May 27, 2010

MBA notes-Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of Motivation

In 1959, Frederick Herzberg, a behavioural scientist proposed a two-factor theory or the motivator-hygiene theory. According to Herzberg, there are some job factors that result in satisfaction while there are other job factors that prevent dissatisfaction. According to Herzberg, the opposite of “Satisfaction” is “No satisfaction” and the opposite of “Dissatisfaction” is “No Dissatisfaction”.

Herzberg classified these job factors into two categories-

1. Hygiene factors- Hygiene factors are those job factors which are essential for existence of motivation at workplace. These do not lead to positive satisfaction for long-term. But if these factors are absent / if these factors are non-existant at workplace, then they lead to dissatisfaction. In other words, hygiene factors are those factors which when adequate / reasonable in a job, pacify the employees and do not make them dissatisfied. These factors are extrinsic to work. Hygiene factors are also called as dissatisfiers or maintenance factors as they are required to avoid dissatisfaction. These factors describe the job environment / scenario. The hygiene factors symbolized the physiological needs which the individuals wanted and expected to be fulfilled. Hygiene factors include:
* Pay- The pay or salary structure should be appropriate and reasonable. It must be equal and competitive to those in the same industry in the same domain.
* Company Policies and administrative policies- The company policies should not be too rigid. They should be fair and clear. It should include flexible working hours, dress code, breaks, vacation, etc.
* Fringe benefits- The employees should be offered health care plans (mediclaim), benefits for the family members, employee help programmes, etc.
* Physical Working conditions- The working conditions should be safe, clean and hygienic. The work equipments should be updated and well-maintained.
* Status- The employees’ status within the organization should be familiar and retained.
* Interpersonal relations-The relationship of the employees with his peers, superiors and subordinates should be appropriate and acceptable. There should be no conflict or humiliation element present.
* Job Security- The organization must provide job security to the employees.

2. Motivational factors- According to Herzberg, the hygiene factors cannot be regarded as motivators. The motivational factors yield positive satisfaction. These factors are inherent to work. These factors motivate the employees for a superior performance. These factors are called satisfiers. These are factors involved in performing the job. Employees find these factors intrinsically rewarding. The motivators symbolized the psychological needs that were perceived as an additional benefit. Motivational factors include:
* Recognition- The employees should be praised and recognized for their accomplishments by the managers.
* Sense of achievement- The employees must have a sense of achievement. This depends on the job. There must be a fruit of some sort in the job.
* Growth and promotional opportunities- There must be growth and advancement opportunities in an organization to motivate the employees to perform well.
* Responsibility- The employees must hold themselves responsible for the work. The managers should give them ownership of the work. They should minimize control but retain accountability.
* Meaningfulness of the work- The work itself should be meaningful, interesting and challenging for the employee to perform and to get motivated.


Limitations of Two-Factor Theory
The two factor theory is not free from limitations:

1. The two-factor theory overlooks situational variables.
2. Herzberg assumed a correlation between satisfaction and productivity. But the research conducted by Herzberg stressed upon satisfaction and ignored productivity.
3. The theory’s reliability is uncertain. Analysis has to be made by the raters. The raters may spoil the findings by analyzing same response in different manner.
4. No comprehensive measure of satisfaction was used. An employee may find his job acceptable despite the fact that he may hate/object part of his job.
5. The two factor theory is not free from bias as it is based on the natural reaction of employees when they are enquired the sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction at work. They will blame dissatisfaction on the external factors such as salary structure, company policies and peer relationship. Also, the employees will give credit to themselves for the satisfaction factor at work.
6. The theory ignores blue-collar workers. Despite these limitations, Herzberg’s Two-Factor theory is acceptable broadly.

Implications of Two-Factor Theory
ü The Two-Factor theory implies that the managers must stress upon guaranteeing the adequacy of the hygiene factors to avoid employee dissatisfaction. Also, the managers must make sure that the work is stimulating and rewarding so that the employees are motivated to work and perform harder and better. This theory emphasize upon job-enrichment so as to motivate the employees. The job must utilize the employee’s skills and competencies to the maximum. Focusing on the motivational factors can improve work-quality.

Source: managementstudyguide.com

MBA notes- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory

Abraham Maslow is well renowned for proposing the Hierarchy of Needs Theory in 1943. This theory is a classical depiction of human motivation. This theory is based on the assumption that there is a hierarchy of five needs within each individual. The urgency of these needs varies.
These five needs are as follows-

1. Physiological needs- These are the basic needs of air, water, food, clothing and shelter. In other words, physiological needs are the needs for basic amenities of life.
2. Safety needs- Safety needs include physical, environmental and emotional safety and protection. For instance- Job security, financial security, protection from animals, family security, health security, etc.
3. Social needs- Social needs include the need for love, affection, care, belongingness, and friendship.
4. Esteem needs- Esteem needs are of two types: internal esteem needs (self- respect, confidence, competence, achievement and freedom) and external esteem needs (recognition, power, status, attention and admiration).
5. Self-actualization need- This include the urge to become what you are capable of becoming / what you have the potential to become. It includes the need for growth and self-contentment. It also includes desire for gaining more knowledge, social- service, creativity and being aesthetic. The self- actualization needs are never fully satiable. As an individual grows psychologically, opportunities keep cropping up to continue growing.

