The Importance of Becoming an Independent Learner at University

University education is unique since student-learning process is partly guided by the academic staff, with most of learning responsibilities lying with the student as an independent learner. Independent learning is described as “autonomous learning, independent study, self-directed learning, student initiated learning, project orientation, discovery and inquiry, teaching for thinking, learning to learn, self instruction and life long learning” (Kesten 1987, p9).

Independent learning can also be described as “learning strategy that fosters self-improvement through planned independent study by students under the guidance or supervision of an instructor, can include learning in partnership with another individual or as part of a small group, possible instructional methods used include: reading, viewing, and assigned questions” (Nathenson, 1984).

Many scholars have defined independent learning in various ways, thus, independent learning is a concept that has no universally agreed definition. Independent learning has been receiving tremendous interest from governments, industrialists, and academics in the advancement of higher learning education strategies, since it is capable of producing lifelong learners, skilled, and self-motivated people who are pivotal to the future of any nation.

All definitions or concepts on independent learning are based on the learner taking control of their studies. Since the university students are adults, they are expected to achieve a balance between learning, work and their other attachments. For successful independent learning, the students must organize their learning through time and resources management, and prioritizing their tasks and structure of their schedule to achieve mutual balance between study and other activities.

A departure from dependent learning, independent learning is viewed as a tool that transforms education by enhancing many qualities such as the habits of mind that improve critical, analytical and reflective thinking skills, and also improve and shape students’ personality by enhancing self-reliance, self-confidence, and critical thinking skills (Najoua, et al., n.d).

Academic skills and independent learning

All academic learning processes are supported by more than one academic skill. Academic skills are mainly composed of reading, writing and study skills, thus, any independent learning should encompass these skills. Therefore, it is important for an independent learner to develop these skills in order to achieve a successful independent learning outcome.

Studies have revealed that most students who join tertiary education institution without the requisite practical study skills for academic success often experience learning challenges not because of their lack of aptitude in their academic subject, but rather, because of lack of abilities in project, time, and self-management (Nathenson 1984, p281). Hence, the most suitable academic skills that a student needs to develop for independent learning include self-assessing skills, time management skills, and writing and study skills.

Though there are many study skills resources such as web sites and books, students in need of them mostly do not access them due to lack of self-motivation or the knowledge on how they are accessed.

To combat this challenge, it is important for the students and education facilitators to focus on development and implementation of assessment of independent learning skills. To achieve this, it is important for all stakeholders in independent learning to focus on improving students’ self-management and self-reflective skills that can eventually improve their study skills.

This should be an on-going initiative in all independent learning set-ups with the ultimate goal being equipping independent learners with the much needed study skills for lifelong learning. Studies have revealed that there are several simple techniques that support the development of self-management and self-reflective skills, with such techniques including things like learning journals that contain ongoing reflection which is useful for supporting planning, problem solving and creative thinking activities (Pickford & Brown, 2006).

Time management is another skill that is very critical to any learning process, since, at the end it mostly makes the difference on the whether the student is continuing with the learning process or not. Without appropriate time management, a student may not be able to cover learning materials or to get the learning concepts conveyed in the learning process.

Thus, it is essential for a student to develop a good time program that will enable covering the required learning materials, practicing the concepts learned in order to grasp them and revising to be well prepared for the independent learning outcomes.


Independent learning at university has been a key strategy in enhancing provision of university education to all students, but it has major impact in supporting distance education modules and application information technologies in support learning through internet resources such as online databases, libraries, and websites.

In future, all stakeholders such as governments, academics, industrialists, and students using independent learning will be able to develop critical competencies in accessing, analyzing, and applying information for independent learning to develop the ability to think creatively, to cooperate with one another, and make sound value judgments.

All these will lead to a modern society that encourages creative thinking, social responsibility, and adopting lifelong learning. Additionally, independent learning will increase innovations in education, improve assimilation of university education, and over all, reduce the burden on university infrastructures and resources.

Reference List

Kesten, C., 1987. Independent learning: a common essential learning, A study completed for the Saskatchewan Department of Education Core Curriculum Investigation Project. Saskatchewan Department of Education, University of Regina.

Najoua, L. et al. N.d. Perception of Independent Learning. Al Akhawayn University, Morocco. (Online). Available from: (Accessed August 26, 2011).

Nathenson, M. B., 1984. Independent learning in higher education. New Jersey: Educational Technology, Englewood Cliffs.

Pickford, R. & Brown, S., 2006. Assessing skills and practice. NY: Taylor & Francis, Abingdon.

Case Study on the Benefits of a Cohesive Organisational Culture

1. Introduction

This assignment is a case study on the importance of a cohesive organisational culture. The case study is based on a large manufacturing organisation known as BSG Ltd, which is faced with management challenges.

The challenges have led to the decline of profits, low levels of job satisfaction and organisational commitment by employees, low levels of trust between management and employees, poor team work and a belief by many employees that there is little opportunity for advancement. Staff turnover is an issue because it increased by 15% in year ending 2010.

This case study is based on the literature on organisational culture and management theories. The aim of the case study is to highlight the changes which need to be implemented by the management of the organisation and give some recommendations on how best to effect the changes with little or no resistance by the employees.

The case study starts with a definition and exploration of the topic of organisational culture and the importance of a cohesive organisational culture. Afterwards is a discussion of the changes which need to be effected by the organisation and the recommendations on how to implement the changes based on theories of change management. At the tail end is a conclusion which highlights the key points in the discussion followed by a list of references used in the discussion.

2. Executive summary

The purpose of this report is to explore the topic of cohesive organisational culture by looking at the benefits of the same to organisations. The report is based on a case study of BSG Ltd, which is a large manufacturing organisation.

The organisation is faced with management challenges, which have led to a decline in profits, low cohesion among employees and poor relationships between the employees and top management as well as problems of increased turnover and pilfering in both warehouse stocks, and stationery supplies.

The report identifies the possible changes which should be undertaken by the management of the organisation so as to deal with these problems.

Such changes include increasing employees’ remunerations and replacement of the rule based culture with a human relations approach to management which encourages employees’ creativity, team work, innovativeness and flexibility. It is also recommended that the management should consider providing employees with additional benefits like taking them for holidays and provision of various forms of insurance cover.

