Sunday, February 23, 2020
Influence of Hindu and Arabs in Mathematics - Essay Example A well-developed numerical system and algebra in India allowed complicated astronomical calculations. The translations of classical works of ancient India into Chinese language include Mathematics Brahman. This allowed the share of mathematical though with other regions. "But the glory of having invented generalmethods in this most subtle branch of mathematics belongs to the Indians. The Hindu indeterminate analysis differs from the Greek not only in method, but also in aim" (Cajori 95). Another historical example can be the sharing of knowledge from India to Arab world (and to the West through ad with the help of Arabs who traded with India and the West and thus served as middlemen to spread ancient mathematical thought. Arabs themselves adopted a lot of mathematical knowledge. Arab philosopher, al-Uqlidisi introduced decimal fractions developed in the positional number system (Cajori 104). Also, Arabs developed the new science, "algebra" first described by Al'Karaji. Arabs knew suc h concepts as induction, integral cubes, binormal theorem, function, etc. Such exchange happened in the ancient times, and still it seems to continue happening nowadays - due to globalization and share of any discovery in scientific world.
Friday, February 7, 2020
Women in Culture in the 1930's-1940's VS Women in Culture Today - Research Paper Example The debates have hit the floor for some time regarding women in the past and women today. Moreover, social roles of women and girls are quite different from that of men. Workforce in early times was highly gender based which is somewhat contrary to todayÃ¢â¬â¢s women. Today, women have much freedom and almost acquiring equal rights as men unlike in the early 1930Ã¢â¬â¢s. Women artist has been one of the outstanding and distinguishing activities between 1930Ã¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬â 1940Ã¢â¬â¢s and today. Female artists play central part in art industry, for instance textile arts and craft. In 1930Ã¢â¬â¢s, women artists encountered numerous challenges related to their success in art industry and these were gender based biases in the mainstream of fine art (Rosaldo, Lamphere & Bamberger, 1974). They faced challenges in training, travelling and trading of their work as well as recognition of their status in art industry. However late in 1940Ã¢â¬â¢s, feminist arts fought for their rig hts for them to be guaranteed the right to education and training in fine art. This impacted positively on women as they were allowed to train and acquire skills in fine industry. In the days of Great Depression (1930Ã¢â¬â¢s), a number of women made their own clothing. The time was so terrible that unemployment rate was very high. It was then that the fashion design made a step toward simpler lines reflecting the simpler lives of the people. Magazines displayed different kinds of clothing which customary middle women applauded (Loy, (2001). The fashions in the 1930Ã¢â¬â¢s were so appealing, attractive, feminine and absolutely gorgeous unlike today. The fashion took a stunning turn reflecting the austerity of the appalling economy. In the 1940Ã¢â¬â¢s, limited color highly characterized pictures and magazines unlike today as ink was expensive then (Rosaldo, Lamphere & Bamberger, 1974). Fashions illustrated in magazines revealed the clothing in sketch form instead of photographs. The gray outfit was a typical fashion design of 1932. Women empowerment and role assignment has taken a new picture today. This is mainly noted in factories and industries. For instance, Rosie the Riveter from the USA is highly recognized as a cultural icon. She represents the American women who worked in industries during the Second World War (Rosaldo, Lamphere & Bamberger, 1974). They took new jobs of men who were in the field of military. Rosie worked tirelessly to help the Americans who were taking part in war. During this time, women took over the male dominated trades though at the same they were required to return to their daily housework as soon as men in war came back home. Women were chiefly given the roles of housewives. They were asked to perform hard tasks which for them were hard to do. They opted to return to their traditional work basically to avoid such jobs and low payments (Loy, 2001). Rosie the Riveter finally died when her kidney failed to work after a plane ac cident. She had influenced American women to work in industries. It was evident that women proved it right that they could do and manage well the work that was mainly done by men. In 1942, the proportion of jobs acceptable to women increased tremendously. However, the payment terms of women were not favorable. Rosie had encouraged women to enter into workforce in large numbers, though women were discharged after the war to return to servicemen (Rosaldo, Lamphere & Bamberger, 1974). During the Second World War, women worked hard to take their positions. However after the wartime, they resumed domestic vocations and service work. Between 1930Ã¢â¬â¢
