) music retailers and use the authority of law in order to prevent such illegal activity to continue and use alternative ways to expedite the process to legality. Throughout the course of this research the above menace will be examined, as questionnaires and interviews are used with the eventual verdict presented in the conclusion. Not only is today’s life vast and improving for illegal traders, but also there exists the possibility and hope that one day this will stop, which will then allow the much needed relief to the legal traders to carry out their business.

Chapter One: Introduction
Introduction
Statement of problem
Project detail
How the topic has been chosen
Project Aim
Objectives

Chapter Two: Literature Review
Introduction
Law and Copyright
Who is BPI?
About the illegal industry
The start and stop of illegal download
The affect on music retailer’s
The users behind illegal download
Actions taken against illegal sites
The type of retailers that sells online music
Cost of Online music
The success for record companies and retailers
The loss on UK music industry
The benefit of the online market
Ansoff’ Matrix
The Micro Environment
The PEST Analysis
Porter 5 Forces
Conclusion

Chapter 3: Methodology
Introduction
Methods which are used
Quantitative and Qualitative methods
Primary sources
Secondary sources
The Refinements
The Refinement of the Aim
The Refinement of the Objectives
Refined Research Questions
Proposed Methodology
How retailers have been affected in terms of financial matters?
How retailers can make profit in the presences of illegal music?
How music retailers/record companies reduce illegal music?
Selection of sample
Data analysis

Chapter 4: Data Collection and Analysis
Introduction
Questionnaire results
Analysis of Questionnaires (1 to 20)
Interview results
Interview One
Interview Two
Interview Three

Chapter 5: Findings and Interpretation
Introduction
Findings from Questionnaire results
Findings from Interview results

Chapter 6: Conclusion and Recommendations
Introduction
Conclusion
Recommendation

Chapter 7: Appendix
Questionnaire
Cost of a CD
UK Music Retailers Sales Performance (2002 to 2007)

References

Bibliography

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Consumer Expectations and Perceptions in the Retail Property Market in London

In this research we analyzed thе consumer perception and expectation in the retail property market in London. The methodology allows us identify thеmain independent concepts оr attributes which describe thеcustomer perception of a specific property expressed in his own wоrds. Thеse attributes are accоrding to the influence of the consumer on thеoverall opinion in оrder to quantify thеir relative impоrtance. A quantitative model fоr forecasting an overall aѕsessment from symbolic attributes could be obtained. Thеresearch also provides a quantitative way of predicting thеsuccess of a specific property on sale by evaluating thеmain factоrs that condition it. Mоreover, an elaborated comparative analysis of thеstrengths and weaknesses of different competing properties could also be made.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Rational Fоr thе Research
Objective of thе Research
Outline of thе Paper

Chapter 2: Literature Review
Significance of Retail Property
Оrganisations and Thеir Goals
Оrganisations and thеir Stakeholders
Perfоrmance Meaѕurement Systems

Chapter 3: Research Methodology
Rationale of thе Methods
Instrument
Participants
Reliability and Validity
Ethical Issues
Confidentiality
Data Collection
Data Analysis
Aѕsumptions & Limitation
Summary

Chapter 4: Results and Findings
Demographic Distribution
Analysis of thе Questionnaire
Identifying Semantic Axes
Comparative Analysis: Semantic Profiles

Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendation

Appendix

Questionnaire

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Expectations and Perceptions of Consumers in the Banking Industry: The Case of NatWest

Nowadays, there is intense competition in the world economy. In this competition, the service sector becomes more and more important when considering the standardisation and globalisation of the products. This may be the reason that many studies investigate the service sector. Most of these studies aim to evaluate the quality of service through comparing customers’ expectations and perceptions. This is because there is a relationship between service quality, customer satisfaction and service loyalty. In fact, the satisfaction and loyalty of customers are factors enabling service providers achieve successes. From this point of view, the expectations and perceptions of customers to the service quality are determined as the core of a marketing channel. To evaluate this core, a measurement of expectations and perceptions of customers needs to be implemented. However, according to different core characteristics of services, each service sector can apply different methods to measure quality in order to have the best solution to convey to consumer, attracting more customers and encouraging loyalty.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Background of the research
Research aims and objectives
Rationale for the research
Outline of the research

Chapter 2: Literature Review
Introduction
Definition
The importance of service quality
Measuring service quality
Conclusion

Chapter 3: Research Methodology
Introduction
The aims and objectives of research
Research approach
Research philosophy
Deductive or inductive approach
Research design
Data collection method
Secondary data
Primary data
Survey design
Sampling considerations
Sampling techniques
Sample size
Questionnaire design
Data analysis
Limitation of research
Conclusion

Chapter 4: Company Background
Introduction
Company background
Conclusion

Chapter 5: Findings and Discussion
Introduction
Demographic
Gender
Nationality
Consumer expectation of Banks’ service quality
Consumer perception of NatWest’s’ quality of service
Gap between Expectations and Perceptions of customers
Conclusion

Chapter 6: Conclusion
Introduction
Summary of key findings
Recommendations
Direction for future research
Conclusion

Appendix 1 – Questionnaire

References

Bibliography

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An Analysis and Evalutaion of Investement Strategies

Efficient Markets Hypothesis has been recently more often challenged on base of the empirical evidence which was suggested not be consistent with the theory such as excess volatility, market seasonalities, autocorrelation and predictability of equity returns. There is still ongoing discussion on relevancy and interpretation of these phenomenons and its consequences in investment strategy. This work link empirical data gathered from equity markets to equity markets theory and investment strategy framework. Importance of the work lies in providing guidance to investors on capital allocation on equity markets. Utility of three investment strategies was evaluated in this work which were buy&hold (index), contrarian and momentum. Research is focused on research of mutual funds and custom portfolios in regard to their returns and investment strategy. In mutual funds research the funds were categorized on base of their investment strategy and performance parameters were evaluated to generalize which strategies provided the best results. In research of stock returns three portfolios were constructed and returns analyzed in search for mean reversion and autocorrelation patterrns. Using automation of some calculations provided by VBA programming language enabled processing of large data sets for more than 70 stock with daily trading data mostly back to 1990. Research output suggests superiority of buy&hold strategy which is linked to Effcient Market Hypothesis. Buy&hold was shown to produce best risk-adjusted returns. This apply to both mutual funds and stock portfolios returns. Some less common patterns were observed in stock portfolios and possible explanation suggested within Efficient Markets Hypothesis framework.

Introduction

Critical Review of Literature
Efficient Markets Hypothesis
Seasonalities and Excess Volatility
Behavioral Finance and New Views on Market Efficiency
Technical Analysis
Portfolio Theory and Risk Measure
Investment Strategies
Mutual funds

Methodology and Data Collection
Mutual Funds Investment Strategies
Portfolios Returns and Mean Reversion
Economic Background of the US Equity Market 1990 - 2008

Research Findings and Analysis
Mutual Funds Investment Strategies
Analyses of Funds with Distinctive Investment Strategies
Portfolios Returns and Mean Reversion
Conclusions and Recommendations

Abbreviations

Bibliography

Appendices

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Investigation of the Underlying Principle for Team Working Techniques and Team Working Effectiveness

Different techniques and skills are used to achieve an organisation’s goals and objectives. One of the techniques used by organisations is team working. This research paper presents an empirically based case study on an organisation’s team working techniques and also investigates the effectiveness of team working in the men’s apparel department. The organisation that has been examined for the purpose of this research is Company Z, a chain of departmental stores situated in Mumbai. Questionnaires were developed and sent to both, the staff and managers to analyse the team working effectiveness and techniques adapted to form and develop teams respectively. Structured interviews were also conducted among five (5) managers to understand the organisation’s rational for team working and techniques adapted to form and develop teams. Finally conclusions and recommendations have been presented in the end and areas for further research have also been suggested.