The recommendations for implementing these changes are based on Lewin’s model of organisational change management which constitutes of three stages namely unfreezing, changing and freezing. This model is a procedural approach to organisational change aimed at minimising resistance to organisational change by employees.

2.1. Body and Recommendations

2.1.1. Organisational Culture

An organisation is a group of people who work together with coordinated efforts to achieve certain objectives or goals. Organisational goals and objectives are of various categories and it is this variation of the goals and objectives which classify organisations into three main categories namely profit making, service based and social responsibility based organisations (Murray, Poole, and Jones, 2006. pp.45-69).

The study of organisations is made possible by the use of organisational theoretical models or approaches. These theoretical models are mainly used to explain organisations in terms of structure and culture. Organisational culture refers to shared beliefs, values, norms and practices which characterise an organisation.

Organisational structure refers to how the organisation is structured, how power and authority to make decisions are distributed along the structure of the organisation, and who should take what direction or instructions from whom and when (Robbins, 1996).

Organisational culture is a very important aspect in any organisation which aspires to realize its vision and mission. This is because organisational culture determines whether the organisation is able to work together towards the realization of the vision.

Organisational culture is closely related to organisational structure in that the manner in which decisions are made by the top management influences the relationship between the top management and the other employees, which consequently determines the culture of the organisation (Brown, 1998).

An organisational culture is learned implicitly through interaction within the organizational setting. The employees learn it through imitating others who they find in the organisation. This imitation happens unconsciously due to the human instinct to adopt behaviours which make him or her fit in the social environment which he or she finds himself or herself in. Through communication and interaction with each other, employees may coin some terms or codes which are unique to the organisation.

Employees also learn organisational culture through conditioning and reinforcement. For instance, if certain behaviour is rewarded by the management of an organisation, the employees will tend to perfect that behaviour which eventually becomes part of their culture. Likewise, if certain behaviour is negatively sanctioned by the management, then the employees will tend to avoid it, thus becoming one of the don’ts in the organisation.

A strong organisational culture is found in organisations in which the employees are committed to their work and discharge their duties with little or no supervision while a weak organisational culture is found in organisations in which the employees have little commitment to their duties and are closely supervised so as to discharge their duties effectively (Brown, 1998).

There are various models of organisational culture. One such model is the power culture which is characterized by centralization of power to some few people within the organisation. This person(s) is usually very influential in the organisation and therefore everybody else tends to foster a good relationship with the person(s).

In this culture, employees are motivated to the degrees into which they emulate that central person(s). In this type of culture, decisions are made easily because there are no many hierarchical positions in the structure of the organisation (Gordon, DiTornaso and Farris, 1991.pp.18-23).

There is also role culture, which is characterized by doing things as per ones position, meaning that an employee only cares for what is of concern to him or her or what lies under his or her docket. This culture is also characterized by rigidity in decision making because of the bureaucratic nature of the organisational structure which leads to inefficiency (Fey and Denison, 2003.pp.686-687).

Task culture is characterized by the formation of groups which are composed of people with some expertise or knowledge to perform some specific tasks. In this type of culture therefore, group work is very important and authority as well as supervision play little or no role because the teams are trusted by the management with their tasks (Murray, et al, 2006. pp.45-69).

Lastly, there is person’s culture which is characterized by a feeling of superiority among the employees, who think that they are very valuable to the organisation. In such a culture, unity and cooperation among the employees may be rare because each employee thinks that he or she is the best and therefore not ready to share what he or she knows with others without extra remuneration by the organisation for the same (Murray, et al, 2006. pp.45-69).

Organisations vary greatly in terms of their mission, vision, objectives, resource base philosophy and coverage. Due to this, each and every organisation must cultivate a culture which is unique to itself so as to achieve its mission and objectives.

This means that what may be considered as values or norms in one organisation may not be considered as such in another organisation. However, despite these variations and differences, there is the importance of having a cohesive organisational culture regardless of the organisational structure, mission and objectives (Bakar, 2001.pp. 64-69).

One reason is because organisations are run by people for the benefit of people. All employees in all organisations are social beings complete with needs, feelings and emotions. In many countries for instance, it is almost impossible to separate personal life and work among employees, which calls for an integration of employees lives with their work environment so as to make work both satisfying and enjoyable as well as a means of realizing happiness and fulfilment in one’s life (Bakar, 2001.pp. 64-69).

This argument is based on the human relations model of organisational theory pioneered by Ludwig von Bertalanffy in 1928, which brought a radical shift from the classical management theories pioneered by Taylor, which emphasised on scientific management of employees as if they were machines to be operated by their managers (Cooke and Lafferty, 1987).

But what is a cohesive organisational culture? Many organisational researchers agree that a cohesive organisational culture is the one in which all members of an organisation hold to similar beliefs and values which glue the organisation together. These beliefs and values may be implicit or explicit to the organisation, meaning that they may be or not be publicly declared in the organisational core values.

In this kind of a culture, it does not matter the organisational structure but what matters most is the commitment of each and every member of the organisation to these believes and values. For example, an organisation may value hard work, honesty and team work and believe in transparency, utmost good faith, ethics and morality. A cohesive organisational culture has got many benefits (Keshavarzi, 2007).

One benefit is that it leads to high motivation among the employees because they share common believes and values. When employees are highly motivated, there is minimal use of resources in their supervision which in turn increases their productivity because to them, what matters most is the good of the organisation as a whole but not personal good.

Another benefit of cohesive organisational culture is that it facilitates the alignment of organisations for the achievement of their objectives, mission and vision without much difficulty. This is because the employees are not only fully aware of the mission, vision and objectives, but have also internalised them thus making them to work hard to achieve them. This makes them more motivated to accomplish the set organisational gaols, targets or objectives (Martins and Terblanche, 2003.pp.64-65).

Strong organisational culture also boosts organisational efficiency because of the internalisation of what is required of each and every employee when and where.

The sharing of values and beliefs creates a good working environment free from any kind of confusion, ambiguity or lack of understanding among the employees, which apart from increasing efficiency also saves on time wasted when things seem not to move in the right direction because the employees are able and free to consult each other without the fear of victimisation or intimidation especially by the senior managers.