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Distracted driving Essay Introduction Ã¢â¬â Distracted driving is a growing and dangerous problem in todayÃ¢â¬â¢s society that can lead to accidents causing injury and even death. Risk factors with distracted driving: Talking on a cell phone while driving Younger, inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 may be at increased risk; they have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. There are three main types of distraction: Ã ·Visual: taking your eyes off the road; Ã ·Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and Ã ·Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving. Statistics on distracted driving: 69% of drivers in the United States ages 18-64 reported that they had talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed. In Europe, this percentage ranged from 21% in the United Kingdom to 59% in Portugal. Conclusion Mobile phones have immense public utility, improving communication in social and commercial interactions. Nonetheless, their role in driver distraction and consequently in road traffic crashes means that some measure of Ã¢â¬Å"reining inÃ¢â¬ their use while driving is required. References National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Facts and Statistics. Available from http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html. Accessed October 9, 2014 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, April 2013. Publication no. DOT HS 811 737. Available from http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811737.pdf. Accessed October 9, 2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mobile Device Use While Driving Ã¢â¬â United States and Seven European Countries, 2011. MMWR 2013 / 62(10);177-182. Olsen EO, Shults RA, Eaton DK. Texting while driving and other risky motor vehicle behaviors among US high school students. Pediatrics. 2013;131(6):e1708-e1715. Federal Railroad Administration. Restrictions on Railroad Operating EmployeesÃ¢â¬â¢ Use of Cellular Telephones and Other Electronic Devices. Washington, DC. US Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, 2011.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Gallium 1871 Dmitrii Ivanovich Mendelev predicts the existance and properties of the element after zinc in the periodic table. He Gives it the name "eka aluminium". 1875 Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran discovers gallium. Its properties closely match those predicted by Mendelev. Gallium, atomic number 31, is very similar to aluminum in its chemical properties. It does not dissolve in nitric acid because of the protective film of gallium oxide that is formed over the surface by the action of the acid. Gallium does however dissolve in other acids, and alkalies. Gallium was discovered (1875) by Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran, who observed its principal spectral lines while examining material seperated from zinc blende. Soon after he isolated the metal studied its properties, which coincided those that Dmitrii Ivanovich Mendelev had predicted a few years earlier for eka-aluminium, the then undiscovered element lying between aluminum and indium in his periodic table. Though widely distributed at the Earth's surface, gallium does not occor free or concentrated in independant minerals, except for gallite. It is extracted as a by-product from zinc blende, iron pyrites, bauxite, and germanite. Silvery white and soft enough to be cut with a knife, gallium takes on a bluish tinge because of superficial oxidation. Unusual for its low melting point ( about 30 degrees C, 86 degrees F ), gallium also expands upon solidification and supercools readily, remaining a liquid at temperatures as low as 0 degrees C ( 32 degrees F ). Gallium has the longest usefull liquid range of any element. The liquid metal clings to glass and similar surfaces. The crystal structure of gallium is orthorhombic. Natural gallium consists of a mixture of two stable isotopes: gallium-69 ( 60.4 percent ) and gallium-71 (39.6 percent ). Somewhat similar to aluminum chemically, gallium slowly oxidizes in moist air until a protective film forms, and it becomes passive in cold nitric acid. Gallium has been considered as a possible heat-exchange medium in nuclear reactors, although it has a high neutron cross section. Radioactive gallium-72 shows some promise in the study of bone cancer; a compound of this isotope is absorbed by the cancerous portion of the bone. The most common use of gallium is in a gallium scan. Gallium scans are often used to diagnose and follow the progression of tumors or infections. Gallium scans can also be used to evaluate the heart, lungs, or any other organ that may be involved with inflammatory disease.