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background
What is team working?
Organisation chosen for the research
Research objectives
Significance of the study

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW & CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Virtual teams
Single discipline & Cross functional teams
Multi cultural teams, multi disciplinary teams and multi Professional teams
Tuckman’s model of team development
Conceptual Framework

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research design
Research methodology
Qualitative method
Quantitative method
Methods of data collection
Questionnaires
Data collection and sampling
Structured interviews
Secondary data
Research approach
Triangulation
Cross mapping matrix
Data analysis
Research credibility
Resources

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS
Findings
Research population
Administered questionnaires
Feedback on staff questionnaires
Feedback on manager’s questionnaires
Structured interviews
Response to find out why the introduction of team working
Response to know if team working improves performance
Response to determine the underlying principle/rational for team working and the techniques adapted to form and develop teams

CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
Conclusion
Limitations of the study
Recommendations
Feasibility, suitability and acceptability of this research

Bibliography

Appendices

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MBA Project on Customer Relationship Management CRM

CRM is an integrated effort to recognize, maintain, and build up a network with individual consumers and to constantly strengthen the network for mutual benefit of both sides, through interactive, individualized and value-added contacts over a period of time. The core theme of all CRM is its focus on co-operative and collaborative relationships between the firm and its customers, and/or other marketing actors. CRM is based on the premise that, by having a better understanding of the customers’ needs and desires we can keep them longer and sell more to them. An important facet of CRM is “customer selectivity”. Several research studies have shown not all customers are equally profitable. The company must therefore be selective and tailor its program and marketing efforts by segmenting and selecting appropriate customers for individual marketing programs. In some cases, it could even lead to “outsourcing of some customers” so that a company better utilize its resources on those customers it can serve better and create mutual value. However, the objective of a company is not to really prune its customer base but to identify appropriate customer programs and methods that would be profitable and create value for the firm and the customer.

Executive Summary

The Customers
Who are the customers?
Knowing the customers
Five New Approaches to Customer Value

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
What is CRM?
How it works?
CRM’s Evolution
Key Principles of CRM
Reduce operational cost
Enhance the service
Sell more services in the same package
Empower the customer

Benefits
Benefits for Organization
Benefits of CRM to Customers

CRM Status
Introduction
A Peep into the Past
The Present
The Future
Future Advantages of CRM

e-CRM
What is e-CRM?
e-CRM Vs CRM
Why employ e-CRM?
The six “E’s” of e-CRM
e-CRM Architecture

CRM – IT or Management
The New Face of Marketing
Integration of IT and Management for implementing successful CRM

Key Areas of CRM
Major areas of CRM
Marketing Automation
Sales force Automation:
Customer service

Implementation of CRM
Implementation of CRM
Call Centre
CRM Interaction Cycle

CRM and The Internet Age
CRM --In the Internet Age
Looking back: The Industrial Era Model
Looking beyond: The Internet Era Model

Integrated CRM
Integrated Customer Relationship Management

Myths About CRM
Myths of CRM- The 4 Deadly Sins
Myth-1: CRM is just about technology
Myth-2: CRM is just about improving sales
Myth-3: You can just buy a CRM package and bolt it onto your existing systems
Myth-4: A midsize company's best bet is to use the same CRM package its larger competitors do

CRM at ICICI Bank
CRM Roadmap
Need for CRM
How CRM changed the processes in ICICI?
How organizations optimize cost in CRM?
Loopholes
E-CRM
CRM at HDFC Bank
CRM Roadmap:
How CRM changed the processes in HDFC?
Benefits of CRM
Loopholes
CRM Conclusion
CRM at CORPORATION Bank
Benefits of CRM
CRM Roadmap
CRM at CITI Bank
Benefits of CRM
CRM Roadmap:
Loopholes

CRM Report Analysis
Report Analysis

Conclusions

Recommendation

Bibliography

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Analysis Into No Frills And Low Cost Airlines In India: Accounting For Growth, Performance & Comparison

Traveling by air had always been like an inspirational factor for the common Indians. Air – travel even a year back used to be like a distant dream to many of the India’s 200 million middle class community. The industry was always looked down once upon a time with only state-owned players enjoying a monopoly. In the last couple of year, the Indian Aviation sector has metamorphosed in a big way. A cluster of new airlines rolling out the warm hospitality of red carpets to the Indians, for who air travel was simply an Aspiration and a distant dream. These airlines are called the No-frills or low cost Airlines, the new buzz in the Indian Aviation sector. As the name suggest, the no-frill airlines are the de-glamorized version of the conventional or full service Airlines. In today’s scenario, venture capital of $10 million or less is enough to launch an airline. Private airlines are known to hire foreign pilots, get expatriates or retired personnel from the Air Force or PSU (Indian Airlines, Air India) airlines, in senior management positions to run the show. Further, they outsource such functions as ground handling, check-in, reservation, aircraft maintenance, catering, training, revenue accounting, IT infrastructure, loyalty and program management. The main hypothesis that the thesis revolves around is whether Indians are ready for frequent air travel thereby substituting railways after the introduction of No-frill airlines in India.

1. Introduction

2. Critical Review of Literature
Overview of the present Scenario of the Airline Industry in India
Key Players in the Civil Aviation Sector
No-Frills Low Cost Airlines in India
Business model of no-frills low cost airlines vis-à-vis full service airlines in India

3. Research Methodology
Objectives
Nature of Research
Research Hypothesis
Research Design
Key Target Respondents
Sample Size

4. Consumer- Insights from the Air Travelers

5. Research Process with Airline Officials

6. Factors influencing buying decision for No-frills airlines

7. The Most Popular Low-Cost Airline in India
Reasons for Kingfisher to enjoy a high Brand Equity
Marketing strategies of Air Deccan
Operational and Marketing strategies of Spice-Jet

8. Conclusion

9. Recommendations

Appendices

Bibliography

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To What Extent Do Retained Executive Search Firms Contribute To An Organisation's Business Performance?

The last two decades have been characterised by trends such as globalisation, technological breakthroughs and consequently an increasing competition for organisations of all shapes and sizes. Especially organisations that operate in a constantly changing environment have to work hard in order to keep up with their competitors. At the same time they have to face retiring baby-boomers and enormous geographic changes which basically create a war for talent. Selecting and recruiting talented C-level staff is crucial to an organisation‟s future and must be therefore deliberate and well arranged, whereas often time and money determine the decision. Executive search firms (ESF) could offer help and act as an external consultancy to find people who fit with the needs of the organisation. These third-party advisors, who are also known as head-hunters, could bring in the right balance of objectivity, comprehensive knowledge about a particular industry and help organisations to focus more on their core business. Apart from the fees ESFs charge, they could play an important role in terms of an organisation’s future and its business performance. This paper examines the advantages and disadvantages of retained ESFs who exclusively asked for advice when it comes to the recruitment of senior-level or rather C-level positions. The research shows that ESFs could indeed contribute positively to an organisation‟s business performance, provided that not only the external advisor is well chosen and assessed, but also that the organisation knows its own culture and needs.

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
Purpose
Megatrends And Their Impact On Organisations
Research Objectives
Structure

CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
Introduction
Definitions and Delimitation of Relevant Terms
Executive Search/Headhunting
Executive Search Consultants
Executive Search From A Broader Perspective
In-house vs. external
Rationale for Outsourcing
The Input of Headhunters to a Company
Concerns about Executive Search Firms
Money, Expertise and Time
Ethics in Executive Search
Summary

CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY
Introduction
Research Method
Data collection
Primary Data Collection Through Qualitative Research
Questionnaire
Procedure
Choice of Respondents
Secondary Data
Ethical Implications

CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS & ANALYSIS
Introduction
Discussion
Benefits
Major Concerns
People as Differentiator
The Impact of C-level Staff
Reducing Risk
Impact on Business Performance
Summary

CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION
Further Research
Limitations

References

Bibliography

Appendices

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Has European Union Assistance In Terms Of Better Regulations Improved For Small And Medium Sized Enterprises (SME’S) Since The Introduction Of The Mod

The consumer decision-making process illustrates the certain stages consumers experience before making a final purchase decision. In general, this decision-making process is acknowledge to be an extraordinarily complex model which is affected by numerous factors, such as personal, situational and socio-cultural influences. However, the decision-making process also varies according to the type of product (hedonic or utilitarian) and to the degree of involvement. This project provides an insight into the different stages of the consumer decision-making process and identifies possible factors which might influence this process. Moreover, the increasing significance of the Internet has considerably affected the consumers‟ decision-making process, in particular their pre-purchase behaviour. This can be mainly attributed to the wide variety of product information online available as well as to interactive decision aids, which allow consumers to compare different products in-depth. However, despite all the means provided by the Internet, there are still concerns associated with its use for information search or online purchase which might affect consumers‟ attitudes towards the use of the Internet in a negative way. When deciding which information sources to consult, factors such as trust and believability play an important role in the consumers‟ decision-making process.However, the study also demonstrates that event tough consumers regard certain information as credible, they prefer to consult a variety of information sources in order to minimise the risk associated with the purchase. Nevertheless, it has to be taken into consideration that the stages of the decision-making process vary according on the consumer‟s level of involvement, as consumers devote more effort to their information search and the different evaluation stages if the purchase is considered to be of high risk.