Employees also portray good behaviour at work because they know what is right to be done and what is not right (Martins and Terblanche, 2003.pp.64-65).

Furthermore, strong organisational culture leads to cohesion among various departments of an organisation which leads to harmonisation of all organisational procedures, policies and practices in each and every department.

This cohesion leads to proper utilisation of organisational resources without sabotage as well as sound, logical and relevant polices on how to coordinate organisational activities in a manner that would maximise the organisations’ chances of realizing their mission and vision.

Cohesion among various organisational departments also leads to the sharing of information by various departments which increases the employees’ levels of understanding of how various departments work.

This is very important because it enables employees to multitask especially in times when staffs in some departments are not available. For example, the understanding of administrative issues in the organisation by the head of accounting departmental may make him or her work on behalf of the head of the administration department when he or she is not present ( Mathew, 2007.pp.677-678).

Strong organisational culture enhances control, good coordination and consistency within an organisation. This is because the employees and the management are in good terms and thus are able to agree informally on various procedures and practices without compromising the quality of the organisational practices and objectives.

This saves on time because employees implement the changes which they find necessary without having to wait for bureaucratic board meetings and discussion to approve even the slightest change in procedures or practices ( Mathew, 2007.pp.677-678).

Lastly not the least, cohesive organisational culture enhances team work, group leadership and collaboration of the employees in various tasks. This is of crucial importance to organisations because it opens the room for employees’ creativity, innovativeness and openness to positive criticism which makes work not only enjoyable, but also enriched with a multiplicity of ideas.

This in turn leads to increased achievement levels by the organisation as opposed to situations in which employees’ creativity and innovativeness are not entertained by the management of the organisations.

2.1.2. Changes That Need To Be Implemented By Management to Address the Issues Outlined

As outlined in the introduction, the organisation is faced with real challenges which if not addressed may lead to deterioration of the situation. This calls for nothing else except implementing some changes so as to arrest the situation and return the organisation back to its glory of high productivity, increased employee motivation and low turnover rates which it enjoyed before. One of the changes which the management must implement is the introduction of team work in the organisation.

The management should give the employees the leeway to divide their work into small achievable tasks, which should be undertaken by a group of employees. The idea is to replace the Person’s culture which is characterized by a feeling of superiority among the employees, who think that they are very valuable to the organisation with Task culture which is characterized by the formation of groups of people with some expertise or knowledge to perform some specific tasks (Lundy and Cowling, 1996).

The other change which the management should make is the introduction of a system of working in which the employees are less supervised, but encouraged to be responsible, flexible creative and innovative in their duties. The organisation should also do away with any rules and regulations which emphasise more on procedures and regulations and replace them with rules which emphasise more on the end product of work irrespective of the means and procedures used to arrive at a particular end result.

The management should also consider revising the remunerations of the employees upwards so as to increase their motivation. Studies show that the productivity of employees is based on both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. One of the extrinsic motivations is the rewards which the employees get from the work, including good payment.

This would reduce employee turnover which is very costly especially in terms of recruitment. More so, turnover means that the organisation is losing on what it invests in training and coaching the employees who end up leaving the organisations with the knowledge and training (Shim, 2010. pp.847- 849).

Also to be considered by the management is the work environment, which should be improved in terms of ensuring that it is more conducive and attractive for the employees.

For instance, the organisation should introduce some social benefits schemes like payment of various forms of insurance like medical cover, provision of loaning system for advancement of employees’ education, career and training as well as other benefits like provision of leave allowances or taking the employees for paid holidays.

These would increase the employees’ loyalty and commitment to the organisation and consequently reduce the turnover rates (Furnham and Gunter, 1993. pp.233-234).

2.1.3. Recommendations for successfully implementing the changes

There are various theoretical models of change management which the management may rely on to successfully implement the above changes. I would recommend the management to use the Kurt Lewin’s approach to change management which falls under the category of teleological model of change. Lewin came up with what he called three stage theory which involves three stages or steps namely unfreezing, changing and freezing (Cummings and Worley, 2008).

In the first step of unfreezing, the organisation is supposed to be motivated and prepared for the change. The management must engage the employees and create a state of discontentment with the prevailing conditions in the organisation. While doing this, it should also ensure that it sets out deadlines for the new dispensation (Cummings and Worley, 2008).

Basically, this stage is about doing a cost benefit analysis about the proposed change and weighing whether the pros of the change outweighs the cons, then creating the necessary motivation for the change. This stage is therefore the preparatory stage and is very crucial because it determines the success of the change if effected. When people are highly motivated to change, the resistance to change is minimised and vice versa (Cummings and Worley, 2008).

The next stage is the change stage, which is also known as the transition stage and involves implementing the change. This is the hardest stage in change implementation because people are always reluctant to move out of their comfort zones despite any motivation. During this stage therefore, employees need to be guided and encouraged to undertake the change.

In order to realize a smooth sailing through this stage, employees need to be given the necessary training for them to acquire the knowledge and skills which would enable them navigate successfully during the transition stage (Cummings and Worley, 2008).For example, employees may be trained on group dynamics so as to adequately work in groups.

The final stage is the freezing stage, which is also known as refreezing stage. During this stage, the organisation has successfully sailed through the change process and is now leaving in a new dispensation. There is therefore the need of creating a new culture in the organisation which is in line with the new organisational dispensation (Cummings and Worley, 2008).

3. Conclusion

This report has discussed the topic of cohesive organisational culture and its importance in organisations. The report is on BSG Ltd, which is a large manufacturing company faced with management challenges.

In the discussion, various benefits of cohesive organisational culture have been discussed as well as the changes which the organisation should make so as to adequately deal with the problems it’s faced with. Also discussed are the recommendations on how to implement the changes successfully, where it has emerged that the organisation should use the Lewin’s model of organisational change management to sail through this change process successfully.

My opinion about the topic is that the organisation should consider replacing the rule based culture with a human relations approach to organisational culture which encourages employees’ creativity, flexibility and innovativeness as they discharge their duties. The organisation should also consider revising the remunerations and improve the working environment so as to deal with the problem of high turnover rates.

Reference List

Bakar, A Z. (2001). Success Factors to Systems Integration implementation: More TechnologyOriented than Human Related. Malaysian Journal of Computer Science, 14 (2),pp. 64-69.