According to Maslow, individuals are motivated by unsatisfied needs. As each of these needs is significantly satisfied, it drives and forces the next need to emerge. Maslow grouped the five needs into two categories - Higher-order needs and Lower-order needs. The physiological and the safety needs constituted the lower-order needs. These lower-order needs are mainly satisfied externally. The social, esteem, and self-actualization needs constituted the higher-order needs. These higher-order needs are generally satisfied internally, i.e., within an individual. Thus, we can conclude that during boom period, the employees lower-order needs are significantly met.

Implications of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory for Managers
ü As far as the physiological needs are concerned, the managers should give employees appropriate salaries to purchase the basic necessities of life. Breaks and eating opportunities should be given to employees.
ü As far as the safety needs are concerned, the managers should provide the employees job security, safe and hygienic work environment, and retirement benefits so as to retain them.
ü As far as social needs are concerned, the management should encourage teamwork and organize social events.
ü As far as esteem needs are concerned, the managers can appreciate and reward employees on accomplishing and exceeding their targets. The management can give the deserved employee higher job rank / position in the organization.
ü As far as self-actualization needs are concerned, the managers can give the employees challenging jobs in which the employees’ skills and competencies are fully utilized. Moreover, growth opportunities can be given to them so that they can reach the peak.
The managers must identify the need level at which the employee is existing and then those needs can be utilized as push for motivation.

Limitations of Maslow’s Theory

* It is essential to note that not all employees are governed by same set of needs. Different individuals may be driven by different needs at same point of time. It is always the most powerful unsatisfied need that motivates an individual.
* The theory is not empirically supported.
* The theory is not applicable in case of starving artist as even if the artist’s basic needs are not satisfied, he will still strive for recognition and achievement.

Source: managementstudyguide.com

MBA notes-Theory X and Theory Y

In 1960, Douglas McGregor formulated Theory X and Theory Y suggesting two aspects of human behaviour at work, or in other words, two different views of individuals (employees): one of which is negative, called as Theory X and the other is positive, so called as Theory Y. According to McGregor, the perception of managers on the nature of individuals is based on various assumptions.
Assumptions of Theory X

* An average employee intrinsically does not like work and tries to escape it whenever possible.
* Since the employee does not want to work, he must be persuaded, compelled, or warned with punishment so as to achieve organizational goals. A close supervision is required on part of managers. The managers adopt a more dictatorial style.
* Many employees rank job security on top, and they have little or no aspiration/ ambition.
* Employees generally dislike responsibilities.
* Employees resist change.
* An average employee needs formal direction.

Assumptions of Theory Y

* Employees can perceive their job as relaxing and normal. They exercise their physical and mental efforts in an inherent manner in their jobs.
* Employees may not require only threat, external control and coercion to work, but they can use self-direction and self-control if they are dedicated and sincere to achieve the organizational objectives.
* If the job is rewarding and satisfying, then it will result in employees’ loyalty and commitment to organization.
* An average employee can learn to admit and recognize the responsibility. In fact, he can even learn to obtain responsibility.
* The employees have skills and capabilities. Their logical capabilities should be fully utilized. In other words, the creativity, resourcefulness and innovative potentiality of the employees can be utilized to solve organizational problems.

Thus, we can say that Theory X presents a pessimistic view of employees’ nature and behaviour at work, while Theory Y presents an optimistic view of the employees’ nature and behaviour at work. If correlate it with Maslow’s theory, we can say that Theory X is based on the assumption that the employees emphasize on the physiological needs and the safety needs; while Theory X is based on the assumption that the social needs, esteem needs and the self-actualization needs dominate the employees.

McGregor views Theory Y to be more valid and reasonable than Theory X. Thus, he encouraged cordial team relations, responsible and stimulating jobs, and participation of all in decision-making process.
Implications of Theory X and Theory Y
ü Quite a few organizations use Theory X today. Theory X encourages use of tight control and supervision. It implies that employees are reluctant to organizational changes. Thus, it does not encourage innovation.
ü Many organizations are using Theory Y techniques. Theory Y implies that the managers should create and encourage a work environment which provides opportunities to employees to take initiative and self-direction. Employees should be given opportunities to contribute to organizational well-being. Theory Y encourages decentralization of authority, teamwork and participative decision making in an organization. Theory Y searches and discovers the ways in which an employee can make significant contributions in an organization. It harmonizes and matches employees’ needs and aspirations with organizational needs and aspirations.

