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Hotplates Case Study

What changes in the work situation might account for the increase in productivity and the decrease in controllable rejects?

The changes in the work situation that might account for the increase in productivity and the decrease in controllable rejects would be that if, instead of treating each individual as a cog in the machine, the workers were treated as if they were making their own unit. Ownership equals empowerment and with such empowerment, it is only natural that the workers would feel better about their work. Additionally, the workers were given the chance to see the entire operation, which also treats people more as human as it gives them forethought into how the product might be used when they see the finished product. Finally, ownership eases the monotony of performing the same operation, at a relatively high rate of repetition, which will also improve morale because the workers to not get bored as easily. The outcome of this is that the controllable rejects are minimized because the worker is now more focused on the task at hand, rather than repeating steps over and not necessarily paying attention to what they are doing. Secondly, because they have full control over the whole process of making the hotplate, they are more likely to correct problems, rather than leave it to the inspector to do. Additionally, the workers individual contribution to the hotplate is minimal, and they are likely to care less about it.

2. What might account for the drop in absenteeism and the increase in morale?

Several factors might account for the drop in absenteeism and the increase in morale. It is important to recognize that the drop in absenteeism and improvement in morale are correlated to personal ownership of the individual products produced by that worker as well as the variety of work that a given worker performs in one day. The fact that each worker had their own products also probably fueled the basic part of human nature to compete with their fellow workers to do a better job. It helped that a worker could actually package the hotplate up knowing that the customer would be the next person to see it.

3. What were the major changes in the situation? Which changes were under the control of the manger? Which were controlled by workers?

There were several major changes in the situation, including changes in employee training, and changes in personal responsibility for the success of the project. Furthermore, the major changes in the situation can be split into what was under control by the managers and what was under control of the workers. For the managers, the changes were training the employees in the whole process of assembling or inspecting the hotplate and understanding that even though the industrial engineers had defined assembly work steps that were most efficient, human behavior is just as important. For the workers, the changes included taking personal responsibility for the product, realizing that errors made earlier in the assembly process could directly affect their ability to perform a later step and product a function product, and develop pride and a feeling of a reason to go to work.

4. What might happen if the workers went back to the old assembly line method?

If the workers reverted to the old assembly line method, the workers would likely do well at producing the hotplates since they had been doing a very good job prior to the switch. Additionally, because they understood the entire process of how the hotplate was made, the controllable defects would be minimized. However the workers would likely lose their feeling of individuality and pride in their work over time and the workers might leave the job, resulting in higher turnover rates. Eventually the operation would return to the original state.

Personal injury caused by accident on the job history assignment help and resources

Case Studies:

Janet works as a branch manager for a large banking firm. Her job requires her to travel by personal vehicle to different branch offices several times each week. Janet has lower back problems from a result of a skiing accident many years ago, which is further aggravated by long periods of sitting while driving. Janet was returning from the branch office to the home office on Thursday afternoon when another driver struck her car from behind. A physician examined Janet and determined that the accident aggravated her pre-existing back injury. The physician ordered Janet to remain off work for at least two weeks.

Is this injury covered under workers’ compensation? Yes

Rationale for your decision: Personal injury caused by accident on the job

If covered, identify the appropriate injury category: Injury with temporary disability

Frank works as a clerk in a local convenience store with a non-smoking policy. On a personal work break, Frank stepped outside the building to smoke a cigarette. As Frank walked across the parking lot, he slipped on a patch of ice and fell, breaking his wrist and injuring his outstretched hand.

Is this injury covered under workers’ compensation? No

Rationale for your decision: Did not arise out of employment

If covered, identify the appropriate injury category: N/a

Tom is an electrician who works for Eagle Electrical Company as an independent contractor. Last Tuesday, the company dispatched Tom to a local business office to investigate a wiring problem. While checking the circuit box, Tom sustained severe burns to his hands and upper torso when a faulty switch caused an electrical arcing event. Tom’s medical bills totaled over $750,000.