Introduction
Overview of the project
Aims and Objectives
Chapter Outlines

Literature Review
Introduction
Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
Definition
SMEs in the European Union (EU)
The Importance of SMEs for the European Economy
SME Barriers to Start-Up
SME Barriers
The Effect of Barriers on Entrepreneurship
Regulatory Burdens
Defining Regulation
Better Regulations in the EU
Reducing Administrative Burdens
Developing Future EU Legislation
Concluding Comments

Research Methodology
Introduction
Research Philosophies
Secondary Data
Advantages and Limitations of Secondary Data
Choice of Secondary Data
Primary Research Considerations and choices
Interview Advantages
Interview Limitations
Conduct of Research and Limitations
Ethics

Analysis and Findings
Introduction
Interviews - Background
Main Findings
Summary
Strategic Review of the Modern European SME Policy – Background
Main Findings
Summary

Conclusion
Introduction
Main Findings
Limitations of Research
Recommendations for Further Research

References

Bibliography

Appendices

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To What Extent Does The Internet Influence The Consumer Decision-Making Process?

The consumer decision-making process illustrates the certain stages consumers experience before making a final purchase decision. In general, this decision-making process is acknowledge to be an extraordinarily complex model which is affected by numerous factors, such as personal, situational and socio-cultural influences. However, the decision-making process also varies according to the type of product (hedonic or utilitarian) and to the degree of involvement. This project provides an insight into the different stages of the consumer decision-making process and identifies possible factors which might influence this process. Moreover, the increasing significance of the Internet has considerably affected the consumers‟ decision-making process, in particular their pre-purchase behaviour. This can be mainly attributed to the wide variety of product information online available as well as to interactive decision aids, which allow consumers to compare different products in-depth. However, despite all the means provided by the Internet, there are still concerns associated with its use for information search or online purchase which might affect consumers‟ attitudes towards the use of the Internet in a negative way. When deciding which information sources to consult, factors such as trust and believability play an important role in the consumers‟ decision-making process.However, the study also demonstrates that event tough consumers regard certain information as credible, they prefer to consult a variety of information sources in order to minimise the risk associated with the purchase. Nevertheless, it has to be taken into consideration that the stages of the decision-making process vary according on the consumer‟s level of involvement, as consumers devote more effort to their information search and the different evaluation stages if the purchase is considered to be of high risk.

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
Introducing the topic
Aims and Objectives
Summary of chapters

CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
Introduction: Understanding the consumer decision-making process
The consumer decision-making process
Problem recognition and information search
Evaluation of alternatives and purchase
Post-purchase evaluation
The degree of involvement
The influence of hedonic and utilitarian goods on consumer's decision-making process
Other influences on the customer decision-making process
The influence of the Internet on the consumer decision-making process
Reasons for online shopping
The impact of interactive decision making aids on the consumer decision-making process
Advantages of online shopping
Constraints of online shopping
Conclusion

CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY
Research approach
Data sources and collection method
Secondary data
Primary Research
Research type
Data collection
Questionnaire design
Advantages of questionnaires for primary data collection
Limitations of primary data collection/ questionnaires
Sample
Pilot testing
Ethical implications

CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
Profile of the sample
Consumer‟s decision-making process: Use of information sources
Believability of information sources
The media
Recommendations from friends / family members
Salespeople/ Experts
Review in consumer reports
Online recommendations
Influences of information sources on the consumer decision-making process
Word of mouth (WOM) recommendation
Newspaper advertisements and TV commercials
Review in consumer reports
Online recommendations
General online shopping behaviour
Consumers online purchase behaviour
Product recommendations
Reasons and perceived advantages of online shopping
Time-saving and availability
Convenient and increased choice
Price
Constraints of online shopping
Security issues and financial risk
Lack of physical contact
Other constraints
Conclusion

CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS
Concluding statement
Limitation of the study
Further research

References

Bibliography

Appendices

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The Influence Of Culture On Negotiations In The Context Of International Business

International trading and business are becoming a more and more important part of nowadays globalising world. It seems to become easier to do international business thanks to technology but the main problem persists: misunderstanding due to cultural differences. This dissertation discusses the effects of culture on negotiations in an international business context and identifies which areas of negotiations are influenced by culture and to what extent. The study reveals that this topic is multi-layered and that culture affects negotiation in many ways, covering all areas involved in negotiations. It suggests that cultural influences persist during the entire negotiation, from preparation to after-sales contact. It also highlights that knowledge about this is mostly gained through experience and observation. Furthermore, this study discusses more detailed the influence of culture during the interaction of parties by using a framework. This discussion leads to the suggestion that at this stage, cultural influence is very strong as in influences not only the inter-personal behaviour of the parties but also the more business related factors. This study concludes that culture influences international negotiations and that it plays a major role. It influences the entire process of negotiation and is subject of misunderstandings as it is difficult to learn how to deal with it.

1 Introduction
Reason for choice of topic
Academic objectives of dissertation
Outline of chapters

2 Literature review
Definitions
Who is supposed to adapt?
Choice of the international negotiator
The actual negotiation
Non-task interaction
Status distinction
Impression formation accuracy
Interpersonal attraction
Task-related interaction
Exchange of information
Persuasion and bargaining strategy
Concession making and agreement
Comments on the interactive part of negotiation process framework
Non-task related interaction: respect of business protocol
Task-related interaction: persuasion and bargaining strategies

3 Methodology
Scope of concern
Secondary research
Advantages of secondary data
Limitations and disadvantages of secondary data
Primary research
Why using non-standardised or semi structured interviews?
Design and implementation
Choosing the interviewees
Writing the interview guideline
First contact and implementation of the interviews
Disadvantages of administering interviews by phone
Sources of bias
Ethics of research

4 Findings
What makes a good negotiator?
To what extent are language skills important?
How do you prepare the negotiation?
To what extent do you decide the strategy you are going to use with regard to the culture of your counterpart?
Assuming the relationship is long-term, how do you cultivate the relationship?
Problems encountered during international negotiations
Does culture influence negotiations?

5 Analysis
The golden rule: the buyer adapts to the seller
The international negotiator: skills and selection criteria
Discussion of the framework “the interactive part of the cross-cultural sales negotiation process”
Status distinction
Interpersonal attraction
Criticism: respect of the business protocol
Criticism: persuasion and bargaining strategies

6 Conclusion
Review of objectives
Research conclusions
Limitations of the study
Further research possibilities

Reference list

Bibliography

Appendices

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Segment The Chinese Consumers Who Are Willing To Pay More For Greenfood

Since 1992’s economic reform, China’s retail sales has kept rising and a large number of western supermarkets have been built up in this country. However, after more than ten years’ expanding and developing, western supermarkets fail to win the major share in China’s retailing market. A substantial proportion of total revenues are still accounted by traditional wet markets. This fact may be unbelievable to most people. This paper attempts to provide a understanding of Chinese consumers, find out the reasons why they prefer wet markets rather than western supermarkets. Literature review provides the concept of consumer behavior as well as the models on consumers’ decision making. The primary research focuses on the population in south-eastern China and attempts to find out how the internal and external factors would influence their decisions. The findings suggest two main reasons why Chinese consumers favor wet markets over supermarket: western supermarkets can not fit Chinese consumers’ needs well because of cultural differences; customers are difficult to access to these large supermarkets duo to the limitations of distribution. The limitations of research caused by the sample and research area should be in consideration for further study.

Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: literature Review
Demographic characteristics: age, gender, income and education
Psychographic characteristics: knowledge/ecoliteracy
Psychographic characteristics: values
Psychographic characteristics: attitudes
Behavioural variables
Factors that affect the willingness to pay for environmental protection and food quality and safety
Segmentation by environment attitudes
Possible demographic differences
Green consumption behaviour
Chinese culture value

Chapter Three: Research Methodologies and Methods
Quantitative research versus Qualitative research
Questionnaire
Sampling & sample size
Questionnaire design
Translation questions

Chapter Four: - Findings
Sample profile
Sample knowledge/ecoliteracy
Sample attitudes/preference
Sample values
Sample behaviours
Sample price sensitivity

Chapter Five: - Discussion
Comparison of the two demographic profiles
Comparison of the two psychological profiles
The impact of behaviors

Chapter Six: - Conclusion

Reference

Appendix

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Supermarkets Versus Wet Market: An Investigation Into Chinese Consumerism

Since the 1990s economic reform, China’s retail sales has kept increasing exponentially and a large number of western supermarkets have been built up in this country. However, after more than ten years‟ expanding and developing, western supermarkets fail to win the major share in China’s retailing market. A substantial proportion of total revenues are still accounted by traditional wet markets. This fact may be unbelievable to most people. This paper attempts to provide an understanding of Chinese consumers, find out the reasons why they prefer wet markets rather than western supermarkets. Literature review provides the concept of consumer behaviour as well as the models on consumers’ decision making. The primary research focuses on the population in south-eastern China and attempts to find out how the internal and external factors would influence their decisions. The findings suggest two main reasons why Chinese consumers favour wet markets over supermarket: western supermarkets can not fit Chinese consumers’ needs well because of cultural differences; customers are difficult to access to these large supermarkets duo to the limitations of distribution. The limitations of research caused by the sample and research area should be in consideration for further study.

Chapter 1 Introduction
Why to choose this topic
Wet market versus supermarket
Chapter outline

Chapter 2 Literature Review
Definition
Reason for studying consumer behaviour
Models of consumer behaviour
The factors that influence consumer behaviour
Previous research
Conclusion

Chapter 3 Methodology
Introduction
Secondary research
Philosophy of science
Primary research
Limitations of research
Further research
Ethical consideration

Chapter 4 Findings
Introduction
Sampling
Internal factors
External factors
Some comparisons

Chapter 5 Discussion
Introduction
Similarities and differences with previous research
The internal influences
The external influences
Identify the most significant influences
Conclusion

Chapter 6 Conclusion
Conclusion
Final points
Further study

References

Bibliography

Appendix

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A Cultural Exploration of Slovenia in General and in Terms of Business Affairs

This text deals with Slovenia's culture in general and in terms of business affairs. Literature of contemporary culture theorists is critically discussed. Focus is set on Geert Hofstede´s cultural dimensions and Edward T. Hall‟s theory of high –and low-context cultures. Slovenia has been evaluated or respectively, re-evaluated according to these theories and consequently an original theory of Slovenia‟s culture has been designed. For this purpose, a small and thus not representative sample of the Slovenian population has been interviewed and these findings have been analysed on the basis of Hall's and Hofstede's work. The outcome of this work differs from Hofstede´s results and provides an end result of Slovenia being mainly low-context.

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
Topic and Purpose
Context
Boundaries – Focus of the Study
Aims and Objectives
Constraints
Outline of the Chapters

CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
Introduction
Geert Hofstede´s Work
Further Notes to Hofstede´s Dimensions
Critics on Hofstede´s Work
Justification for Using Hofstede´s Work in this Study
Edward T. Hall’s Work
Critics on Hall‟s Work
Justification for Using Hall‟s Work in this Study

CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY
Ethics
Informed Consent and Explanations of the Interview
Writing up the Findings
Language and Translation
Intellectual Property Rights
Selection, Explanation and Justification of the Research Methods
Primary Research
Qualitative Method
Interpretivist Philosophy of the Research
Deductive Approach to the Research
Snowball Sampling Method
Method: Semi-Structured, In-Depth Interview
Procedure of the Interviews
Initial Interview and its Failure
Design of the Actual Interview
The Actual Interview
Limitations and Advantages of the used Methodology
Representativeness
Telephone Interview
Field-Notes
Translation and Amateur Research
Bias

CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS & ANALYSIS
Power Distance
Collectivism
Uncertainty Avoidance
Long-term Versus Short-term Orientation
Masculinity Versus Femininity
High-context Versus Low-context
The Openness of Messages
The Locus of Control
Appliance of Mimics and Gestures
Expression of Reactions
Attitudes towards Family
Attitudes towards time

CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION
Conclusion from the Data Analysed
Hofstede´s Dimensions
Hall‟s Cultural Factor‟s
Application of Relevant Theory to the Data Gathered
Conclusion from Data Related to Prior Research of Others

Has the Aim Been Achieved?
Need for Further Research
Reference List

Bibliography

Appendices

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To What Extent Do Companies In The Solar Electricity Sector Apply Corporate Philanthropy

The commitment for Corporate Social Responsibility is voluntary and exceeds obligations imposed by law or expectations of society with the aim to improve the welfare of the community. Its importance is reflected in the fact that highly recognised institutions like the EU or UN have addressed this issue. Corporate Philanthropy, an element of Corporate Social Responsibility, represents in this context the opportunity for companies to return something to the community or society in which they are operating by giving direct donations or conducting a range of other philanthropic initiatives. Thus they behave like corporate citizens and can improve the company’s image. If applied in a strategic way, Corporate Philanthropy can even become a powerful instrument in order to satisfy the company’s stakeholders or create competitive advantage. This study aims to provide an insight into the application of Corporate Philanthropy in the PV solar electricity sector. Therefore, the primary research concentrates on companies in this sector. The aim hereby is to elaborate firstly if these companies get involved with philanthropic initiatives in general and secondly if they apply Corporate Philanthropy in a strategic way. In this context an illustration of the companies’ philanthropic initiatives as well as motivation for their philanthropic commitment will be outlined. The research shows that Corporate Philanthropy is applied by the majority of the companies in the PV solar electricity sector and hence they use this opportunity to return something to the community or society. However, there remains ambiguity concerning the clear strategic approach used when implementing the philanthropic initiatives. Further research is recommended in order to gain a deeper understanding of the implementation of Corporate Philanthropy in the PV solar electricity sector.

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
Corporate Philanthropy & Corporate Social Responsibility
Purpose of dissertation
Aims and objectives
Summary of chapters

CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
Introduction
Corporate Social Responsibility
Definition of Corporate Social Responsibility
Necessity for applying Corporate Social Responsibility
Opponents
Advocates
Corporate Philanthropy
Definition
Why do companies apply Corporate Philanthropy?
The financial debate
Strategic philanthropy
Motivation for a strategic approach
Conditions for success
Summary

CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY
Introduction
Secondary data
Advantages
Limitations
Primary Research
Questionnaire
Questionnaire design
Sending the questionnaire
Processing of the data
Sample
Advantages of questionnaires
Limitations of questionnaires
Ethical implications

CHAPTER 4 PRIMARY RESEARCH: FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
Introduction
Profile of the respondents
Corporate Philanthropy in the PV solar electricity sector
Application of Corporate Philanthropy: Yes or no?
Duration of philanthropic commitment
The components of Corporate Philanthropy
Philanthropic initiatives
Cooperation with institutions
Communication of philanthropic initiatives
Philanthropic commitment and economic performance
The decision-making process
Decision makers
Determination of budget
Criteria for selection of philanthropic initiatives
Stakeholder approach
Underlying motivation
Examples of philanthropic initiatives
Summary

CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION
Further research
Limitations
References

Bibliography

Appendices

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The Rivalry And Integration Strategies Of Global Stock Exchanges

The increase in competition of stock exchanges, due mainly to the transformation of the securities markets, has led to mergers, technological agreements among existing exchanges, price wars, takeovers, and the creation of new exchanges, even within the
same country. Recently, exchanges have also faced competition from quasi-exchanges, which are also known as ECNs. They not only free-ride on the process of listing given that they generally trade only securities listed on other exchanges, but also on the price-discovery process facilitating members of exchanges to direct trade to them. ECNs are increasingly cannibalizing the businesses of the existing stock exchanges. The evolution of new financial instruments, the falling monopoly of banks as a source of direct funding to borrowers and of direct investment for investors, the tremendous improvement in information technology, and a greater financial culture among common people as well as the fluctuations in interest, price, and exchange rate due to the oil crises have caused the increasing importance of securities markets in the financial system. As the capital markets become increasingly globalized, investors have more choices and are demanding better trading facilities, market efficiency and quality from stock exchanges. To meet challenges, exchanges have to accelerate the construction of the market information infrastructure, rivalry among Europe’s stock exchanges emphasizes more on cooperation of trading technology than anything else. In Asia, the concept of forming a full financial service group within each market is the main consideration. Exchanges have recognized that faced with the challenge to respond commercially to competitors, they needed to become traded companies themselves. The underlying assumption is that, in the long run, only the most efficient exchanges should survive, trading stocks from other European countries and offering the most innovative and competitive financial instruments.