Sunday, January 12, 2020
Reader also used the Ã¢â¬Å"waiter ruleÃ¢â¬ to explain that a lot can be said about a person's character by the way they treat the waiter, which is much like the golden rule, treat others as you wish to be treated. This piece of advice relates to the business world, because professionals should respect one another, tell the truth, and conduct themselves in an ethical manner. Furthermore, Reader discussed the leadership and ethical leadership. He described leadership as someone who inspires people to achieve a goal.He elaborated on this concept by stating that ethical leadership is when a person leads y Influencing their followers and use Input from the followers to shape goals and purposes. Moreover, an ethical leader should be consistent In both words and actions, lead by example, and can be referred to as a role model. These ethical leaders are extremely Important to employees. Reader shared some astounding statistics as to why employees need role models: 56% of employees person ally observed misconduct and out of those who observed it, 42% did not report it.This shows that the tone at the top is extremely important in firms. If the management is more likely to behave unethically, then this attitude trickles down and negatively effects the ethical values of everyone in the company. In addition, he discussed how peer commitment is important. For example, most times, an employee will look to see what colleagues are doing in order to make a decision. This information relates to me professionally because I will be starting my career as an auditor soon and the attitudes and ethical culture of the company and my colleagues will definitely affect how I perform my Job.Reader also discussed how a leader can promote and ethical culture. These ten pieces of advice would definitely help me in a professional setting because at one mint I will be leading a group of people on an audit engagement. The first piece of advice is to walk the walk, which means that the leader n eeds to lead by example. Next, he states that the leader should keep people in the loop. This means that the leader needs to involve the employees and inform them on various changes and adjustments happening in the organization.Reader suggests that the leader should also encourage thoughtful dissent and show the employees that he/she truly cares. Furthermore, Reader states that in order to promote and ethical culture, the leader would not sweep problems under the rug, but should deal with each problem In an ethical manner. In Dalton, the leader should celebrate the successes In the organization and be fair to all employees. Also, the leader should make ethics a priority.Often times In the professional world, leaders behave ethically but do not truly make ethics a priority. Although sometimes difficult, leaders need to make tough the leader should Ã¢â¬Å"get the right people eon the bus and keep them,Ã¢â¬ which means that the leader should find employees that share the same ethica l values and do whatever is possible to keep them on board. Overall, I think Reader provided some great examples and advice on ethics and ethical leadership.All of the examples and advice he discussed relate to a professional environment and especially auditing. Auditors do not have the best reputation because of unethical behaviors by professionals, like Arthur Andersen, in the past. Often times the auditing profession can really challenge and test an individual's ethical and moral compass. However, Reader's speech reminded me what I need do to make sure I maintain ethical relationships and become an ethical leader in my audit career.
Saturday, January 4, 2020
Societies have traditionally set up a system of laws that a culture learns to accept as the moral and just norm. Cultures and societies then learn right and wrong from this system of laws and rules and soon accept them as the moral truth. However, some individuals choose to side with innate morals of emotions and of nature, rather than the learned system of moral Ã¢â¬ËtruthsÃ¢â¬â¢. These people would believe that there is no such thing as inherent good and evil in the world, as defined by law, that those labels are simply artificial constructs of their society. Right and wrong are so often determined by the people who hold positions of authority: that is the way it has always been so how then can anyone know the Ã¢â¬ËtruthÃ¢â¬â¢ of right and wrong or the Ã¢â¬ËtruthÃ¢â¬â¢ or morality? The world is, in fact, one big moral Ã¢â¬Ëgrey areaÃ¢â¬â¢; it cannot be carefully categorized into good and bad or good and evil as people would like it to be. Moral correctness cannot be as simple a matter of obeying the laws and rules set up by authority while ignoring oneÃ¢â¬â¢s emotional and natural code of ethics. This idea of good and evil and of moral correctness is explored within Herman MelvilleÃ¢â¬â¢s novella, Billy Budd, Sailor. Captain Vere, who serves as the authority aboard the ship, Bellipotent, although believing he was upholding the proper morals of the situation at hand, from the view of the laws upon his ship and under the king and country he serves, made the morally wrong decision in sentencing Billy Budd, an ethicallyShow MoreRelated Is Charles PerraultÃ¢â¬â¢s Little Red Riding Hood Relevant to the Modern World?1470 Words Ã |Ã 6 Pagesgroups, recognizing that they would also like a seat on their starship to salvation, have fought for their civil rights and equality through various social reform movements. A side effect, political correctness, is the attempt to rid the English language of any terms, phrases, or expressions that would en courage our society to remain rooted in its biased theories of the past. Thus, we are now at an age where a maxim is placed upon the empowerment of the individual, no matter who you are or what formerlyRead More Political Correctness or Freedom of Speech Essay1475 Words Ã |Ã 6 Pagespolitical