Is this injury covered under workers’ compensation? No

Rationale for your decision: Independent contractors are not covered (additionally, failed to use safety equipment/take precautions)

If covered, identify the appropriate injury category: N/a

Rich works for Home Solutions Experts as a carpet installer. The company actively promotes workplace safety and provides ergonomic equipment to all employees. Rich has had ongoing pain in his knees, and it is progressively worsening. After an examination, his physician determined he was suffering from bursitis, commonly known as “carpet layer’s knee.” This required an arthroscopic knee aspiration, a minimum of three weeks off work, and physical therapy.

Is this injury covered under workers’ compensation? Yes

Rationale for your decision: Unexpected result over time (repetive stress) that occurred during the normal course of employment

If covered, identify the appropriate injury category: Injury requiring vocational rehabilitation

Bonnie works as a transportation security officer for the Office of Homeland Security. During the course of a routine airport baggage screening, a passenger became agitated and shoved Bonnie, causing her to stumble backwards over a pile of luggage. As a direct result, Bonnie experienced severe back pain, which her physician diagnosed as a strained muscle. He ordered her to remain off work for at least one week and on light duty for three weeks after.

Is this injury covered under workers’ compensation? Yes

Rationale for your decision: Occured during course of employment

If covered, identify the appropriate injury category: Injury with temporary disability

The Claims Process

When a worker suffers an injury while on the job, the first step they must take in filing a worker’s compensation claim is informing their employer of the injury. In most states, this must occur in writing, which also helps protect the interests of both the employee and the employer. Each state also specifies the time period within which this notification must occur, again protecting both parties. After the employer receives written notification from an employee regarding an injury, the employer must then notify their insurance carrier and the state’s worker’s compensation office. After all of the notifications are accomplished, the employee is required to see a physician selected by the employer or the insurance carrier, or sometimes by the managed healthcare provider to which the employer subscribes. Refusal to cooperate with the physician selection on the part of the employee could result in a termination, cancellation or simple refusal of benefits.

This physician, the first to treat the patient regarding the work related injury for which the claim is filed, is known as the physician of record. The physician of record has certain duties and obligations to both the patient and the other parties concerned with the worker’s compensation claim. Their primary concern is, of course, the treatment of the condition that caused the claim, and the general health of their patient. As part of this treatment, the physician of record has the responsibility to determine the extent of the disability, as well as the date on which the employee can safely return to work. Their report can also allow for further treatments, such as physical therapy. In addition to treating the patent, the physician must keep the insurance carrier apprised of any significant changes in the patient’s condition, especially those that might affect the employee’s ability to work or otherwise alter the status of the claim.

This leads to one of the controversies surrounding worker’s compensation: the right to medical privacy. The federal HIPAA Privacy Rule and almost all state medical privacy laws allow or even require that a patient’s worker’s compensation files containing their protected health information be made entirely available to review by the insurance carrier claims adjusters and the employers. Normally, such information cannot be distributed to anyone without express written consent of the patient, and indeed most laws make it clear that other pre-existing conditions with which the patient is diagnosed or for which they are treated cannot be disclosed to employers or insurance carriers. The implications for this exception to the medical privacy rule reflect a general distrust not only of the worker filing a claim based on a workplace injury, but even a certain mistrust of the physician of record. The only purpose behind the insurance review of medical documents in this case would be to make sure that no fraudulent claims are being made, which could only occur if the physician was involved in some level of conspiracy with the patient. The fact that it is the government that is at financial risk of fraud in worker’s compensation instances might have something to do with the way the law allows for full disclosure of protected health information in these instances, but does not allow it in other insurance claims.