Source: managementstudyguide.com

MBA Notes-Motivation Definition

Motivation is the word derived from the word ’motive’ which means needs, desires, wants or drives within the individuals. It is the process of stimulating people to actions to accomplish the goals. In the work goal context the psychological factors stimulating the people’s behavior can be

* desire for money
* success
* recognition
* job-satisfaction
* team work, etc

One of the most important functions of management is to create willingness amongst the employees to perform in the best of their abilities. Therefore the role of a leader is to arouse interest in performance of employees in their jobs. The process of motivation consists of three stages:-

1. A felt need or drive
2. A stimulus in which needs have to be aroused
3. When needs are satisfied, the satisfaction or accomplishment of goals.

Therefore, we can say that motivation is a psychological phenomenon which means needs and wants of the individuals have to be tackled by framing an incentive plan.

May 18, 2010

Financial Planning-Objectives of FM

Definition of Financial Planning:

Financial Planning is the process of estimating the capital required and determining it’s competition. It is the process of framing financial policies in relation to procurement, investment and administration of funds of an enterprise.

Objectives of Financial Planning:

Financial Planning has got many objectives to look forward to:

1. Determining capital requirements- This will depend upon factors like cost of current and fixed assets, promotional expenses and long- range planning. Capital requirements have to be looked with both aspects: short- term and long- term requirements.

2. Determining capital structure- The capital structure is the composition of capital, i.e., the relative kind and proportion of capital required in the business. This includes decisions of debt- equity ratio- both short-term and long- term.

3. Framing financial policies with regards to cash control, lending, borrowings, etc.

4. A finance manager ensures that the scarce financial resources are maximally utilized in the best possible manner at least cost in order to get maximum returns on investment.

Importance of Financial Planning

Financial Planning is process of framing objectives, policies, procedures, programmes and budgets regarding the financial activities of a concern. This ensures effective and adequate financial and investment policies. The importance can be outlined as-

1. Adequate funds have to be ensured.
2. Financial Planning helps in ensuring a reasonable balance between outflow and inflow of funds so that stability is maintained.
3. Financial Planning ensures that the suppliers of funds are easily investing in companies which exercise financial planning.
4. Financial Planning helps in making growth and expansion programmes which helps in long-run survival of the company.
5. Financial Planning reduces uncertainties with regards to changing market trends which can be faced easily through enough funds.
6. Financial Planning helps in reducing the uncertainties which can be a hindrance to growth of the company. This helps in ensuring stability an d profitability in concern.

Source: www.managementstudyguide.com

Financial Management- Objectives- Functions

Financial Management

Financial Management means planning, organizing, directing and controlling the financial activities such as procurement and utilization of funds of the enterprise. It means applying general management principles to financial resources of the enterprise.
Scope/Elements

1. Investment decisions includes investment in fixed assets (called as capital budgeting).Investment in current assets are also a part of investment decisions called as working capital decisions.

2. Financial decisions - They relate to the raising of finance from various resources which will depend upon decision on type of source, period of financing, cost of financing and the returns thereby.

3. Dividend decision - The finance manager has to take decision with regards to the net profit distribution. Net profits are generally divided into two:
1. Dividend for shareholders- Dividend and the rate of it has to be decided.
2. Retained profits- Amount of retained profits has to be finalized which will depend upon expansion and diversification plans of the enterprise.

Objectives of Financial Management
The financial management is generally concerned with procurement, allocation and control of financial resources of a concern.

The objectives can be-

1. To ensure regular and adequate supply of funds to the concern.

2. To ensure adequate returns to the shareholders which will depend upon the earning capacity, market price of the share, expectations of the shareholders.

3. To ensure optimum funds utilization. Once the funds are procured, they should be utilized in maximum possible way at least cost.

4. To ensure safety on investment, i.e, funds should be invested in safe ventures so that adequate rate of return can be achieved.

5. To plan a sound capital structure-There should be sound and fair composition of capital so that a balance is maintained between debt and equity capital.

Functions of Financial Management

1. Estimation of capital requirements: A finance manager has to make estimation with regards to capital requirements of the company. This will depend upon expected costs and profits and future programmes and policies of a concern. Estimations have to be made in an adequate manner which increases earning capacity of enterprise.

2. Determination of capital composition: Once the estimation have been made, the capital structure have to be decided. This involves short- term and long- term debt equity analysis. This will depend upon the proportion of equity capital a company is possessing and additional funds which have to be raised from outside parties.

3. Choice of sources of funds: For additional funds to be procured, a company has many choices like-
a. Issue of shares and debentures
b. Loans to be taken from banks and financial institutions
c. Public deposits to be drawn like in form of bonds.
Choice of factor will depend on relative merits and demerits of each source and period of financing.

4. Investment of funds: The finance manager has to decide to allocate funds into profitable ventures so that there is safety on investment and regular returns is possible.

5. Disposal of surplus: The net profits decision have to be made by the finance manager. This can be done in two ways:
a. Dividend declaration - It includes identifying the rate of dividends and other benefits like bonus.
b. Retained profits - The volume has to be decided which will depend upon expansional, innovational, diversification plans of the company.