correctness (PC) has infringed on our freedom of speech by assuming that the populace is too ignorant to realize what appropriate speech is. This term is now as common in our society as the term, Ã¢â¬Ëfreedom of speechÃ¢â¬â¢. It is incomprehensible how these two words have had such an effect on the manner in which our society communicates. The trend casts a negative view on our society by letting political views determine what is appropriate in our social sector. Political correctness, as appliedRead MoreCultural Marxism : Old New Ideas Essay770 Words Ã |Ã 4 Pagesthe Frankfurt school. If the workers wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t rise up and destroy the existing order, then they must be dumbed dow n and the order which they favoured destroyed to enable that uprising. This was proposed by deconstructing and destabilizing western societies, using critical theory. Some of the main proposals 1) The creation of racism offences. 2) Continual change to create confusion. 3) The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children. 4) The undermining of schools and teachers authority. 5) HugeRead MoreAnalysis Of Oscar Wildes The Picture Of Dorian Gray1118 Words Ã |Ã 5 PagesÃ¢â¬Å"The Picture of Dorian GrayÃ¢â¬ Oscar Wilde shows the importance of having an equal balance between the id, superego, and ego, which each character within the novel portrays. When one triumphs the other it may be detrimental to oneself, as well to society as a whole. Sigmund Freud developed psychodynamic theories of personality that Ã¢â¬Å"view human behavior as a dynamic interaction between the conscious and unconscious mindÃ¢â¬ (Myers 514). He focuses on the importance of the equal balance to avoid internalRead More South Park as Parody of Society Essay1399 Words Ã |Ã 6 PagesSouth Park as Parody of Society South Park began airing in 1997. The commercials that preceded it gave the impression of it being another stupid cartoon; however, when I began watching, I realized important issues were being covered through the repeated behaviors and actions of its characters, through the influences these actions could have on the viewers, through the reinforcement and rejections of certain stereotypes, through the long-term effects that could result from watching the programRead MoreThe Construct Of Empathy, By Great Thinkers From Various Disciplines1669 Words Ã |Ã 7 Pages The construct of empathy attracts the interest of academics from various fields of study, particularly in subfields of psychology. Its function and associated processes in moral development have been discussed for centuries by great thinkers from various disciplines. Hoffman (1982) defines empathy as Ã¢â¬Å"an affective response more appropriate to anotherÃ¢â¬â¢s situation than oneÃ¢â¬â¢s ownÃ¢â¬ . Nonetheless, the notion of empathy has always been a complex concept, and the lack of uniformity in the usage and understandingRead MoreCultural Relativism And The Nature Of Truth Essay1338 Words Ã |Ã 6 PagesCultural relativism enables moral differences between cultures to be all acceptable and right depending on context. This means that moral concepts can come across as morally wrong for a group in one context and pass as morally right for another in other contexts. Though I recognize the relevance of cultural relativism in establishing that it is possible to have some variati ons in the frameworks of truth, I will ultimately argue for moral universalism, also known as moral objectivism. Mitchell SilverRead MoreDivine Command Theory And Natural Law Theory948 Words Ã |Ã 4 PagesHowever, one thing is undeniable, these age old systems of belief and worship of a higher being or deity were, in a sense, their own moral systems, two of which are Divine Command Theory and Natural Law Theory. These two systems, among others, once guided and advised ancient humans in moral judgements. Divine Command Theory is a proposed relationship between moral correctness and the higher deityÃ¢â¬â¢s commands, henceforth the deity will be called god. This situation is elaborated upon in a dialogue betweenRead MoreTo Whom It May Concern: Though The Death Penalty Is Administered1727 Words Ã |Ã 7 PagesTo Whom It May Concern: Though the death penalty is administered in an attempt to achieve both a deterrence and retributive effect, the outcome does not support either of these goals. Therefore, it is within this letter that I state that the death penalty should no longer be used. In recent years, it has been found, that the death penalty exhibits cruel and unusual punishment, as well as being racially biased. Additionally, there is an ever-growing vote that the death penalty should no longer beRead MoreThe Effects of Proper and Improper Business Ethics1351 Words Ã |Ã 6 Pagesturmoil, ethical business practices have been thrown into the spotlight as a vital area with which c ompanies need to improve on. Proper business ethics are vital for economic growth and progress as well as facilitating a productive and morally correct society. The United States has recently suffered large economic declines, the most significant of which occurred in 2001 and 2008. As the questions are asked and some answers given, the picture of big business not caring about the middle class individual
Friday, December 27, 2019