The employer’s responsibilities during the claims process are to file the proper notifications within the time frame provided for by state law, though sometimes it is the physician who files this “first report of injury.” This time span can be anywhere from twenty-four hours to ten days after receiving written notification from an employee claiming a workplace injury. After receiving this first report of injury, the insurance carrier must then determine whether or not the injury is covered by worker’s compensation rules. If it is, then the insurance carrier notifies the employer with an Admission of Liability. Any wage compensations due to the patient are mailed by the insurance directly to the worker. In addition, all medical bills are submitted directly to and paid by the insurance carrier. if, however, the insurance carrier finds that the injury does not fall under the events covered by worker’s compensation, they will file a Notice of Contest, and the employee becomes responsible for their medical bills. If a claim is denied or terminated, the worker may appeal, first through mediation, then through successive levels of the state’s courts, eventually going so far as reaching the state’s supreme court or the worker’s compensation board, depending on the state. If at any point it is determined that the claim was justified, the employee will receive compensation for any medical bills already paid in addition to back wages they are entitled to.

The company’s headquarter Research Proposal history homework: history homework

Kohl’s Case Study

Kohl’s Corporation is a department store chain founded in 1962. The company’s headquarters are located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. The company was founded by Max Kohl, who established the first Kohl’s supermarket in 1946, which later developed into Kohl’s Food Stores chains (Wikipedia, 2008).

When the first Kohl department store was established in 1962, it was positioned between the higher end department stores and the discounters. However, a decade later, the department store started to develop after the British American Tobacco Company bought a significant part of Kohl’s Corporation.

The development process continued, and the company was purchased in 1986 by a group of investors. In 1992, the company became public. Currently, Kohl’s is the 23rd largest retailer in the United States, operating 1003 stores in 48 states.

Most of customers’ needs can be fulfilled by Kohl’s, where customers can find national brand-name merchandise, exclusive labels, private branded goods. The variety of goods sold in Kohl’s department stores includes: apparel, shoes, and accessories for women, children, and men. The list of products commercialized at Kohl’s includes home products like: small electronics, kitchen electrics, electric shavers, toothbrushes, vacuums and floor care, bedding, toys, and luggage. Kohl’s also commercializes exclusive lines like: Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, and others, and also the company’s private brands.

The company’s mission is to become the leading value-oriented, family focused, specialty department store.

Strategic Analysis

Industry analysis

Kohl’s is activating on the retail market in the apparel sector mostly. As most reports reveal, the global apparel market is subject to change in the next period of time. These changes will also affect the apparel market in the United States.

It is expected that classic outsourcing destinations will decrease in their importance, while other outsourcing destinations will be discovered and introduced in the global circuit.

In 2007, the global apparel market accounted for $600 billion. Of this amount, 82% is ensured by the world’s top 15 exporting countries. As mentioned above, it is expected that India and China, the most important outsourcing regions in the apparel industry will register significant decreases in their activity. Such setbacks are expected to emerge because of numerous strikes that take place in these countries, but also because of increasing manufacturing and transportation costs (Just Style, 2008).

Customers’ needs and preferences will also go through some changes also, as both buyers and suppliers will orient towards value and speed to market, instead of orienting towards lowest costs. As a consequence, it is expected that prices will increase, but the provided quality will also be higher. This way, even if customers will pay more for the clothes they buy these could be considered as a better investment than buying cheaper clothes of a poorer quality.

Because of the economic slowdown in 2008, countries that export in the United States mainly reported mild decreases in the quantity of exported products. However, certain countries will register significant growth in the apparel outsourcing industry. These regions are located in Central America. The reason behind this activity growth consists in special trade concessions.

The same advantage will apply in the case of some African countries that will continue to benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act. It is expected that these countries’ exports to the United States mainly, but to other destinations also, will significantly increase.

The growth and development of the apparel outsourcing activity in these countries is also due to the decreasing competitiveness of Chinese firms. These firms’ activity is slowed down because of increased labor costs, RMB strengthening, increased raw materials’ costs, exports tax rebates reduction.

The United States will remove import restrictions, to some of the Chinese apparel categories, which will lead to increased imports. Even so, it is expected that China and India will lose much of their outsourcing advantage, in the detriment of Vietnam and Bangladesh.

The United States apparel production is going through rough times, since the apparel production has continuously decreased over the past decade, reaching its lowest level in 2008. The average price per unit has increased 25%, given the fact that customers prefer higher quality and higher priced articles.