1. Introduction

2. Review of Literature
What is an Exchange
Globalisation of Financial Markets
Nature of Competition of Stock Exchanges
The Effects of Increasing Competition among Stock Exchanges
Revolutionary changes of Technology in the Securities Market
Integration of Stock Exchanges
Theoretical Influences

3. Methodology
Aim of the Project
Objectives of the Project
Why I am Interested in this Topic
Background
The General Approach
Data Collection
Criticisms of the Sources
Validity
Reliability

4. Qualitative Analysis
Analysis of Industry Dynamics
Case Studies
International Exchange- LSE- A Prototype of Horizontal Merger
Hong Kong Stock Exchange – A Typical Model of a Vertical Merger
Implications and Discussion

5.0 Conclusion

Appendices
Appendix 1 – Interviewees & Questions
Appendix 2 – Interview Key Points
Appendix 3 – Future Strategies of LSE & HKSE

Bibliography

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The Influences on Students when Choosing a Bank Account

When first deciding on what topic to research it was logical to choose a topic that had relevance and an interest to the author. In today‟s society it is almost the norm for everyone to have a bank account and so it is a vital sector in the UK Economy. However, one thriving aspect of the banking sector is the student market. This market is continually growing and banks are competing to gain customers whilst they are young. Almost every student has had some contact with banks and their attempts to gain customer loyalty. However, in the academic world there is a lack of research on the decision-making process that students go through when deciding on their bank account. This study is an attempt to build on the current research available and make relevant comparisons. There are several objectives attached to this study. The first task is to review and analyse the current literature on the student market and their decision-making process with regards financial institutions. Once this has been achieved hypotheses will be made and a methodology drawn up in order to conduct further research. Primary research will conducted in the form of questionnaires to analyse the decision-making process of undergraduates and graduates. From this research the findings will be discussed and conclusions will be made.

1. Introduction
Why This Subject?
Objectives
Chapter Summary

2. Literature Review
Introduction
Student Market
Past Research
Recent Research
Student Packages
Effect of Debt Levels
Importance of Loyalty
Graduate Research
Graduate Packages
Consumer Behaviour
Hypothesis

3. Methodology
Primary Research
Data Collection
Questionnaire Design
Sampling
Graduate Research
Secondary Research

4. Findings and Analysis
Undergraduate Results
Regional Results
Graduate Findings and Analysis

5. Conclusion
Findings
Undergraduates
Graduates
Limitations
Further Research

References

Bibliography

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Are Entrepreneurs Born Or Are They Made?

The aim of this study is to develop and support previous theory as well as answer the question Are Entrepreneurs Born or Are They Made? In progressing this, the author researched into a variety of different sources including both primary and secondary data. The secondary information led the author to comprise a number of different hypotheses where the primary research was then focused. The research concluded that entrepreneurs are mainly born rather than made, stating that entrepreneurial characteristics are more visible in the entrepreneur‟s personality in comparison to others. The findings portray this general understanding but also states for these results to be completely reliable then further research may be needed.

Chapter 1 – Introduction
Background
Focus of Study
Aims and Objectives
Structure

Chapter 2 – Literature Review
Introduction
Entrepreneurs Defined
Can we define the entrepreneur’s characteristics?
A more sociological approach to entrepreneurship
Impetus for entrepreneurship characteristics
Impetus for Entrepreneurship
Situational Characteristics
Can we teach entrepreneurship?
Are Entrepreneurs born or made?
Conclusion

Chapter 3 – Methodology
Introduction
Research Methods
Quantitative vs. Qualitative
Primary vs. Secondary
Procedure
Self Completion Questionnaire
Questionnaire Development
Semi Structured Interview
Sample Group
Bias
Ethical Issues
Conclusion

Chapter 4 – Findings and Analysis
Introduction
Initial Findings
Hypotheses Testing
Hypothesis 1
Hypothesis 2
Hypothesis 3
Hypothesis 4
Hypothesis 5
Questionnaire Summary
Interview Summary
Limitations

Chapter 5 – Synthesis
Introduction
Hypothesis 1
Hypothesis 2
Hypothesis 3
Hypothesis 4
Hypothesis 5
Conclusion

Chapter 6 – Conclusions
Introduction
Recall of Objectives
Investigation Findings
Limitations of the Study
Recommendations for Further Research

References

Bibliography

Appendix Section

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The Revised Combined Code And Corporate Governance – An Empirical Study Of FTSE 350 Companies In The Travel And Leisure Industry

The author seeks to identify trends in compliance with the revised Combined Code of Corporate Governance in 2003 with emphasis on provisions regarding NEDs through the study of annual reports published for the 3 consecutive years after the implementation of the revised Combined Code of Corporate Governance. The compliance with revisions made to the Code in 2006 regarding the composition of the remuneration committee will also be accounted for. The results gathered will be discussed against theoretical frameworks to indicate whether companies are pursuing an agency theorist‟s perspective or a resource dependence theorist‟s perspective to the role of NEDs.

1. Introduction
Research overview
Research objectives
Research question
Research outline
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Literature review
Chapter 3: Methodology and methods
Chapter 4: Analysis and discussion
Chapter 5: Conclusions
Summary

2. Literature review
Introduction
Agency theory
The revised Combined Code of Corporate Governance 2003
Separation of the roles of Chairman and CEO, and the independent Chairman
Board composition
Subcommittees
Resource dependence theory
CEO duality
The role of NEDs
Conclusion
Summary

3. Methodology and methods
Introduction
Methodology
Phenomenology versus positivism
Inductive versus deductive
Primary versus secondary data
Importance of secondary research
Methods
Sampling
Data collection
Data analysis
Disambiguating rules
Ethical issues
Limitations
Summary

4. Analysis and discussion
Introduction
Overall analysis of the 6 key provisions
Separation of the roles of Chairman and CEO
The independent Chairman
Board balance
Subcommittees
Nomination committee
Remuneration committee
Audit committee
Conclusions
Summary

5. Synopsis and conclusions
Introduction
Final comments
Provision A.2.1 – Separation of the role of Chairman and CEO
Provision A.2.2 – The independent Chairman
Provision A.3.2 – Board balance
Provision A.4.1 – Nomination committee
Provision B.2.1 – Remuneration committee
Provision C.3.1 – Audit committee
Overall
Limitations of research
Further research

6. Appendices
Non-compliant companies
Sample companies
NED independence test
Data tables
Data tables: company specific
Notes to data
Disambiguating rules
Statement of learning

7. References

8. Bibliography

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To What Extent Does The Country Of Production Dictate The Pricing Strategy Employed By A Small Wine Company When Selling To The UK Market?

The UK wine market has reached the maturity stage of the business life cycle. Despite this, it continues to experience change as a result of a shift in wine importer patterns and consumer tastes. These factors, exemplified by the effects of reduced barriers to entry, serve to provide a dynamic environment incorporating copious areas ripe for investigation. Producer pricing strategy is at the core of the change in the wine market, consequently it has been selected as the focus of this dissertation. The purpose of this dissertation is to establish and analyse the rationale of small wine producers when determining the price at which to sell their wine to the UK market. Moreover, it aims to discover the degree to which producers from different countries use origin as the primary determinant in devising a pricing strategy. Profit is the direct financial consequence of the pricing decision, either in the long or short term (Cannon and Morgan, 1990). Hence, this project will also determine the potential profitability and longevity of the producers under study.