Sample details Pages: 20 Words: 6103 Downloads: 7 Date added: 2017/06/26 Category Statistics Essay Did you like this example? 1 Introduction 4.1 BACKGROUND TO THE RESEARCH PROBLEM For almost three decades practitioners, academics, consultants, and research organizations have identified attaining alignment between IT and business as a pervasive problem, Luftman and Kempaiah (2007). Gutierrez,Nawazish,Orozco,Serrano and Yazdouni (2007) add that despite the wide acceptance of strategic alignment (the strategic use of Information Technology), there is no consensus on how to achieve alignment and with few references that detail the process, there is no common agreement on the term alignment. Terminology such as linkage Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) harmony, integrated, linked, and synchronocity Luftman and Kempaiah (2007) have been suggested and used.. DonÃ¢â¬â¢t waste time! Our writers will create an original "Attaining alignment between it and business" essay for you Create order Steiner (1979b) points out that there no consensus as to the meaning of strategy in the business world. An example of the definitions which he uses include the following Steiner (1979a): 1. Strategy is that what executives do they that empower the organization. 2. Strategy is the direction the organization takes which is aligned with its purposes and missions. 3. Strategy consists of the important activities necessary to realize these directions. 4. Strategy answers the question: What should the organization be doing to achieve success? 5. Strategy answers the question: What are the means to end? Mintzberg (1994), says that people use strategy in several different ways, the most common being: * Strategy is a plan, a how, a means of getting from here to there. * Strategy is a pattern in actions over time; for example, a company that regularly markets very expensive products is using a high end strategy. * Strategy is perspective, that is, vision and direction. * Strategy is position; that is, it reflects decisions to offer particular products or services in particular markets. Porter (1998) states that strategy positioning attempts to achieve sustainable competitive advantage by preserving what is distinctive about a company and that strategy, is the creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities, requires that trade-offs be made in competing, to chose what not to do and involves creating fit among a companys activities. Fit has to do with the ways a companys activities interact and reinforce one another. To improve the strategic management of information technology, Henderson and Venkatraman (1993), developed a framework which they called the Strategic Alignment Model (SAM). This model was defined in terms of four fundamental domains of strategic choice namely business strategy, information technology strategy, organizational infrastructure and processes and information technology infrastructure and processes. The model is defined in terms of two fundamental characteristics of strategic management namely the strategic fit (the interrelationship between external and internal components) and functional integration (integration between business and functional domains). Luftman (2001) improved on the Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) SAM model by developing the Strategic Alignment Maturity Model (SAMM). The model measures ITbusiness alignment maturity. Six interrelated components for assessing alignment maturity are identified. These are communications, value, governance, partnership, scope and architecture and skills. The scores an organization achieves for these six components of maturity are then compared to a five-level maturity model to denote the organization IT-business alignment maturity Luftman (2001).The levels range from level one to level five where level five is the highest level of maturity. A higher alignment maturity correlates with higher firm performance measures Luftman (2001). Tying performance measures to strategic goals is a critical step Fonvielle and Carr (2001). A tool to measure performance and to align strategic goals within organisations is the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). The BSC was developed by Kaplan and Norton (1992) to overcome the businesss reliance on financial measures. They contend that reliance on only financial measures does not give a complete overview of the organisations measures. The BSC provided a framework to look at strategy, used for value creation from four different perspectives these being financial, customer, internal business process and innovation and learning Kaplan and Norton (1992).One of the principles recommended by the authors, is that for an organization to be focused on strategy, there needs to be alignment among departments to the strategy of the organisation. The alignment sequence recommended by Kaplan and Norton (2006) starts when the corporate headquarters articulates enterprise value proposition that will create synergies among operating units, support units and external partners. This sequence includes aligning IT strategy with the business strategy. Model Alignment Problems SAM Inability to realize value from IT investments is, in part due to the lack of alignment between business and IT strategies SAMM Alignment is frequently focused only on how IT is aligned with the business and not vice versa, the organisation only sought one method to improve alignment and that there is no effective tool to gauge maturity of IT-business alignment Balanced Scorecard Surveys reveals that the greatest gap occurs in organisation alignment when compared to other strategic management problems 4.1 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM Business and IT strategies at PRASA need to be better aligned. 4.1 What is passenger rail agency of south africa (PRASA)? Appendix A, gives a comprehensive overview of the historical context and the introduction of PRASA taken from the companies business plan. Following is a summary of the key issues PRASA was created by Government to advance its agenda for the transformation of the public transport system into a vibrant, efficient one, As part of its strategy, PRASA (2009), to secure the future of its business, PRASA will focus its resources and energies during the current medium term expenditure framework (METF) on the following three Strategic Priorities: * Service Excellence within Metrorail, Shosholoza Meyl and Autopax * Property and Asset Development, and * Technology Upgrade or Modernization of its key transport systems The key objectives identified by Government in addressing the challenges of passenger rail transport moving forward PRASA (2009) are as follows: * Sustainable passenger rail service delivery; * Improved performance of passenger rail services in terms of the quality and levels of services to passengers; * Improved efficiency in the delivery of services; * Improved effectiveness of asset management; * Effective targeting of subsidies to achieve desired socio-economic transport objectives; * Improved oversight by Government; and * Improved accountability to the users. 