Kohl’s most important competitors are:





The Great Indoors

The general economic situation of these companies is the following:

Table 1 – Macy’s financial situation

Financial section

Net Sales

Gross margin

Net income

Net income per share

Shareholders’ equity

Note: the values are expressed in millions of dollars, except per share data.

Source: Macy’s 2007 Annual Report.

As one may observe, the values reported in 2007 for the financial sections included in the table are lower than the values reported in 2006.

Table 2 – Sears financial situation

Financial section

Total revenues

Net income

Net income per share

Total assets

Long-term debt

Note: the values are expressed in millions of dollars, except per share data.

Source: Sears 2007 Annual Report.

As one may observe, just in the case of Macy’s, Sears’ most important financial data reveal that the company’s total revenues, net income, and total assets have decreased in 2007 compared to 2006. One of the positive aspects is that the company’s long-term debt has decreased also. However, the net income per share has significantly decreased in 2007, being almost reduced to half of the value reported in 2006. Even so, Sears’ net income per share is almost triple that that of Macy’s.

Macro-environment analysis

Political and legal forces

The political environment is specific for each country and it reflects society’s structure, social classes and their role in the society, political forces and the relationships between them, the state’s degree of implication in the economy, political stability on internal, regional, and international level.

The most important organizations and associations that influence the apparel market in the United States are:

American Apparel and Footwear Association – AAFA

American Apparel Producers’ Network – AAPN

American Fiber Manufacturers Association – AFMA

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists – AATCC

American Cotton Shippers Association – ACSA

The Government is also responsible for a series of treaties and acts that influence the cooperation between the United States and importing countries. The legal environment that characterizes outsourcing countries also influences the apparel industry.

Economic forces

The economic environment takes into consideration the economic activity, the general development level, employment and unemployment, the financial situation, and others. These environmental factors affect directly or indirectly the market’s situation and also the company’s situation: they determine the volume and structure of the goods supply, the level of incomes, the level of prices or competition. The economic environment must be analyzed in correlation with the demographic environment. The most important economic and demographic factors that affect the apparel market and the company are:

Population growth rate: 0.88%

GDP real growth rate: 2%

GDP per capita: $45,800

GDP composition by sector: agriculture – 1.2%, industry – 19.8%, services – 79%

Unemployment rate: 4.6%

Inflation rate: 2.9%

Investment: 15.5% of GDP

Household income or consumption: lowest 10% – 2%, highest 10% – 30%

Public debt: 60.8% of GDP

Exports: $1.148 trillion

Imports: $1.968 trillion

Exports partners: Canada 21.4%, Mexico 11.7%, China 5.6%, Japan 5.4%, UK 4.3%, Germany 4.3%

Imports partners: China 16.9%, Canada 15.7%, Mexico 10.6%, Japan 7.4%, Germany 4.8%

Corporate level strategy

Porter’s five forces

The threat of substitute products:

As mentioned above, Kohl’s is a retailer that commercializes apparel, footwear, and small electronic products. There are obviously no substitutes for clothes or footwear, so there is no threat from this point-of-view. Even more, it seems that customers are orienting towards higher quality and higher priced products.

The threat of new competitors entering the market:

It is quite difficult to establish a department store chain that would be present nationwide, since it took a few decades for Kohl’s to develop into what the company is today. Therefore, it is expected that the company will not have to face new strong competitors.

The intensity of competitive rivalry:

This market segment includes a few large competitors, like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Sears, and smaller competitors also. However, all these competitors have reported lower incomes and sales in 2007 compared to the previous year.

The bargaining power of customers:

Given the economic slowdown that characterizes the entire world currently, it is expected that Kohl’s will have to lower its prices for certain products so that the number of customers will not decrease. This is the moment for implementing a series of campaigns and promotions.

The bargaining power of suppliers:

The apparel market is characterized by raw materials prices increases. It is expected that this situation will maintain in the following period of time also. Outsourcing destinations like China and India have increased their production and transportation costs. Also, the United States apparel industry has reached its lowest level since 1963, which will probably affect the company’s competitors also.