1. Terms of Reference

2. Generic Information
Consumption in the UK wine market
Problems facing small wineries

3. Case Study Methodology

4. Case Studies
Hamble Valley Vineyard: England (UK)
Earl Jonqueres d’Oriola: France
Imperial Order Limited: Georgia

5. Discussion and Conclusion

6. References

7. Bibliography

8. Appendices
Ansoff’s Matrix
Cost and mark-up data
Graph illustrating cost and mark-up data
Questionnaire issued to owners

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Geographic Information System (GIS) Mapping Solution For Job Task Management

In today’s era, different facilities have become available for building customized application that uses available maps and its extensive database. In this perspective, it would be very helpful if a commercial application could have been developed using an easy to use Maps API. The customized application can be developed that is easy to use for general public to request their job tasks and field operatives to get and maintain allocated job tasks details easily. A successful creation of application should provide the easy to use interface for public to find the required location on the map and submit job task request specifying its location and few details to city council. It should also facilitate the field operatives to login their own account and allow them to view allocated job tasks and maintain updated details related to allocated job tasks. The application has been developed in such a way that it provides user friendly interface for job task requester and all functionalities which are easy to use and available in worker’s log in for maintaining job task details.

1. Introduction

2. Relevant technologies and concepts
Google Maps API
Google Ajax Search API
Yahoo Maps API
Microsoft Virtual Earth API
PHP
Perl
ASP
MySQL
PostgreSQL
Oracle Database
JavaScript
DHTML
Summary

3. Design and Implementation of application
Design of the application
Database design of the application
Submitting the job task request form
Allocating the job tasks
Viewing the allocated job tasks
Viewing the completed job tasks
Updating the location and details related to job tasks
Updating the job task status
Implementation of different web pages involved in application
The web page to submit job task requests
The web page for job task allocation to workers
The web page to add different workers
The web page to view different allocated job tasks to different workers
The web page to update the location and details of allocated jobtasks
The web page to update the allocation status of job tasks
The web page to view completed job tasks
The web page to login the application as a user
The web page to view different allocated jobtasks to worker
The web page to update the location and details of allocated jobtasks
The web page to update the status of allocated job task
The web page to view the completed job tasks

4. Illustration of Geographic Information System Mapping Solution
Demonstration of `Request Job task` web page
Demonstration of `User Account Login` web page
Demonstration of `Allocate jobtasks to workers` web page
Demonstration of `Worker Information Input Form` web page
Demonstration of `View Allocated jobtasks’ location and details` web page
Demonstration of `Update the location and details of jobtask` web page
Demonstration of `Update the status of allocated jobtasks` web page
Demonstration of `View Completed jobtasks’ location and details` web page
Demonstration of `View Allocated jobtasks’ location and details` web page
Demonstration of `Update the location and details of jobtask` web page
Demonstration of `Update the status of allocated jobtasks` web page
Demonstration of `View Completed jobtasks’ location and details` web page
Evaluation of the application

5. Future Work

6. Conclusion

References

Appendix A - Source code example

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Comparative Analysis of Banks and Market Potential of Savings Accounts in India

The Indian banking industry is going through turbulent times. With the lowering of entry barriers and blurring product lines of banks and non-banks since the financial sector reforms, banks are functioning increasingly under competitive pressures emanating from within the banking system, from non- banking institutions, and from the domestic and international capital markets. India’s banking sector is growing at a fast pace. India has become one of the most preferred banking destinations in the world. The reasons are numerous: the economy is growing at a rate of 8%, Bank credit is growing at 30% per annum and there is an ever-expanding middle class of between 250 and 300 million people (larger than the population of the US) in need of financial services. All this enables double-digit returns on most asset classes which is not so in a majority of other countries. Foreign banks in India achieving a return on assets (ROA) of 3%, their keen interest in expanding their businesses is understandable. Indian markets provide growth opportunities, which are unlikely to be matched by the mature banking markets around the world.

Currently, India has 88 scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) - 28 public sector banks (that is with the Government of India holding a stake), 29 private banks (these do not have government stake; they may be publicly listed and traded on stock exchanges) and 31 foreign banks. They have a combined network of over 53,000 branches and 17,000 ATMs. According to a report by ICRA Limited, a rating agency, the public sector banks hold over 75 percent of total assets of the banking industry, with the private and foreign banks holding 18.2% and 6.5% respectively. In order to gain further access to the global trade, the government is expanding the Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s) with many countries (like Singapore, Thailand, and other ASEAN members). After the Comprehensive Economic Co-Operation Agreement (CECA) with Singapore, the government is now planning a similar deal with the 25-member European Union. The EU is also likely to ask India to liberalize its financial sector on the lines of the India-Singapore CECA.

1. Executive Summary

2. Background of the Study

3. Company Analysis
Company Profile
SWOT Analysis

4. Problem Definition

5. Objective

6. Scope

7. Research Methodology

8. Market Profile
Delhi
Gurgaon
Noida
Greater Noida

9. Primary Data Collection Methods

10. Findings & Analysis
Graphical Analysis
Test Estimation of Market Potential Using z-Test

11. Conclusion

12. Recommendations

13. Limitations

14. References

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A Strategic Analysis Of The UK E-Retail Industry

This dissertation is concerned with the strategic analysis of UK E-retail industry. It contains information about UK E-retail industry and is very basis of this dissertation. E-retailing occupies an eminent in the economies of all modern societies. The E-retail sector changing at an ever-increasing rate and this is leading to greater competitor activity. Such activity leads to need to improve the way companies approach E-retail marketing.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Introduction
Background
Online Retailing in the UK: An Overview
Research Area
Objective
Limitations

Chapter 2: Research Methodology
Introduction
Research Methodology
Purpose of Research
Exploratory Research
Descriptive Research
Explanatory Research
Research Approach
Research Strategy
Primary Data Collection
Case study Method
Steps in Case study Method
Advantages & Disadvantages of Case study
Questionnaires
Secondary Data Collection
Data Analysis

Chapter 3: Literature Review
Introduction
Growing Importance of E-retail Industry
E-marketing Defined
Online Retailing
E-retailing
The Features of E-retailing
E-retail mix
Process of Internationalization
International Development Position
Trends in Retail Internationalization
The Strategic Dimension
Consumer Behaviour
Customer Satisfaction
Buyer-Seller Relationship
Competitive Analysis
Innovation
Strategic Perspective
Brand Perspective
Brand Extension

Chapter: 4 Secondary Research
UK: E-retail Sector- Scale & Scope
PEST Analysis
Political Structure & Trends
Economic Structure & Trends
Socio-Cultural & Life style Aspirations
Demographic Structure & Trends
Product & Process Innovations
Case-Study Analysis
Company1: J Sainsbury
Company2: Tesco

Chapter: 5 Primary Research Analyses

Chapter: 6 Generic Findings and Conclusions
Conclusions
Secondary Research Findings
Primary Research Findings

Chapter: 7 Conclusion & Strategic Options
Conclusion & Recommendations
Future of E-retailing

Bibliography & References

Appendix
Questionnaire

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Evaluate the effectiveness of Absence Management Policies & Procedures In Private And Public Sector Organisations

The research in this dissertation will highlight and achieve the aims and objectives as set out below. The aim and objectives were achieved through carrying out effective desk and field research. The aim will be achieved by meeting the following objectives;

* Evaluate Absence Management Theories through carrying out effective desk research.
* Evaluate and Discuss the Private sector’s Absence Management Policies and Procedures.
* Evaluate and Discuss the Public Sectors Absence Management Policies and Procedures
* Discuss Public Sector Absence Management theories in comparison to Theory.
* Discuss Private sector’s Absence Management theories in comparison to Theory.
* Analyse findings from interviews and discuss different HR manager’s views on effectiveness of Absence Management Policies and Procedures.
* Draw conclusions on effectiveness of Absence Management Policies

In order to achieve the above aim and objectives, a specific research methodology was chosen. A broad literature review will be conducted in order to draw out the key issues in “Absence Management” and to meet the objectives through the use of secondary data.