Brown, A. (1998). Organisational Culture. London, UK:Pitman Publishing.

Cooke, R. A., and Lafferty, J. C. (1987). Organisational Culture Inventory. Plymouth, MI: HumanSynergistics.

Cummings, T.G and Worley, C.G. (2008). Organization development & change. Farmington, MI: Cengage Learning. Print.

Fey, F. C., and Denison, R. D. (2003). Organisational culture and effectiveness: Can Americantheory be applied in Russia?. Organisation Science. 14(6): pp.686-687.

Furnham, A., and Gunter, B. (1993). Corporate culture: definition, diagnosis and change. InCooper, C.L., Robertson, I.T. (Eds), International Review of Organizational Psychology,John Wiley, Chichester, 8, pp. 233-234.

Gordon, G. G., DiTornaso, N., and Farris, G. F. (1991). Managing Diversity in R&DGroups.Research Technology Management, 34, pp.18-23.

Keshavarzi, H. A. (2007). The effect of organisational culture on knowledge sharing behaviourin the auto industry in Iran. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, London, UK: Aston university.

Lundy, O., and Cowling, A. (1996). Strategic human resource management. London,UK: Routledge.

Martins, E.C. and Terblanche, F. (2003). Building organisational culture that stimulates creativityand innovation. European Journal of Innovation Management, 6(1), pp.64-65.

Mathew, J. (2007). The relationship of organisational culture with productivity and quality.Employee relations. 29 (6),pp. 677-678.

Murray,P., Poole, D and Jones, G. (2006).Contemporary issues in Management and Organisational Behaviour. Farmington Hills, MI: Cengage Learning. pp.45-69.

Robbins, S.P. (1996), Organisational behaviour: concepts, controversies, applications, 7th ed., Englewood Cliffs, NJ:Prentice-Hall.

Shim, M. (2010). Factors influencing child welfare employee?s turnover: focusing onorganisational culture and climate. Children and Youth Services Review,32, pp.847-849.

Analysis of (Mary) Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”


Authentically, ‘a good man’ is a person who posses excellent or admirable moral conduct. Flannery O’Connor is a staunch Catholic but a famous playwright in the American industry whose storylines mainly focus on Christianity with tragic and brutal as thematic features.

In her fictitious tragic story, A good man is hard to find, Flannery O’Connor gives a pernicious discernment of the phrase ‘good man’. From her allegorical story, O’Connor describes a ‘good man’ using some of her principal characters, Grandmother, and Red Sammy. According to the characters, a person fits the description of a good man if his/her behavior, norms, beliefs, and personality correlate with the values of the beholder even if one is devoid of morals.

Therefore, the definition of ‘good man’ is beyond what the eyes can see. Nevertheless, despite the poor moral conduct, God’s grace is always sufficient to every man. Concurring with the behavior of Misfit and Grandmother, O’Connor gives the elusive description of a good man relating it to gracility as a Christian value.

The theme of a good man

According to the novelist, the meaning of the word ‘good man’ may be debatable or relative depending on the judgment of an individual. Intentionally, O’Connor enlightens the world on the varied apprehension of the aforementioned phrase thus purporting it as meaningless.

For instance, Grandmother chooses to use the phrase ‘good man’ when referring to men who have similar perception to hers. She sidelines the word moral, which should concur with the interpretation of good men. In the first case, during the trip, the family encounters Red Sammy.

He angrily raises his complaints about two men whom he gave gasoline on credit. According to Red Sammy, the two men not only seemed trustworthy but also ‘good’ thus fit for the credit. Although grandmother reprimands him for trusting strangers, she eventually brands him a ‘good man’. Therefore, from Sammy’s case Grandmother defines a good man as a gullible person with unsound judgment and subterfuge faith. Inherently, her perception about good men is elusive to the audience.

In the second instance, grandmother calls Misfit a good man with considerable urgency after realizing her life is in danger. Moreover, she applies the phrase to Misfit because of his inability to shoot a woman. Although the moral conduct, social values and norms of Misfit differs from those of grandmother’s, she desperately refers to him as a good man. Her skewed or wayward definition of a good man lies deeply in the perception that he does not have “common blood” (O’Connor 578).

Thusly, grandmother’s diligently calls a man good if his believes are perpendicular to hers. The aforementioned cases, elusively describes a ‘Good man’ as somebody who may lack morals or kindness in his personality. According to Muller, a critic shows his dissatisfaction in the mixing of Christian values (Catholicism) like Grace with gothic aspects like killing (20). Although the beliefs and personality of grandmother and Misfit are not morally upright, salvation or grace reconnects them.

Theme of Grace

O’Connor expatiates the contemporary believe about Grace as a favor to not only the righteous but also to the sinful, wicked and unrighteous human beings. God confers grace even to people with moral decadence. Based on the aforementioned expositions about ‘good men,’ Grandmother and Misfit have the least chances of finding grace.

Grandmother posses some queer non-Christian virtues like lying and unappreciative. Besides manipulating her son in all his endeavors, she also lies to her grandchildren about a house that never existed. Eventually moral weakness leads to the tragic end of the whole family. According to biblical teachings, Grandmother is the least person to receive God’s grace.

When the family encounters Misfit and his Henchmen, grandmother recognizes him as her child by saying “you are one of my children (OConnor 580).” Although Misfit is a serial killer, Grandmother accepts him as one of her own giving equality to humanity. On the other hand, according to critics O’Connor connection of murders, tragic accidents, and moral decadence to Christian values like grace is unreasonable (Carter 20).

Grandmother shouts the name of Jesus when facing Misfit. Furthermore, she persuades Misfit to repent his sins, yet she does not know how to compose a prayer. On the other hand, after committing the mass killings Misfit says, “It’s no real pleasure in life” (O’Connor 585). Meaning he finds no joy in murdering people, and he may, in the future, change his habits. Therefore, the ambiguous, strange doctrines of Christianity like Grace give eternity to Grandmother and Misfit.


From O’Connor’s conclusion of the story, salvation applies to all individuals. However, challenges, misfortunes, and disagreements accompany an individual before acquiring the above norm. According to critics, O’Connor connects two worlds when she gives immoral people eternity; therefore, she violates Christianity teachings, which claims eternity to righteousness.