6. Management of cash: Finance manager has to make decisions with regards to cash management. Cash is required for many purposes like payment of wages and salaries, payment of electricity and water bills, payment to creditors, meeting current liabilities, maintainance of enough stock, purchase of raw materials, etc.

7. Financial controls: The finance manager has not only to plan, procure and utilize the funds but he also has to exercise control over finances. This can be done through many techniques like ratio analysis, financial forecasting, cost and profit control, etc.

Source: www.managementstudyguide.com

May 14, 2010

Brand Positioning - Definition and Concept

Brand positioning refers to “target consumer’s” reason to buy your brand in preference to others. It is ensures that all brand activity has a common aim; is guided, directed and delivered by the brand’s benefits/reasons to buy; and it focuses at all points of contact with the consumer.

Brand positioning must make sure that:

* Is it unique/distinctive vs. competitors ?
* Is it significant and encouraging to the niche market ?
* Is it appropriate to all major geographic markets and businesses ?
* Is the proposition validated with unique, appropriate and original products ?
* Is it sustainable - can it be delivered constantly across all points of contact with the consumer ?
* Is it helpful for organization to achieve its financial goals ?
* Is it able to support and boost up the organization ?

In order to create a distinctive place in the market, a niche market has to be carefully chosen and a differential advantage must be created in their mind. Brand positioning is a medium through which an organization can portray it’s customers what it wants to achieve for them and what it wants to mean to them. Brand positioning forms customer’s views and opinions.

Brand Positioning can be defined as an activity of creating a brand offer in such a manner that it occupies a distinctive place and value in the target customer’s mind. For instance-Kotak Mahindra positions itself in the customer’s mind as one entity- “Kotak ”- which can provide customized and one-stop solution for all their financial services needs. It has an unaided top of mind recall. It intends to stay with the proposition of “Think Investments, Think Kotak”. The positioning you choose for your brand will be influenced by the competitive stance you want to adopt.

Brand Positioning involves identifying and determining points of similarity and difference to ascertain the right brand identity and to create a proper brand image. Brand Positioning is the key of marketing strategy. A strong brand positioning directs marketing strategy by explaining the brand details, the uniqueness of brand and it’s similarity with the competitive brands, as well as the reasons for buying and using that specific brand. Positioning is the base for developing and increasing the required knowledge and perceptions of the customers. It is the single feature that sets your service apart from your competitors. For instance- Kingfisher stands for youth and excitement. It represents brand in full flight.

There are various positioning errors, such as-
1. Under positioning- This is a scenario in which the customer’s have a blurred and unclear idea of the brand.
2. Over positioning- This is a scenario in which the customers have too limited a awareness of the brand.
3. Confused positioning- This is a scenario in which the customers have a confused opinion of the brand.
4. Double Positioning- This is a scenario in which customers do not accept the claims of a brand.

Source:www.managementstudyguide.com

Brand Attributes

Brand Attributes portray a company’s brand characteristics. They signify the basic nature of brand. Brand attributes are a bundle of features that highlight the physical and personality aspects of the brand. Attributes are developed through images, actions, or presumptions. Brand attributes help in creating brand identity.

A strong brand must have following attributes:

1. Relevancy- A strong brand must be relevant. It must meet people’s expectations and should perform the way they want it to. A good job must be done to persuade consumers to buy the product; else inspite of your product being unique, people will not buy it.

2. Consistency- A consistent brand signifies what the brand stands for and builds customers trust in brand. A consistent brand is where the company communicates message in a way that does not deviate from the core brand proposition.

3. Proper positioning- A strong brand should be positioned so that it makes a place in target audience mind and they prefer it over other brands.

4. Sustainable- A strong brand makes a business competitive. A sustainable brand drives an organization towards innovation and success. Example of sustainable brand is Marks and Spencer’s.

5. Credibility- A strong brand should do what it promises. The way you communicate your brand to the audience/ customers should be realistic. It should not fail to deliver what it promises. Do not exaggerate as customers want to believe in the promises you make to them.

6. Inspirational- A strong brand should transcend/ inspire the category it is famous for. For example- Nike transcendent Jersey Polo Shirt.

7. Uniqueness- A strong brand should be different and unique. It should set you apart from other competitors in market.

8. Appealing- A strong brand should be attractive. Customers should be attracted by the promise you make and by the value you deliver.

Source: www.managementstudyguide.com

Branding,definition,Brand Management

Brand Define:
Brands are different from products in a way that brands are “what the consumers buy”, while products are “what concern/companies make”. Brand is an accumulation of emotional and functional associations. Brand is a promise that the product will perform as per customer’s expectations. It shapes customer’s expectations about the product. Brands usually have a trademark which protects them from use by others. A brand gives particular information about the organization, good or service, differentiating it from others in marketplace. Brand carries an assurance about the characteristics that make the product or service unique. A strong brand is a means of making people aware of what the company represents and what are it’s offerings.