Raymond Miles and Charles Snow strategic analysis

Raymond Miles and Charles Snow have classified companies into four strategic types:





Kohl’s seems to be a defender from this point-of-view. The reason behind this affirmation relies on the fact that Kohl’s is a mature company in a mature industry that aims at protecting its market position through efficient production, strong control mechanisms, continuity and reliability (12manage, 2008).

The main objective is to therefore maintain a stable level of market share or even to increase it. It is best that Kohl’s activates in a stable environment. Therefore, given the latest economic trends that affect the global economy it is expected that the company will register sales and income decreases, the same as its competitors.

Therefore, it is recommended to implement strategies that allow the company to maintain low costs, so that prices will not be increased. This way, the company is able to ensure the same number of customers as before the financial crisis.

Such a defender type company should best rely on long-term planning, given the slow modifications that characterize the macro-environment. However, it is recommended to implement a short-term strategy also, in order to overcome the negative aspects that emerge because of the financial crisis.

SWOT analysis

The company’s strengths are:



National presence

High quality

Acceptable prices

Customer-oriented strategy

The company was established a few decades ago and the fact that Kohl’s has continuously developed since its beginning proves that stability is one of the most important strengths a company could have. Even more, given the financial crisis that characterized the global economy, customers will appreciate stability. Customers are now oriented towards higher quality and higher priced products. Kohl’s has acknowledged this orientation that is followed by the company’s strategy.

The company’s weaknesses are:

Large number of employees

Long-term strategy

The company is operating approximately 1003 stores nationwide that require many employees at store level and at corporation level. This means that the company does not have a flexible organizational system. Also, given the fact that Kohl’s is a defender company, its strategy is a long-term one. As mentioned above, given the new economic trends, such a strategy might not be effective.

The company’s opportunities:

New outsourcing countries

It is recommended that the company maintains prices as low as possible. This means that the company’s products require production and transportation that can be achieved at low costs. Such production outsourcing countries include Vietnam and Bangladesh.

The company’s threats:

Financial crisis

Although the company may not be severely affected by the financial crisis in a direct manner, it may be affected indirectly through its customers that may choose to cut back on unnecessary goods.

Recommended strategy

In more normal and stable economic circumstances, it would be recommended that the company develops a long-term strategy based on growth and international expansion. However, given the financial crisis that characterizes the global economy, it is recommended that Kohl’s follows a short-term strategy until economic matters return no normal and the macro-environment will be more stable.

It is expected that customers will change their purchasing priorities in the next period of time and will not focus on items like apparel, footwear, or small electronics. Therefore, it is recommended to lower the prices for the most purchased products at Kohl’s. However, such an action must be implemented without diminishing quality.

Marketing mix

Product strategy

As mentioned above, it is expected that customers’ purchasing priorities will change in the next period of time. The company should remove its focus from expensive, luxury products to other products that have more frequent usability and that are purchased in larger quantities by customers.

The standards of quality must be maintained at the same level as before. It is not recommended to involve in any research and development activities right now or to launch new innovative products. It is likely that such products will not rise customers interest in such economic instability.

Price strategy

As mentioned above, it is recommended that the company tries to lower its prices, at least for the moment, so that the number of customers will not decrease. This strategy can be applied to the company’s own brands especially. Production outsourcing destinations like China and India have increased the manufacturing and transportation costs. Therefore, such countries may not represent such a cheap alternative. However, the company should take advantage of other alternatives represented by emerging outsourcing possibilities like Vietnam, Bangladesh, or some African countries.

Distribution strategy

The distribution process will probably not suffer significant modifications. However, it is recommended to reduce costs wherever possible. The distribution process must also become more flexible.

Promotional strategy

It is not recommended to invest a great deal in the promotional strategy in these times. The company must prove its solidarity with its customers and the hardships they are going through because of the financial crisis. Therefore, luxurious and expensive promotional strategies may not be the best alternative. Print ads and mail advertising are the recommended methods for the company.