4.1 Why prasa? PASSENGER TRANSPORT CHANGE IMPERATIVES 1..1 The Public Transport Challenge After many years of neglect, the existing commuter transport system, inherited from the apartheid past, has reached saturation levels and is unable to satisfy passenger demands while its infrastructure is not able to meet the requirements of a rapidly changing and modern society. The dysfunctional institutional arrangements have meant poor accountability in the provision of public transport services, which were found to be largely disempowering. Governments socio-economic and transport policies could not be supported adequately by such institutional arrangements. The country is seeking to move away from the current commuter-based transport provision into a more integrated public transport system that meets growing and changing passenger demands in an efficient, effective and sustainable manner. The twin challenges for public transport is to simultaneously transform through meaningful integration whilst at the same time enhancing capacity through upgrading and modernization to meet lo ng-term need PRASA (2009). 1..2 Inadequate Passenger Service Provision Passenger rail in South Africa faces many challenges as a result of a long history of inadequate investment in rail rolling stock, infrastructure and operations as well as the loss of appropriate managerial and technical (engineering) skills within the industry. The shortage of such critical skills has a direct negative impact on the delivery of services. In the urbanising metropolitan areas the provision of new rail corridors has not kept pace with the rapidly changing urban landscape resulting in limited coverage in key areas of urban expansion with the consequential loss of significant market share. Over time, commuter rail services have continued to fail to respond adequately to changing passenger demands PRASA (2009). 1..3 Customer-Centric Delivery A dynamic and customer-centric public transport system is required where passengers contribute to and shape the service delivery agenda. The need for a Passenger or Quality Charter and the emergence of strong, vibrant structures championing both the interests of passengers and public transport transformation are vital to the development of a public transport system that will effectively respond to the travelling needs of passengers. The past few years has seen the emergence of vibrant, community-based structures championing public transport transformation and demanding quality services from Government and transport service providers. This movement seems to be growing and shows the determination of South Africans to participate in the construction of a transport system that will effectively respond to their demands PRASA (2009). 4.1 PRASA Vision, Mission Values Vision A provider of integrated public transport solutions for improved mobility Two fundamental principles underpin the vision:- Integration PRASA should facilitate integrating individuals and communities, enabling a better quality of life through access to socioeconomic opportunities Mobility Solutions PRASA should connect individuals and communities through the provision of public transport solutions that are founded on an integrated network of mobility routes PRASA (2009) Mission Sustainable Public Transport Solutions through Service Excellence, Innovation and Modal Integration PRASA (n.d.) The mission reflects four key intentions:- Service excellence superior performance that is safe, reliable and affordable, that makes a lasting impression, and builds brand loyalty both internally (employees) and externally (customers) that adds benefit to the passenger. Sustainability a focus on sustainable development in business that considers not just the financial bottom line of prosperity and profit, but also the other bottom lines of environmental quality and social equity. Mobility solutions reframing the basis of business delivery, favouring innovation, integration and partnerships Integration safe, seamless dignified travel experiences across all modes of public transport, PRASA (n.d.) Values The values that will guide PRASA, which will underpin the performance ethos of the organization derived from and are guided by the fundamental and progressive human values of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa:- Service Excellence, Participation, Integrity, Fairness and Innovation, PRASA (2009) 4.1 OPPORTUNITY FOR Passenger Services 1..1 Commuter Rail Services The provision of efficient and affordable public passenger transport services is integral to Governments drive to create employment opportunities, stimulate economic development and reduce levels of poverty. Enhanced mobility will facilitate greater access to socio-economic opportunities for the urban and rural poor whilst contributing to an efficient transport system to the benefit of all South Africans highlighting the need for a vibrant public passenger transport network to support sustainable growth and development PRASA (2009). Commuter rail has the potential to be the most efficient, affordable and safe mode of travel. It plays a significant role in key Metropolitan areas such as Cape Town and has the potential to become an important public transport player in all metropolitan areas, significantly contributing to an efficient and reliable public transport