To a consumer, brand means and signifies:

* Source of product
* Delegating responsibility to the manufacturer of product
* Lower risk
* Less search cost
* Quality symbol
* Deal or pact with the product manufacturer
* Symbolic device

Brands simplify consumers purchase decision. Over a period of time, consumers discover the brands which satisfy their need. If the consumers recognize a particular brand and have knowledge about it, they make quick purchase decision and save lot of time. Also, they save search costs for product. Consumers remain committed and loyal to a brand as long as they believe and have an implicit understanding that the brand will continue meeting their expectations and perform in the desired manner consistently. As long as the consumers get benefits and satisfaction from consumption of the product, they will more likely continue to buy that brand. Brands also play a crucial role in signifying certain product features to consumers.

To a seller, brand means and signifies:

* Basis of competitive advantage
* Way of bestowing products with unique associations
* Way of identification to easy handling
* Way of legal protection of products’ unique traits/features
* Sign of quality to satisfied customer
* Means of financial returns

A brand, in short, can be defined as a seller’s promise to provide consistently a unique set of characteristics, advantages, and services to the buyers/consumers. It is a name, term, sign, symbol or a combination of all these planned to differentiate the goods/services of one seller or group of sellers from those of competitors


Brand Management definition:

The process of maintaining, improving, and upholding a brand so that the name is associated with positive results. Brand management involves a number of important aspects such as cost, customer satisfaction, in-store presentation, and competition. Brand management is built on a marketing foundation, but focuses directly on the brand and how that brand can remain favorable to customers. Proper brand management can result in higher sales of not only one product, but on other products associated with that brand.

Features of a Good Brand Name

A good brand name should have following characteristics:

1. It should be unique/ distinctive (for instance- Kodak, Mustang)
2. It should be extendable.
3. It should be easy to pronounce, identified and memorized. (For instance-Tide)
4. It should give an idea about product’s qualities and benefits (For instance- Swift, Quickfix, Lipguard).
5. It should be easily convertible into foreign languages.
6. It should be capable of legal protection and registration.
7. It should suggest product/service category (For instance Newsweek).
8. It should indicate concrete qualities (For instance Firebird).
9. It should not portray bad/wrong meanings in other categories. (For instance NOVA is a poor name for a car to be sold in Spanish country, because in Spanish it means “doesn’t go”).

Source: www.managementstudyguide.com

May 12, 2010

How to Handle Case Studies

Giving you tips on ‘How to Handle Case Studies’

First of all, following are the various type of case studies, you may come across:
1. Finance based 2. Marketing based 3. HR based 4. Ethical Dilemma 5. Social issue 6. Legal issue
Most common of all, is the HR case. The reason for that is, that anyone can speak on HR issues without technical knowledge of HR function. And they want to give chance to everyone to speak, because without you guys speaking they won’t be able to judge you.

Now, irrespective of which type of case study has been given to you, following are the steps, I will suggest you should be following:

1. Identify the problem in the case.
If a case study has been given to you, there has to be a problem or concerns which you are suppose to tackle. You need to clearly identify this. Please note, it seems identifying problem is easy. Trust me it is at times not that easy.

Eg: ‘Excessive exposure of female anatomy should be banned in the advertisements’

Think for a minute, before reading further, that in this GD(not case study) topic what is the main concern.

Is it exposure?
Or is it excessive exposure?
Or is it females?
Or is it exposure of females?
Or is it excessive expose of females?
Or the advertisements are the issue?
Or females in advertisements are the issue?
Or is it exposure of females in the advertisements?
Or is it excessive exposure of females in the advertisements?

Trust me it’s neither of the above. When I took this GD topic, in my class a couple of weeks back, almost everyone in the class of 40 said something or other written above.

The problem/concern in the above topic is ‘Banned’ or ‘Banning’. Think over it.

2. Identify the cause of the problem.
Once you have identified the problem, your next step should be identifying the cause of the problem. Note that cause of the problem may or may not be explicitly mentioned in the case. If it is mentioned, nothing like it. If it is not, then you have to take assumptions.

In the above example, following can be the causes:
Exposure is spoiling the society.
Models are ill-respected.
Society heads are raising questions.
Laws does not allow.
Etc.

3. Work on solution.
There are two ways of doing it.
a) Work on the cause. If cause can be well taken care of, then the problem itself is taken care of. In this case develop strategies to address the cause. You should at least develop 2 strategies for this. Once primary and the other secondary.

b) Work on the problem. May be the cause is intrinsic. That means the cause and problem are interlinked, in the sense that solution to one thing gives rise to other. In this case, you will have to work on minimizing the effect of the problem or eliminate the problem working on something else but the cause. Again I will suggest develop at least 2 plans/strategies to work on it.

4. Implementation plan.
This means how are you going to implement the plan you have made. What will be the stages involved. What will be the order in which you will implement it? Etc.

5.Backup plan.
A manager has to be always ready with the backup plan. If the main plan back fires than the back plan has to be used. In a case study discussion you will only mention what is your back up plan. You need not talk of its implementation plan, reason being its implementation comes into picture only when the primary plan fails and that’s something we can’t say in discussion only.