Chapter 1- Introduction
Aims and Objectives

Chapter 2 – Review of Literature
Introduction
Managing Absence
Managers Role in Absence Management
Return to Work Interviews
Differences between Public and Private Sectors
Dismissal for Short-term Absenteeism
Issues within Absence Management
Conclusion

Chapter 3 - Methodology of Field Research
Introduction
Inductive and Deductive Reasoning
Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
Selection of Field Research
Samples
Analysis
Difficulties and Limitations
Conclusion

Chapter 4 - Field Research Analysis
Introduction
Surveys
Findings
Findings from Employee Survey
Findings from Line Managers Survey
Findings from Interviews with Human Resource Managers
Conclusion

Chapter 5 - Conclusion
Conclusion
Recommendations

Chapter 6 – References

Chapter 7 – Bibliography

Chapter 8 - Appendix
Appendix 1 – Employee Survey
Appendix 2 – Line Manager Survey

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Stock Market Reactions To Merger & Acquisition Announcements: UK & US Evidence

There have been many studies observing the effects of mergers and acquisitions on the stock price of target and bidding firms. This paper investigates returns to UK and US firms announcing mergers and acquisitions between 2002 and 2004. The returns to both bidder and target firms are examined. Further to this, variables explaining the returns are investigated. The study employs event study methodology, and uses the market model to observe abnormal returns to firms on the announcement day. As anticipated, the findings suggest that target shareholders in both the UK and US earn significant positive returns. However, the returns to bidders in the UK and US vary. UK acquirers earn zero adjusted returns while US acquirers suffer significantly negative returns on announcement. With regard to the method of payment, US targets receiving pure cash offers experienced the highest returns, followed by mixed deals and pure stock deals; this evidence supports the information content hypothesis. Unexpectedly, in the UK, targets receiving bids compromising of cash and stock (mixed) observed the highest returns. A cross section regression analysis was employed to identify the determinants of abnormal returns on announcement. The findings show that UK targets benefit from higher returns when offered larger premiums. Meanwhile, US targets achieved higher returns when involved in pure cash and hostile bids. Furthermore, acquirers in the UK and US both experience positive wealth gains when involved in pure cash bids, the evidence also suggests that related acquisitions are not value creating.

1.0 Introduction

2.0 Literature Review and Hypothesis Setting
Forms of Acquisitions
Classification of Mergers and Acquisitions
Motives for Mergers & Acquisitions
Failure of M&A’s

3.0 Data Collection and Sample
Data Collection
Sample Characteristics

4.0 Methodology
Efficient Market Hypothesis
Event Study Methodology
Regression Methodology
Limitations

5.0 Results
Targets
Acquirers

6.0 Conclusion

7.0 Appendices

8.0 References

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An Examination of Brand Management in the Global Economy with Specific Reference to Sports Brands and Sponsorship

Due to the growth in competition in contemporary media environments sports organisations are becoming more and more preoccupied with their image. As a result of the high profile and fame that a sports personality attributes, they are utilised to help brands create a competitive advantage, allowing their advertisements to stand out in today’s cluttered media environment. It is recognised that this integrated communication strategy has the power to influence consumers, leading to the change in perception of a brand’s corporate identity and image by sustaining loyalty through purchase behaviour. The aim of this dissertation is to distinguish transnational purchase intentions as a repercussion of examining consumer perceptions towards celebrity endorsements between Italy and the UK. Secondary research was derived from an amalgamation of Internet sources, online databases, newspaper articles as well as academic journals in which a critical review of the current literature was examined. In order to grasp contemporary consumer behaviour and substantiate secondary sources, primary research was carried out in the form of triangulation using interviews, questionnaires and focus groups.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Background
Research Aims and Objectives
Research Questions
Rationale for Research Topic
Design of Research Topic

Chapter 2: Literature Review
Source Endorsements and the Brand
The Positive Effects of Source Endorsements
The Product Match Up Hypothesis
The Negative Effects of Source Endorsements
Source Endorsements and the Consumers
Source Credibility Model
Expertise
Brand Slam
Trustworthiness
Source Attractiveness Model
F.R.E.D.
Social Identity Theory
Image Transfer Model
Meaning Transfer and Cultural Foundations
Conclusion
Conceptual Framework
Consumer Antecedents

Chapter 3: Research Design
Research Approach
Research Philosophy
Research Strategy
Data Collection Methods
Interviews
Pilot Interview
The Interview
Data Captive & Analysis of Interview
Focus Groups
Rationale behind the Focus Groups
Size of the Focus Groups
Composition and setting of The Focus Groups
Plan for the Focus Groups
Content of the Focus Groups
Data Capture and Analysis
Limitations
Questionnaires
Pilot Study
On-line questionnaires
Content of Questionnaires
Data Capture and Analysis
Limitations

Chapter 4: Analysis
Analysis of Results
Biographical Findings from Questionnaire
Research Question 1
Advertising Recall and Recognition
Focus Groups
Questionnaire
Brand Awareness
Publicity
Attitudes towards ‘Source Endorsement Campaigns’
Research Question 2
Social Identity Theory
Research Question 3
Social Credibility Model
Attractiveness
Expertise
Credibility
Familiarity
Trustworthiness
Sports
Media
Research Question 4

Chapter 5: Conclusion
Introduction
Summary
Research Question 1
Research Question 2
Research Question 3
Research Question 4
Personal Reflection

References

Further Reading

Appendices

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Is Culture Management A Symbol Of Management Progression Or Merely Another Form Of Management Control?

This research paper examines the importance of culture management within the financial services industry. The research uses a case study approach to discover whether culture management is prevalent in the UK banking sector. The comparative analysis focuses on the retail and investment banking sectors in particular. It reviews culture literature to identify key relationships between culture management, emotional intelligence and knowledge management. It examines the extent to which organisational structures and policies impact on the management of organisational culture. The paper analyses the key themes within cultural literature and demonstrates the importance placed by the banks on processes such as recruitment, training and development. The paper finds that managing culture is seen as a source of competitive advantage at investment bank ‘Y’ (IBY) whereas retail bank ‘X’ (RBX) primarily focuses on maximising customer service and meeting sales targets.

Research Objectives:

1. This research will aim to investigate whether culture management is merely a popularised theory that has a limited role within financial institutions or whether it is a concept that has been adopted by senior management within their recruitment, training and retention programmes.
2. The primary research will provide evidence into whether the individuals’ careers and/or social lives are managed by their respective places of work. This will either reinforce or dispute the view that culture management has led to a ‘blurring of boundaries’ whereby employees feel a sense of loyalty and obligation to their employers. The significance of such a feeling is that work ends up consuming almost all of their leisure time.
3. There are also vital links that will be explored between the development of management and the evolving structure of societies and organisations.

1.0 Introduction
Research Question
Research Objectives
Research Site
Investment and Retail Banks
A Preface to Culture Management
A Preface to Organisational Culture

2.0 Literature Review
Defining Culture
Cultural Change within Organisations
Strategic Implementation Of The Cultural Change Processes
Culture and Managerial Control: A Neglected Area Within Cultural Literature?
The Importance of Evolving Organisational Structures
The Blurring Of Boundaries
The Resistance of Cultural Controls
The Importance of the Consultancy Case Study
The Typology of Organisational Culture: Knowledge Management
The Typology of Organisational Culture: Emotional Intelligence
Culture as A Source Of Competitive Advantage
Culture: Not So Important?