Despite grandmother presenting herself as righteous with admirable judgment skills, she realizes her life is not different from Misfit who was a prisoner and murder. Therefore, through expounding grace and ‘good man’ as her thematic elements, O’Connor calls for human equality in the world.

Works cited

Carter, Martin. The True Country: Themes in the Fiction of Flannery O’Connor. Kingsport, TN: Kingsport Press, 969.

Muller, Gilbert .Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O’Connor and the Catholic Grotesque. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1972.

O’Connor, Flannery. A Good Man is hard to find. USA: The State University, 1993.

Accounting Department Wellness Program Proposal

In order to ensure that the participation of employees in the wellness program is maintained, use shall be made of participative leadership style. This is because this form of leadership style is known to bring harmony in a team (Dubrin 2011, 466). Not only is it a motivator to the participants, but it also enhances personal relationships.

Participative leadership manifests the caring nature of others. This particular leadership style is especially suitable in when the commitment of other individuals is crucial. In a wellness program, the idea is to ensure that all the individual members of the team realize their goal of improving health and wellbeing.

Inasmuch as one would want to ensure that the program goes on well, nonetheless, it is also important to ensure that a conflict does not arise. At the same time, the team leader needs to somewhat play an active role in making important decisions that affects members of his team. A participative leader shuns autocratic decisions and instead ensures that the rest of the team is actively involved in the activity at hand. Decisions of the wellness program are arrived at jointly by the team leader and the rest of the members.

One of the techniques for motivating employees in a wellness program involves encouraging team building. Consequently, it becomes easier to enhance positive attitudes amongst the workforce.

For example, when members of a wellness program take part in such a joint activity as jogging or walking to work, they are can also encourage one another and in the process, it becomes easier for individuals within the team to realize their objectives, as opposed to when they are alone. There are also a number of incentives that would be valuable in motivating employees to take part in the wellness program:

Wellness dollars: participants in the different wellness activities can be awarded wellness dollars that they can in turn use to purchase workout clothing or health-related products in health stores.

Contests: contests can be used as a form of motivating employees to participate in a wellness program. Some of the competitions that could be included in the contest include a jogging challenge. Members who successfully complete the challenge can then participate in a draw that would make them members of a health club.

Achievement awards: offering an employee a certificate of participation in a wellness program and realizing his/her health-related goal is also a very powerful motivation technique.

Time off: employees who performs exceptionally well in a given wellness program can also be given a day off for accomplishing the set goal.

In order to monitor the progress of the team activity, use shall be made of a journal entry whereby members taking part in a group activity record their attendance, and the time that they took to complete such an activity. This way, it becomes easier to tell the track the progress made by individual members of a team.

A member who is deteriorating in his/her performance can also be assisted by the rest of the members to get back on track. A roll call of the team members shall also be taken when members commence a given task, and a follow up roll call taken upon the completion of the task. However, for those members who are not able to participate in group activities, they shall be required to record the time when they started the activity and the time of completion.


Andrew, DuBrin, Essentials of management. Stamford, Mass: Cengage Learning, 2006.

The story of Jackson

According to his father, Jackson Jr. is a normal boy. I have known Jackson since his family moved in from another town several years ago; I am three years his senior. In our neighborhood, no one knows the Jacksons’ story.

The Jacksons are a modest family comprising of a father, two daughters and a son. Mr. Jackson and his two daughters are fairly reserved while Jackson Jr. is a carefree person. Mr. Jackson is a driver with a touring company. No one has ever seen Mrs. Jackson and since Mr. Jackson is always away on duty, nobody had a chance to ask him about it. Jackson Jr. is the last born; his two sisters are in High School.

At school Jackson is an average student, but in his end of term report, his class mistress always urges him to be serious with life since he is a bright boy. The situation is no different at home as he often gets into trouble with his sisters. Being perfectionists, his sisters think that he is an indisciplined and an uncultured boy because of his carefree attitude. However, Jackson Jr. is a realistic young man who has learned to appreciate life as it is.

I met Jackson Jr. for the first time one cold morning as I hurried to school, worried that I would be late. As I hastily negotiated a corner, I noticed a tall boy walking leisurely to school. That did not strike me as odd until I got near him. Without warning, Jackson Jr. patted me gaily on my back

“What is the hurry for? Take your time” Jackson said to me.

I was taken aback. I did not want to slow down since I was running late for class. Being late meant that I had to sit outside the class for a whole lesson and later explain to my class master the reason for my lateness. I was one of the boys the class master was grooming as role models, so my behavior was always scrutinized. Thus, I did not want such carelessness to blemish my reputation.

“I am Jackson, and I know you are Clive. I am your neighbor, from three blocks away,” Jackson said with a big smile on his face. That caught me totally off guard. Before I could even reply, Jackson Jr. continued, “Hey, how is your weekend? I would like to have company.” As I was about to protest, he told me that he wanted me to do.

I never saw Jackson Jr. again until three weeks later. I had gone to consult my science teacher about the class science project. Jackson stood outside the science department offices. On his face, he wore a carefree expression. He smiled and moved in stride with me asking whether I had free time the coming weekend. The following Saturday morning Jackson Jr. was on our door before the sun was up. I had planed to finish my science project that day.

His visit was therefore an unwelcome intrusion. He spent the day watching movies from my decoder. As result I could not finish my project in time and had was heavily penalized. I failed my project as a result. This trend followed for long, and his intrusion was affecting my grade. I seemed helpless before Jackson Jr. He was a nice person, a person whose company could not ignored. He always had some thing interesting to do, other than studies.

Jackson Jr. appeared and disappeared from my life at will and usually got what he wanted without much effort. His carefree attitude always overpowered me totally and made me defenseless against him.

I also came to learn that his carefree personality had got him into trouble in school and with his parents because despite him being an above average student his grades were always remarked as needs improvement. While I loved his company, I started seeing him as a stumbling block in my academic success. His attitude was also slowly infecting me. This was a cause of concern to my parents.

During the summer of last year, something happened that made me change my attitude towards Jackson Jr. I was coming from the library when I met with Jackson Jr. near our home. As usual he gaily greeted me and told me that there was something he wanted to show me. He pointed towards our home and said that one of my neighbors was vacating. I informed him that it was not necessary for me to know that, but he felt otherwise.