Source: www.mbatutes.com

Group Discussion (GD)

Brief about Group Discussion (GD) [what/why?]

A GD is a method to gauge whether the candidate has certain personality traits and/or skills that an institute desires its students possess. This way institutes judge if the candidate fits into its cultural setup, or if the candidate’s personality is going to add a different flavor to the existing culture.

Points that a GD brings out about candidates personality-

Ability to work in a team
Communication skills [including listening, speaking and expressing]
Reasoning ability
Leadership skills
Initiative
Assertiveness
Flexibility
Creativity
Ability to think on ones fee

How to approach a GD

Always use time given for before discussion starts judiciously and efficiently

Step 1: Read/ listen to the topic very carefully

Step 2: Identify the main ideas and themes about the topic

Step 3: Write your points on the sheet provided and try to structure them [5-6 points are enough]


Tip:- try to remember to link your examples to point from the readings and experiences you had relating them to the main topic


Roles people play during a GD

1. Initiating the GD started by introducing the topic to the groups and adding his points

2. Facilitating participation of all the groups members, If anyone or few dominate a group moderator tries to control that,

3. Keeping the content of discussion around the core issue

4. Giving and asking for information & reactions & critiques

5. Discussing and questioning each other’s interpretations of materials

6. Summarizing what the group has said and moving on giving new direction to the discussion

7. Final conclusion

Strategies you may adopt

Competing without a strategy will take you nowhere, unless you are planning to reach nowhere.


Depending upon the comfort level with the topic you must decide in the beginning which role will you be playing in a particular GD. Same strategy for all the GDs that you may be participating in may not be a good strategy as a person a different level of comfort with different topics. So choose a role carefully rather strategically. If you are comfortable playing multiple roles and very swiftly you can switch roles and use your strengths to your advantage.

Normally, opening a GD involves these very important things:


1. Define the topic of the GD if there is a need to define it for others (clarity)
2. Set boundaries/parameters that you may feel will help the GD to be discussed without ambiguity.
3. In case you have a story/ incident/ experience for the topic, then start with that.
4. Creative GD will be started with your interpretation and the supporting thought process for the interpretation.

No matter what role you choose, but you have to make sure you put your own points forward and do your job by adding some valuable points to the discussion.

Tip:- 1. As most of the candidates pounce on the opportunity to open the topic and lot of people speak simultaneously and no one is heard. Better strategy could be to choose roles from 2-6 so that it will be easier to pitch in you points.

2. It is always good to substantiate your point with some facts. Most Business Schools ensure that they pick up those students who have some data on the topic or related discussions wherein the students can compliment their point of view or the stand they might take. This approach gives an impression that candidate has a rational thought process and knows how to built arguments.

Dos and Don’ts

* You must ensure that the group hears you. If the group hears you, so will the evaluator. That does not mean that you shout at the top of your voice and be noticed for the wrong reasons.
* You have to be assertive. If you are not a very assertive person, you will have to simply learn to be assertive for those 15 minutes. Remember, assertiveness does not mean being bull-headed or being arrogant.
* Participate in as many practice GDs as possible before you attend the actual GD. There is nothing like practice to help you overcome the fear of talking in a GD.
* The quality of what you said is more valuable than the quantity.
* Be as natural as possible. Do not try and be someone you are not. Be yourself.
* A group discussion is your chance to be more vocal. The evaluator wants to hear you speak.
* Take time to organize your thoughts. Think of what you are going to say.
* Seek clarification if you have any doubts regarding the subject.
* Don’t start speaking until you have clearly understood and analyzed the subject.
* Work out various strategies to help you make an entry: initiate the discussion or agree with someone else’s point and then move onto express your views.
* Opening the discussion is not the only way of gaining attention and recognition. If you do not give valuable insights during the discussion, all your efforts of initiating the discussion will be in vain.
* Your body language says a lot about you – your gestures and mannerisms are more likely to reflect your attitude than what you say.
* Language skills are important only to the effect as to how you get your points across clearly and fluently.
* Be assertive not dominating; try to maintain a balanced tone in your discussion and analysis.
* Don’t lose your cool if anyone says anything you object to. The key is to stay objective: Don’t take the discussion personally.
* Always be polite: Try to avoid using extreme phrases like: `I strongly object’ or `I disagree’. Instead try phrases like: `I would like to share my views on…’ or `One difference between your point and mine…’ or “I beg to differ with you”
* Brush up on your leadership skills; motivate the other members of the team to speak and listen to their views. Be receptive to others’ opinions and do not be abrasive or aggressive.
* If you have a group of like-minded friends, you can have a mock group discussion where you can learn from each other through giving and receiving feedback.

Source: www.mbatutes.com

May 3, 2010

How to write Letter of Intent

A letter of intent is typically written by a student who is looking to sell himself to an undergraduate college/university, a graduate school, an athletic department at a college/university, or a business that provides an internship. The purpose of the letter of intent is a sales pitch. You are selling yourself and your abilities.