Reference List

Kohl’s (2008). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 26, 2008 at

Global apparel markets: winners and losers (2008). Just Style. Retrieved October 26, 2008 at

Annual Report (2007). Macy’s Inc. Retrieved October 26, 2008 at

Annual Report (2007). Sears Holdings Corporation. Retrieved October 26, 2008 at,0,0.

Apparel & Textile Industry Associations & Organizations (2008). Retrieved October 26, 2008 at

The United States (2008). Central Intelligence Agency. The world Factbook. Retrieved October 26, 2008 from

Four Strategic Types – Raymond Miles and Charles Snow (2008). 12 manage. Retrieved October 26, 2008 at

Porter five forces analysis (2008). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 26, 2008 at

Supplier Diversity (2008). Kohl’s Inc. Retrieved October 26, 2008 at

Kohl’s Corporation Reports September Comparable Store Sales – press release (2008). Kohl’s Inc. Retrieved October 26, 2008 at

Corporate Governance – Highlights (2008). Kohl’s Inc. Retrieved October 26, 2008 at

Energy Management Programs (2008). Kohl’s Inc. Retrieved October 26, 2008 at

Counseling Case Study: Ronnie’s Epilepsy gcse history essay help

Counseling Case Study: Ronnie’s Epilepsy

As Ronnie’s primary rehabilitation counselor, there are several areas that you would want to address with his employer. The most important thing is to ensure that the employer and Ronnie’s co-workers understand not only his condition but what kinds of problems Ronnie may experience, how to recognize them, and what the best course of action is. As for epilepsy, it affects different people in different ways. Not everyone who has it experiences the grand mal seizures that are so popular in the movies where a person convulses on the floor and sometimes tries to ‘swallow’ their tongue. Others who have epilepsy can go into a largely catatonic state during their seizures or, like Ronnie, become mostly dazed and confused for a few moments, feeling fine afterward. The fact that Ronnie’s seizures are not that obvious to others around him is both good and bad. People might not ridicule him or be uncomfortable around him, but they also might not notice when he needs help. He doesn’t appear to feel the seizures’ onset like some epileptics do, so there is little that can be done to remove him from a situation before the seizure actually strikes. Since he responds to gentle coaxing during his seizures, that is the best way to react if another employee notices a problem.

It is imperative that Ronnie continue to take his medication properly and see his physician as often as he is supposed to. If he does not do this his seizures could become worse and it could be very harmful to his health. While Ronnie will probably do his best to make his appointments on days he does not work and take his medications on his breaks and at lunch, there will likely be times when he will need to take a break at an odd time or at least take the time to go to the break room long enough to take his medication. These should certainly be allowed and not be viewed as slacking off on his job. The same is true with his physician visits. If he must go to the doctor on a work day because that was the only day he could schedule for, arrangements for this should be made.

As for accommodations when it comes to Ronnie’s occupation, it seems as though the employer is already doing well with these. By having Ronnie work a job where he is in charge of some things that he enjoys doing but does not have a lot of contact with customers, there is less of a worry about his having a seizure while on the job, which could confuse or upset customers, or otherwise make them uncomfortable. The other employees that Ronnie works with in his department should be made aware of Ronnie’s condition and what to do if he has a seizure so that it causes as little of a disruption as possible and so that Ronnie is safe and cared for. Since he becomes dazed and confused during seizures he could even wander off into the parking lot or do something that might be unsafe. He does not need to be watched all the time, but he should not work completely alone in the department for a long period of time, either.

In addition, other employees who are compassionate and understanding and helpful are important for Ronnie’s well-being. His social skills are underdeveloped, and he needs help with them. However, patronizing him is not the answer. Other employees should simply treat him politely and fairly and in turn he will learn to socialize better and be more comfortable with others. Since his parents have recently died and he had led such a sheltered life with his epilepsy, it is quite possible that he would like very much to make friends and have other people to talk to. He is intelligent, even if he is not always good at expressing himself. By giving him a working environment where employees are polite and friendly to him he has a much better chance of becoming more appropriately socialized for his age, and that will lead him to make new friendships with his co-workers and with others outside of the store. Since he does not drive, work might actually be the only social life that he has.