He told me that one of his neighbors was looking for a bigger house and that we could act like as agents and earn a commission. Our work was to convince the departing neighbor not to announce that his house was vacant and that we could find a tenant. I scolded him and reminded that coming from a Hispanic family, I was being prepared to attain the highest honors in education and that such kind of trade was for the uneducated. Jackson Jr. junior laughed out aloud and then commented:

“The best education is the one that you get on the streets. That is why you never see me bother with my grades in school.”

Jackson Jr. made a good commission out of that deal and many others that were to come his way. He seemed to know who wanted sell things in school and always got a buyer. Initially, his carefree attitude seemed to destine him to failure. But upon careful consideration I come to realize that he was a useful person to our community. Jackson Jr. is now a very special person to me since he always helps me to overcome small challenges.

Life Is a Smorgasbord


The narrator of this article avoided making early decisions in life because of his fear of failure. The decisions that he had made were not very fulfilling. He claims his life is like an enormous menu that does not offer a sampler plate. He says he cannot make an order of fear, saying that his stomach might be filled and never get a chance of tasting other things on the menu. He therefore prefers side orders that are never satisfying.

However, the narrator affirms that he has learned the trick, which is to make assured choices that are varied but sufficient to fulfill his desires in life. He points that there is no adequate time in one’s life to experience even a fraction of all the incidences on the Earth, hence the need to make decisions on time. According to him, there is a need to make few choices on the menu that he can really enjoy and commit to so that when he passes on, he will have lived a fulfilled life.


Just like a hotel menu that has different delicacies listed, some expensive and some quite affordable, life offers things that we may or may not afford. However, the kind of life one leads largely depends on the decisions one makes. Some live unfulfilled lives because they make mistakes in their decisions or they live a life that is not theirs. It is important for an individual to live his or her life. We are the sole makers or breakers of our lives.

Therefore, when we are making decisions pertaining to our life, sobriety is a virtue of great essence. This is because one wrong decision made may have long term undesirable effects on one’s life and worst still could cost one his or her life. Any decision we make shapes our life because we consciously or unconsciously follow it.

For instance, a frustrated jobless father who cannot cater for his family may decide to seek solace in alcoholism. Such a decision could frustrate him even more because the person may not have logically analyzed the negative and positive aspects associated with that choice. In order to make a precise decision of what is important in one’s life is an explicit process that has various steps to be followed.

First and foremost, we must realize the power that decisions wield in our lives. One decision made elicits a chain of actions. When one decides to drink a bottle of beer, the decision may lead to the person taking another and before one realizes he or she has become an alcoholic.

Therefore the first decision will always be critical and determines the expected outcomes in a person’s life. The next step is setting your priorities right. We should start from the most basic needs all the way to basic wants. For instance, when one is faced with a dilemma of either pursuing a master’s degree or buying a car, such a tight spot calls for rational decision making. Based on facts, one should be able to decide what is more important. If the focus is on building a career for oneself, the best option should be furthering education.

Another important step involves timely decision making. Many a time we consume too many resources before making a conclusive decision simply because we are uncertain and fear what may happen afterwards. We therefore end up in a rigorous exercise of evaluating pros and cons, cautious planning and extensive consultation. This course of action consumes a lot of time and in the end we may never make the decision or it maybe too late.

One should learn to follow the gut instinct when making a decision. This will most likely make one to have confidence in the decision making process compared to a person who dwells all day planning to make a decision. Moreover, one should learn from his/her past experience. It is worth noting that sometimes mistakes are inevitable when making a decision however, instead of cursing oneself it is important to learn from the mistake. So that in future you can make proper and sound decisions free of mistakes.

Also in determining what is important in our menu of life, one should have a flexible approach. For example, if one decides to acquire a house for the family, it is good to decide which option is the best. One may decide to either engage construction workers to build it or buy a ready one by mortgage.

More important is that one should be objective when making a decision. For example, in choosing a career to pursue one should decide what course to undertake in college, based on one’s ability and aspirations. One ought to avoid extrinsic influences that may derail him or her from achieving one’s ambitions in life. These influences include pressure from parents to pursue a course that one does not desire.

The choice one makes should be influenced by one’s decision. It would be irrational to make a choice without deciding what you want. For instance, people end up losing lots of money through impulse buying simply because they never planned on what they wanted to buy. Some people also end up in miserable relationships or marriages due to the fact that they never took time to choose their life partners. In addition, it is advisable to make some savings for a rainy day.

Life is not always smooth; it has ups and downs. Bottom line is, if one is to live a fulfilled life, critical and timely decision making should influence the choices that one makes in life. It is also important to make certain choices that one is capable of fulfilling rather many choices that one cannot commit to. The prime factor is to always follow your instincts and listening to your heart when making key decisions in life.

President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt


Born on 27th October, 1858, Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president of the United States of America. He took over as president at the age of 42 years after the assassination of President William McKinley. He is remembered by many as the most active American President who lived a very exciting life. Roosevelt was funny, smart, hardworking and very brave (Potts 5).

Roosevelt’s Personality

Theodore Roosevelt was a very popular President who cared about all people regardless of their status in society. He loved people and in his service to the Americans, he used powers given to him to seek help for others. It is him love for people that motivated him to study law. He also cared so much about nature and desired so to save it for the future generations (McKay 2). His strong interest in nature led him to Harvard University in Massachusetts where he studied to be a naturalist; a scientists who studies plants and animals (McKay 5).

During his tenure as a civil service commissioner, he made attempts to change the way government hired its employees. According to President Roosevelt, government employees were expected to provide services to the public impartially and it was very critical to have them trained properly to carry out their duties (Potts 11).

Roosevelt led the police commission in New York City at a time when the public had completely lost trust in the police force. He fired any police officer who was not good at his or her job and slowly but surely, he managed to restore the public’s confidence in the police and the police commissioner (Potts 11).

Roosevelt’s Greatest Achievement

According to Hooton (1), Roosevelt was the most effective conservationist that American has ever seen. He lived up to his dream of preserving nature for the future and because of his relentless efforts, Americans now have water, food and forest lands (Hooton 1).