As a student, you have probably spent a great deal of time researching the schools and programs that interest you. Once you have narrowed down your choices to the ones that you believe fit you the best, it’s time to introduce your best self to the right people. That’s where the letter of intent comes in.

1. Determine the name and address of the right person to receive the letter. You don’t want to address the letter to “Department Head” or worse yet, “To Whom it May Concern.” Unless the letter is directly addressed to the right person, it’s not likely to get read by that person. A quick phone call to the institution or place of business can usually get you the information you need.
2. Write the letter using the proper business format. This is not a casual, friendly letter. It needs to look professional. Use a simple font such as Times New Roman or Arial.
3. Introduce yourself in the first paragraph of the letter. Include what year you are in school, what school you currently attend, and any information that is pertinent. For example, if you are writing to the basketball department of a school, it would be appropriate to mention that you are the captain of your high school basketball team.
4. Next, describe why you are writing the letter. Describe how you first learned about the school or program, and how you became excited about it. how to write a letter of intent
5. Now it’s time to state your credentials. Tell the reader why he should consider you for this school/program. This can be in paragraph form or a bulleted list of your accomplishments. Be specific and be honest.
6. In the following paragraph, say some good things about the school/program. Flatter the reader, but don’t go overboard with flattery for fear of appearing insincere. Describe why you find the school/program so appealing, and how its strengths and your interests are ideally matched.
7. Request a response. Express your desire for an interview. Make sure that you include all of your contact information in the letter so you can be contacted for the interview.
8. Finish the letter with “Sincerely,” and your signature.
9. Length. Keep the letter to one page in length.
10. Proofread. You are trying to sell yourself, and a misspelled word or typo can look very bad.
11. Revise and let others see it. Show your letter to a guidance counselor or student advisor and ask if it is well done. Make changes if necessary.
12. Make a copy of your letter before sending it. In the event that the letter is lost in transit, you then have the ability to resend without starting from scratch.

Source: www.scholarshiponline.info

How to write Curriculum Vitae-CV-resume

The CV (resume, in American English) is meant to introduce you and your background to somebody who does not know you and barely has time to get to know you. It should present you in the best possible light, in a concise and well-structured manner. There are plenty of resume-writing guides out there, that can teach you to the smallest details how to write one. Their regular problem is that they do not agree with each other when it comes to details. This is why we have put here together a number of generally agreed guide-lines, plus some specific details that could help students. A regular CV for business purposes should definitely not go over one A4 page. If you intend to use it for academic purposes and not for a job, the CV can pass that limit, on the condition that you use the extra space to describe academic activities, like conferences, publications list, etc. A well-written CV shows first what is most important, but contains all relevant information. To this goal, we advise you to adapt it to your target (specific type of job or scholarship). Cut information from your CV only as a solution of last resort, but pay attention to the order in which you present it in your CV.

Print the CV on plain-white A4 paper, save some of the same type for the cover letter – did we say that you should never, but never! send a CV without a cover letter – and find matching A4 envelopes. If the announcement does not say anything about a cover letter, you still should send one. It introduces your CV to the reader, attracts attention to certain parts of it that you want to bring to light, or mentions aspects that for some reason could not be listed in your CV.

To make it look neat, we suggest you use one of the Word pre-made formats, unless you are a computer-savvy and feel confident that you can produce an even better-structured and easier-to-read format. You will be able to introduce you own headers in that format; below we have a word of advice for those most-often met in a CV.

Personal details – here you should include your birth date, contact address, email, telephone number and nationality. In case you have both a permanent and study address, include both, with the dates when you can be contacted at each of them. Personal details can be written with smaller fonts than the rest of your CV, if you want to save space. They do not have to jump in the reader’s attention – you will never convince somebody to hire you because you have a nice email alias! If your CV managed to awaken the reader’s interest, he or she will look after contact details – it is important that they be there, but not that they are the first thing somebody reads in your CV. You should write your name with a bigger font than the rest of the text, so that the reader knows easily whose CV is he or she reading. If you need to save space, you can delete the Curriculum Vitae line on the top of your CV. After all, if you have done a good job writing it, it should be obvious that that piece of paper is a CV, no need to spell it out loud.

Objective – this is a concise statement of what you actually want to do. It’s not bad if it matches the thing you are applying for. Don’t restrict it too much “to get this scholarship”, but rather “to develop a career in… ” the thing that you’re going to study if you get the scholarship. If you apply for a job, you can be even more specific – ” to obtain a position in… , where I can use my skills”. You can use a few lines to describes that specifically, but keep in mind that you should show what you can do for the company more than what the company can do for you. Writing a good objective can be tough; take some time to think about what exactly are you going to write there.