3.0 Methodology
The Philosophy of Research Design
The Choice of the Research Method
Critique of Interviews
Alternative Methods
The Research Sample
The Thematic Construction of the Interview Schedule
The Case Study Approach to Research
Limitations
Ethical Considerations
Pilot Study
The Conducting Of Interviews
Problems with the Implementation of the Research

4.0 Analysis of Findings
Human Capital Management & Training
Teamwork
The Importance of the Social Network
Organisational Environment
Rewards
New Cultural Principles
Organisational Structure
The Recruitment and Induction Processes
Summation of the Research Findings

5.0 Conclusion
Project Limitations
Recommendations

References

Appendices

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A Study Of Factors Influencing Organisational Changes: A River Island Study

The study assesses employees’ perceptions on factors influencing organisational changes and the internal and external factors causing these changes. A study conducted on the retail store River Island, located in a major UK city was undertaken to gain a more in-depth study on organisational changes within a specific retail store, where the literature to date serves to fail. The study researches literature on key internal and external factors influencing organisational changes, giving the reader a better understanding on the reasons for organisational changes and its effects upon organisational structures. Literature examined consists of various studies on organisational changes in a range of industries. An investigation was carried out at the River Island store to establish employee perceptions on organisational changes within their working environment and the effects it has had on them. This investigation is undertaken via interviews of managers and frontline employees to give a variety of views and opinions. Findings of the study are discussed and comparisons made. Limitations and further recommendations for research are also examined.

The aims of the study are:

* To assess employee’s perceptions on factors influencing organisational changes
* To investigate the internal factors influencing organisational changes
* To investigate the external factors influencing organisational changes
* Recommendation for practitioners and researchers for future research

Chapter 1: Introduction
Background
Research Aims
Justification of Study
Scope of the Study
Summary

Chapter 2: Literature Review
Introduction
Internal Factors Influencing Organisational Changes
Performance of employees
Customer Focus
Costs
External Factors Influencing Organisational Changes
Environmental Factors
Technological Factors
Cultural Factors
Competitive Factors
Summary

Chapter 3: Methodology
Introduction
Research Design
Qualitative Methods
Quantitative Methods
Case Study
Data Collection Methods
Primary Data
Secondary Data
Sample
Data Analysis
Summary

Chapter 4: Findings
Introduction
Table 1: Findings of interviews carried out at River Island
Employee’s perceptions on factors influencing organisational changes
Managers Perceptions
Frontline Employees Perceptions
Internal Factors influencing organisational changes
Managers Perceptions
Frontline Employees Perceptions
External Factors influencing organisational changes
Mangers Perceptions
Frontline Employees Perceptions
Summary

Chapter 5: Conclusion
Introduction
Key Findings from the research
Employees perception on the influences of organisational changes
Internal Factors influencing organisational change
External Factors influencing organisational change
Summary
Limitations and Recommendations
Limitations of study and recommendations for practitioners and researchers
Recommendations for River Island

6: References

7: Bibliography

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Investigation Into The Impact Of Merger And Acquisition Activities On Acquiring Companies

The primary focus of this research study is to investigate the impact of M&A activities on the shareholders of acquiring companies, by examining M&A that occurred in the UK Pharmaceutical sector in the period 2002-2006. To date most of the available knowledge on M&A comes from researches on US markets, with little research on UK markets. With references to M&A activities in the pharmaceutical sector, existing empirical literature tend to cluster exclusively on the US market or European market. This research attempts to broaden the scope of existing literature by going beyond the US and focusing on the UK.

This research aims to:

1. Critically evaluating if the shareholders of acquiring companies experience wealth effects as a result of M&A.
2. Replicate test that have been done on US data, to see whether similar result emerge for the UK. Each countries result may be unique because of different organizational and regulatory conditions. On the other hand similar results may occur if the market for corporate control is reasonable competitive in both countries and robust to definite institutional distinction.
3. Evaluating the impact of merger announcements on acquiring firm’s stock price using the UK Pharmaceutical sector.

Chapter One
Introduction
Aims Of The Research
Scope And Limitation Of The Dissertation
Pharmaceutical Industry
Structure Of The Dissertation
Overview
Definition Of Key Terms
Types Of Mergers And Acquisition
Regulatory Bodies Involved In Takeovers And Mergers In The UK

Chapter Two
Literature Review
Distinction Between Mergers And Acquisition
Motives behind mergers and Acquisition
Growth
Synergy Motive
Taxes Motive
Managerial Motive
Diversification Motive
Efficiency
Driver Of Mergers And Acquisition
Globalization
Deregulation
Cost of finance and stock market
Technological Advancement
Drivers of M& A in Pharmaceutical Sector
Mergers and Acquisition Trends
Effect of Mergers and Acquisition on Shareholder’s Value
Effect of Mergers and Acquisition in The Pharmaceutical Sector
Reason For Positive or Negative Merger and Acquisition Effect on Shareholders Value
Summary

Chapter Three
Methodology
Research Method
Research Philosophy And Approach
The Even Study Approach
Assumptions Of The Event Study Method
Procedure When Using The Even Study Approach
Limitation of the Event Study Approach
Market Model Methodology
Sample Selection/Design

Chapter Four
Findings and Analysis
Abnormal Returns (Residual)
Cumulative Abnormal Returns

Chapter Five
Conclusion
Comparing Research Findings And Earlier Literature
Summary
Reliability and Validity of research work
Limitation And Suggestions For Further Research
Reflective Writing

References

Appendix Section
Appendix 1: Abnormal return for the Acquiring firm and the Average abnormal return for each day in the event window
Appendix 2: Estimation Of α And β For Cambridge Antibody Tech Group
Appendix 3: Abnormal Return Calculation For Cambridge Antibody
Appendix 4: Estimation Of α and β For Vernalis
Appendix 5: Calcualtion Of Abnormal Return For Vernalis
Appendix 6: Estimation Of α and β For Boots
Appendix 7: Calculation Of Abnormal Returns For Boots
Appendix 8: Estimation Of α and β For Ventura
Appendix 9: Calculation Of Abnormal Returns For Vectura
Appendix 10: Estimation of α and β For Celltech
Appendix 11: Calculation of Abnormal Returns for Celltech
Appendix 12: T- Stat Calculations

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TQM And Its Impact Among Various Sectors Of The Cyprus Tourism Industry

Total Quality Management generally provides the fundamental core of the leadership and management process within an organisation so as to face the challenges posed by the new age environment. In recent years, many organisations in an attempt to survive and regain competitive advantage have embarked within the long journey of quality. As the needs and expectations of the customers in the tourism industry become more challenging, the Cyprus Tourism Industry in order to cope with these expectations have in the last few years focused on the quality. Methodologies like Total Quality Management systems and ISO 9000 quality systems standards can assure quality within the several sectors of the Cyprus Tourism Industry and help it in general to regain competitive advantage.
This dissertation examines the concepts of Quality and Total Quality Management and its impact on the four different sectors of the Cyprus Tourism Industry. The examination and analysis of the quality concept and total quality management framework in relation with the four sectors, provides the reader with an overview of how the Cyprus Tourism Industry copes with this field. During the conduct of the project it became apparent that the four sectors encapsulate the TQM framework in a most effective way bringing the Cyprus Tourism Industry to a new era of competitive improvement.

CHAPTER 1: QUALITY AND TQM
Introduction
The Meaning of Quality
The Economic War and Quality
The Quality Gurus
The Transformation of Quality Management
Inspection
Quality Control (QC)
Quality Assurance (QA)
Total Quality Management (TQM)
The Concept of TQM
The TQM Model used by the Cyprus Tourism Industry
Teams
Systems Tools
The TQM Framework
Vision
Involvement of everyone and everything
Continuous Improvement
Training and Education
Ownership
Recognition and Rewards
Yearning for success
ISO 9000 Quality System
Summary of the Chapter

CHAPTER 2: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Introduction
Primary Data Collection
Secondary Data Collection
Sample Selection
Questionnaire Design
The Structure of the Questionnaire
Limitations of the Survey
Summary of the Chapter

CHAPTER 3: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Introduction
Companies’ Details
Customers and Quality Details
Gaps in Service Quality
Total Quality Management Details
Training and Education
Recognition and Rewards
Ownership
Benefits from the Adoption of TQM Framework
Summary of the Chapter

CHAPTER 4: CONCLUSION

References

Bibliography

Appendices
Statement of What Has Been Learned
The Cyprus Tourism Industry in the 21st Century
The Quality Gurus
Deming’s 14 Points
Involvement of Everyone and Everything
Continuous Improvement
Rewards and Recognitions
Standards make up the ISO 9000 Family
Questionnaire
Companies’ Profiles
Gaps in Service Quality
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC)

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