In my opinion, this is a very remarkable achievement considering that climate change and environmental degradation is and will continue to be a real menace to the survival of mankind. Presently, many countries are paying a high price because of poor natural resource management policies. Because of man’s never ending ambitions and destructive activities, we keep hearing stories about extended drought periods and people dying of hunger.

When President Roosevelt finally came to power as the President of the United States, his first agenda was to ensure that the nation’s resources were preserved. In his maiden speech to the Congress he made his intentions quite clear when he declared that Americans had to stop thinking that the nation’s resources were unlimited.

Subsequently, he proclaimed a policy to invalidate the historic thought that America’s resources should be exploited for the sake of nation building (Hooton 1). The federal government later participated actively to reinforce the new policy. In his view, Roosevelt was convinced that a good nation must be able to pass its resources to the future generation increased and not depleted (Hooton 1).


Clearly, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt left a mark in the American History. A part from positively impacting the lives of many Americans, Roosevelt worked hard to conserve America’s natural resources.

Today, his conservation efforts can be seen in a number of ways. The presence of 150 forests and 24 reclamation projects speak volumes about what he did for American. He believed that the federal government was responsible for conserving and protecting natural resources and ensured that they did so to the benefit of the nation (Hooton 1).

Works Cited

Hooton, LeRoy W. President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, America’s Conservationist. Salt Lake City, UT: Salt Lake City Corporation. 2009. Web. 26th August, 2011. <>.

McKay, Sindy. President Theodore Roosevelt. San Anselmo, CA: Treasure Bay, Inc., 2006. Print.

Potts, Steve. Theodore Roosevelt. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2006. Print.

Breaking Patient’s Confidentiality

The obligation of the doctor to maintain patient’s confidentiality is one of the fundamental tenets of health care. This obligation is held in high regard and it is articulated in many modern codes of medical ethics such as the American Medical Association and the British Medical Association.

Health care professionals therefore go to great lengths to protect confidential information provided by the client. Even so, there are cases where doctors may reveal information provided in confidence without the patient’s consent. This paper will argue that such cases are justifiable since there are instances when patient confidentiality should be broken. To reinforce this claim, some of the scenarios were such breaches are acceptable will be illustrated.

In some cases, disclosure even without the consent of the patient is necessary to prevent harm to others. The General Medical Council (2009) advices that personal information may be disclosed if this disclosure will help protect individuals or society from risks such as those posed by communicable diseases. For example, if a patient has a Sexually Transmitted Infection and refuses to inform a sexual partner, the doctor has an obligation to break confidentiality.

Confidentiality can also be broken if doing so will benefit other members of the society. For example, if a patient is found to be suffering from a treatable inherited disorder, the relatives should be informed even if the patient refuses (Kuhse & Singer, 2009). This is because this information will lead to the relatives being screened and treated for the disease. In the two cases highlighted above, the benefits to other members of the society far outweigh the patient’s interest in preserving confidentiality.

Another instance where it may be necessary to break confidence is when the patient is a victim of violence. Even if the patient insists that the doctor keep the information secret, it may be in the patient’s best interest that confidentiality be broken since it may assist in the prevention or prosecution of the individual who perpetrated the serious crime against the patient (General Medical Council, 2009). By breaking confidence, the physician can help to prevent further crimes from being committed.

Kuhse and Singer (2009) declare that in order for doctors to do a good job for their patients they often require information of a sort that is generally regarded as private. Patients are unlikely to pass on such information without the assurances of confidentiality. It can therefore be seen that without confidentiality, patients may be reluctant to give health care personnel relevant information which may be necessary for the provision of good care.

While respecting the patient’s confidentiality is of fundamental importance in health care, it is not considered to be an absolute obligation (Kuhse & Singer, 2009). This reveals the acknowledgement by medical practitioners that there may be times when it is necessary to break patient’s confidence.

While confidential is central to the establishment of trust between health care practitioners and patients, this paper has demonstrated that it may at times be necessary to break this confidence. In particular, this paper has documented that when the patient’s right to confidentiality is in conflict with an overriding duty to society, the doctor has a duty to break the patient’s confidentiality. Even so, the doctor must strive to preserve patient’s confidentiality at all times since without it, it may be hard to provide quality care to the patient.


General Medical Council (2009). Confidentiality Guide. Retrieved from:

Kuhse, H. & Singer, P. (2009). A Companion to Bioethics. NJ: John Wiley and Sons

Delegating Authority

I am currently working for the US Navy, and I am in charge of conducting military funeral honors. My main task is referred to as passing of the flag. This is a very demanding job, but fortunately, two persons can accomplish it. There are many military funerals and thus I cannot manage to attend all of them. That is why I need to delegate my authority to someone else. This implies that the task of passing the flag is possible, just as if I was physically present.

Lewis et al. (2007, p.198) argue that the task delegation cannot be successful without clear instructions that explain the manner in which to execute the task. It is in this regard that I have considered documenting the task because it will help in preventing any faults.

This is because I am the one expected to account for all happenings encountered in the task and hence, I cannot hold the delegated person accountable. I have therefore created a framework for the person that receives my authority to dictate the appropriate time and manner of executing the task.

I have decided to explain to the person to whom I am delegating this task to the importance of this initiative. The benefits are to be experienced by three entities, that is, this other person and the organization in general, and myself. First, delegation will slash my workload and therefore I will not feel overwhelmed because the tasks will be more manageable and I will focus on the most crucial tasks such as planning for flag passing sessions.

In this light, the most obvious benefit is the monetary reward, which varies depending on the volunteer’s position. The person to whom authority will be delegated will get an opportunity to exercise his/her skills and abilities and he/she could be my successor when I retire.

Saleem (2007, p.1) explains that executing this task on my behalf will provide the other person with the relevant training that will be needed in future for him/her to serve in this position. Moreover, volunteering in this position will yield points, which will be credited into his /her retirement scheme and thus, increase his/her income at that time.

Similarly, I will explain to the person to whom I am delegating this task to how I will measure his/her performance and be in a position to tell whether the quality of his/her performance was satisfactory. I will set the goals for this task as recommended by Portny (2010, p.134) and thereafter, refer to them when gauging his/her performance.

I expect his/her output to be slightly higher than mine because he/she will not be handling the entire tasks single handedly, as I did previously. Should I get any complains from my superiors I will assume his/her output is below average and at that juncture, I will have to go back to the drawing board.