If you, the visitor of our site, are who we think we are – a young student, or a person who has just graduated, you should start your CV with your education. Very probably, at this age it is your most important asset. We suggest you use the reverse chronological order, since it is more important what master degree you have rather than that, very probably, you went to high school in your native town. No matter for which order you decide – chronological or reverse – you should keep it the same throughout the rest of your CV. Try to give an exact account of your accomplishments in school: grades (do not forget to write the scale if it may differ from the one the reader of your CV is used to), standing in class (in percent), title of your dissertation, expected graduation date if you think this is an important aspect. There is no need to write all of the above, but only those that put you in the best light. Are you not in the best 20% of your class? Better not to mention ranking then, maybe you still have good grades, or your school is a renowned one. In any case, do not make your results better than in reality – you cannot know how this information may be checked and the whole application will lose credibility. Cheating is a very serious offense in Western schools.

Awards received – you should introduce this header right after the education, in order to outline all the scholarly or otherwise distinctions you have received. Another solution is to include these awards in the education section, but this might make the lecture difficult – the reader wants to get from that section an impression about the schools you went to and the overall results, not about every distinction you were awarded. Still, these are important! Therefore, here is the place to mention them – scholarships, stages abroad you had to compete for, prizes in contests, any kind of distinction. Here, same as everywhere in your CV, write a detailed account of what happened: do not just mention the year and “Prize in Physics”, but rather give the exact date (month), place, name and organiser of the competition. For a scholarship abroad, write the time frame, name of the University, Department, the subject of classes there – e.g. managerial economics – name of the award-giving institution, if different from that of the host-university.

Practical experience – here you should include internships as well. Don’t feel ashamed with what you did, don’t try to diminish your accomplishments! Nobody really expects you to have started a million dollar business if you’re still a student – even better if you did, though! Accountability is an important criterion for what you write in this section. The account should show what you improved, where, by how much, what your responsibilities were. The idea is that when you apply for a job you have to show growth-potential. That is, that you proved some kind of progress from one job to another and that especially at the last one you were so good, you could obviously do something that involves more responsibility – like the job you are applying for now. The overall result should portray you as a leader, a person with initiative and creativity – don’t forget you have to convince the reader of your CV that you are the best pick for that job.

Extracurricular activities – if you’re writing a professional, and not an academic CV, this is the place to mention conferences or any other activities outside the school that for some reason did not fit in the CV so far. A good section here can help a lot towards that goal of portraying you as a leader, a person with initiative, not just a nerd with good grades.

Languages – list here all the languages you speak, with a one-word description of your knowledge of that language. We suggest the following scale: conversational, intermediate, advanced, and fluent. List any certificates and/or results like TOEFL scores, with date.

Computer skills – write everything you know, including Internet browsers and text editing skills. There is no absolute need to know C++ unless you wanna be a programmer or something. List certificates and specialty studies as well.

Hobbies – list them if space is left on the page. They look fine in a CV, showing you are not a no-life workaholic, but a normal person. There is no need to have a 20,000 pieces stamp collection, you can mention reading or mountain tracking as well.

You can introduce other headers that suit your needs. Some CV’s, for example, have a summary heading, that brings in front what the author considers to be the most important stuff in his/her CV. A references section, where you can list with contact details persons ready to recommend you can be added as well. If it misses, the recruiters will assume they are available on request.

Source: www.eastchance.com/howto/cv-index.asp

Tags

accredited distance education Ambush Marketing Benchmarking Benefits of MBA Books Branding Business Communication Business Negotiation Career Guide Case Studies CMAT Consumer Adoption Process Corporate Social Responsibility CRM CV Writing Debentures Depreciation Distance Learning Economics topics EMBA Entrepreneurship Finance your MBA Financial Analysis Financial Management Financial Planning Financial statement Formal Report Fund Flow Statement Gmat GRI Group Discussion Hotel Management HR notes International Marketing Leadership Letter of Intent london business school Management Notes Manager of Sales Managerial Decisions Marketing Concepts Marketing Management Marketing Mix Marketing Tips MBA Assignment MBA Careers mba courses MBA Definitions mba degree MBA Dissertation Topics MBA Economics Project MBA Finance Topics MBA Glossary MBA Guide MBA in Australia mba in canada MBA in International Business MBA in IT mba in malaysia MBA in public relations MBA in UK mba in usa MBA Interview MBA Jobs MBA Jobs In Australia MBA Loan MBA Notes MBA Outsourcing MBA Presentations MBA Prjoject Reports MBA Programs MBA Ranking MBA Salary MBA Scholarships MBA Sponsorships MBA Student MBA without GMAT MBO Media Planning Process Mini MBA Motivation Online Accredited MBA online mba Online MBA and Correspondence MBA Opportunity Cost Overseas Education Consultants Part Time MBA PEST analysis PLC Popular Business Schools Porter's 5 Forces Profit Maximization and Wealth Maximization Project Management Project Report Projects Tips Resume Writing Scientific Management Segmentation Strategic management Study Abroad Study in Germany Supply Chain Management SWOT Team Management Skills Theories top mba TQM Trade Discounts Training & Development Trend Analysis Types Of MBA Views of Management viral marketing Women In MBA