The person to whom I intend to delegate this task to is very competent because he/she is drawn from the US navy and therefore is familiar with the force’s obligations and thus, knows what is expected of him/her. This implies that I will not have to train this person concerning this task of passing the flag.

However, I will evaluate his/her performance in her/his present position so that I can be certain about his/her reliability. This is because this person cannot be expected to deliver an outstanding performance if he/she has failed to do the same in her/his present position.

The spirit of volunteering when the need arises especially when we are engaged in a war motivates every officer in the US navy. However, I have a good working relationship with the person receiving may authority, which is based on mutual respect. Besides, if there are any faults in the task there are hardly any monetary costs. There can only be human expenses because this service is usually rendered before the bereaved family commences with grieving (Department of Defense, 2011).

Furthermore, I will be able to supervise the performance of this person because in most situations, I am usually present but hardly noticed because I only come in when there is a fault that needs to be corrected. The faults will be corrected swiftly so that the organization does not feel the pinch of accumulated liabilities. In fact, I do not need to consult my boss regarding this initiative. This is because my superior knows that I am a responsible person and our code of ethics has granted me the power of task delegation.

If the person performs well, this task will be his/her bridge for advancing his/her career in the US navy. He/she is most likely to be promoted to the position of funeral honor coordinator. The position entails dictating how the honors will be conducted. Moreover, this position involves giving messages of condolences to the bereaved family on behalf of the deceased officer’s branch. I will delegate this task without fear because all officers are trained to be flexible and thus, they are able to work in any position and deliver the desired results.


Department of Defense (2011). Military Funeral Honors. Retrieved from

Lewis, P. S., Goodman, S. H., Fandt, P. M., & Michlitsch, J. F. (2007). Management: Challenges for Tomorrow’s Leaders (5th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Portny, E. S. (2010). Project Management for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing Inc.

Saleem, H. (2007, June 23). How to Delegate Effectively. Directory Journal. Retrieved from

Motivation and Flight Centre Staff


Flight Centre is one of the world’s leading travel agency organizations. Headquartered in Australia, Flight Centre has branches in the US, UK, Canada, and New Zealand. It offers a wide variety of services in the air travel industry. Flight Centre has nearly 10,000 staff, and motivation of such a vast number of workers in different countries and continents requires different motivation techniques.

The motivation techniques used for Flight Centre workers in these different areas should take cognizance of the form of work done by the employees, the environmental surroundings, and the employee needs and thus cannot use identical motivation techniques.

Maslow’s Motivation Theory

Maslow’s motivation theory states that the desire to fulfil unmet needs drives and motivates human beings in whatever they do. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs presents the basic human needs as being “physiological, followed by safety needs, social needs, and then esteem needs” (Berl & Williamson 1987, p.53). When all these needs are satisfied, an individual is then able to attain self-actualization. As an all-encompassing theory on motivation, Maslow’s motivation theory applies to Flight Centre staff across the board.

All the employees of Flight Centre, across the different continents, need to have their basic physiological needs met, regardless of rank or position in the organization. Therefore, Flight Centre employees will be motivated when the organization meets their basic physiological needs such as food, shelter, and education through proper and appropriate remuneration.

Furthermore, Flight Centre employees involved in actual travel, in the process of transfer of documents and delivery of packages between Flight Centre and its clients, will be motivated by having their on-the-job safety needs catered for. Therefore, in a general sense, Maslow’s theory of motivation can apply across the board for employees of Flight Centre insofar as their motivation is derived from the satisfaction of their basic physiological and psychological needs.

Incentive Theory and Flight Centre Employees

One of the best motivators for workers and employees worldwide is adequate remuneration for work done. B.F Skinner’s incentive theory states that, when positive behaviour is rewarded, the behaviour is likely to be repeated.

Therefore, through tangible and intangible rewards, employees can be motivated to perform to higher standards. One of the most common incentives for motivation is higher pay. When employees realize that they can receive better pay by performing their duties to a higher standard, they are likely to strive to achieve these standards.

Therefore, the Flight Centre employees in the different countries can be motivated through receiving competitive salaries and wages. However, different sets of employees are motivated differently. For instance, those working for Flight Centre on short-term contracts may be motivated to put more effort and skill in their work in order to obtain permanent employment terms.

Staff in managerial positions may be motivated with rewards of higher job titles and definitive managerial positions. Overall, the creation of reward schemes within the internal structure of the organization provides adequate incentive to motivate employees to work at levels that are more intensive. Schemes that create an award for employees every month – “Employees of the Month”, and other such continuous reward schemes, can be an integral source of motivation for Flight Centre employees.

Goal Setting Theory of Motivation and Flight Centre employees

The goal setting theory states that, employees can gain motivation and interest in their work when they develop clear goals to be achieved within specific periods. The Goal Setting theory, when applied to Flight Centre employees, may involve setting goals for the different cadre of employees. For instance, employees involved in the actual advertisement and recruiting of clients for Flight Centre may set goals on the number of new clients they can attempt to bring in for the organization each month or year.

Employees involved in the daily interaction with clients (for instance Front Office employees) can target to reduce the number of negative feedbacks by clients. Similarly, the senior management can set goals on reducing the number of employee turnover annually. When such goals are set, the employees have clear targets that they can strive to achieve, and therein find motivation for their jobs.

Since Flight Centre has branches in different countries, the goals set by these different branches should factor in the national, gender, cultural, and environmental factors wrought by the different locations. For example, a flight centre branch in Asia, which has collectivist cultures, should be careful to set goals that promote overall cooperation between employees since individualistic goal setting and achievement is frowned upon in Asian countries.


In conclusion, as discussed in this paper, Flight Centre cannot use identical motivation techniques in all its branches and activities. Since Flight Centre is an international organization with branches in different countries across different cultures, each Flight Centre branch has a unique set of employees and functions. The motivation techniques applicable in these branches will thus vary, considering the nature of the work involved, the type of employee in need of motivation, and the type of motivation appropriate.


Berl, R., & Williamson, N., 1987. A Review of the Content Theories of Motivation as

They Apply to Sales and Sales Management. American Business Review, 5(1), pp. 53-58.