system in these areas. Despite the acknowledged increase in the growth of car-ownership and usage, public transport and walking continue to dominate the mobility needs of the majority of South Africans and this is likely to continue for the next decade. Metropolitan areas in South Africa are experiencing rapid urbanization. Rail is in a unique position to facilitate greater integration between land use planning and transport infrastructure provision, and providing security, to private and public sector investment, of stable long-term public transport provision. This is vital to creating sustainable communities where peoples access to economic and social o pportunities is improved. In this context, railway lines need to be positioned, located, aligned with evolving spatial developments and formalised within the statutory planning processes undertaken primarily by local government. The creation of PRASA and the integration of rail and road-based transport services will, over time, provide the user with public transport choices moving away from a market of captive users to one where dignified travel choice is a real option PRASA (2009). 1..2 Inter-City / Regional Passenger Services Historically, long distance rail and road based services have not received the attention required to make them demand responsive in key market areas including migrant workers, students, tourists and occasional travellers. The Department of Transports Public Transport Strategy Action Plan notes that: There is a significant potential for the growth in migrant worker long distance public transport provision. The dominant generators of migrant movement are Gauteng and KZN The increase in tourism provides opportunities for segmenting the market that build upon the strengths of both long distance rail and coach operations. Rural areas in South Africa are undergoing a process of economic and social restructuring with a shift in emphasis towards rural trade and agro-processing. These factors reinforce the need for a public transport service sector that responds to the emerging needs of these rural / regional development nodes since transport links between the rural trade areas and the rural regions (hinterlands) remains unreliable, rendering access to services and emerging economic opportunities extremely difficult. This lack of access will continue to trap many in the poverty cycle. Governments decision to consolidate passenger rail entities and road-based long distance bus services into a single entity, PRASA, reporting to the Department of Transport are underpinned by a number of key drivers. The recognition by Government that rail consolidation was required to deal with the under-performance of rail passenger services as well as the historical under-investment in the passenger rail business. Institutional arrangements did not promote efficiency and accountability and significant change was required to overcome the inherent institutional dysfunctions that had been created. Confusion existed between the contractor and regulatory functions implicitly embodied in the SARCC/Transnet relationship PRASA (2009). The critical need for sustainable funding to reverse the decline in commuter rail levels of service being experienced by commuters has been identified. This funding profile was captured in the National Rail Plan, which was accepted by Cabinet in December 2006, where the funding and investment requirements were identified for passenger rail over the following ten years PRASA (2009). 4.1 PRASA Objective PRASA (n.d.) primary objective is: To ensure that at the request of the Department of Transport, rail commuter services are provided within, to and from the Republic in the public interest; and To provide, in consultation with the Department of Transport, for long haul passenger rail and bus services within, to and from the Republic in terms of the principles set out in section 4 of the National Land Transport Transition Act, 2000 (Act No.22 of 2000).. 4.1 Strategy of prasa PRASA (2009) objectives are supportive of the Board of Controls (BOC) key performance areas as seen in figure 2 below Figure 2 Key Performance Area and Strategic Objectives BOC Key Performance Area PRASA Strategic Objective Contribute to Governments objective of safe, affordable, accessible and reliable public transport provision Service Excellence in the provision of integrated best practice public transport solutions that are affordable, reliable, predictable and operationally safe Investment in infrastructure to contribute to growth and development Asset Utilisation ensuring the productive investment in, and use of, assets and the property portfolio through the application of total life-cycle management practices, processes and procedures to all assets Provision of sustainable quality services Service Quality Passenger Growth sustaining dependable and superior customer service benefit that achieves a high customer satisfaction Financial effectiveness to maximize operational efficiencies Financial Effectiveness ensuring efficient and effective deployment of available resources to achieve the required results and outcomes through the productive use of all resources Corporate Governance Legislative compliance Governance and Compliance ensuring controlled compliance to statutory requirements by entrenching a culture of corporate governance practices and accountability as well as Fraud Prevention within PRASA Contribution to the achievement of Governments socio-economic goals Strategic Sourcing through an effective and efficient supply chain management process and promotion of broad-based economic empowerment and industrial policy objectives Human Capital Resources Development Learning and Growth ensuring that the appropriate knowledge and skills are acquired and maintained to sustain change and improvement for the betterment of the organization through developing human capital development processes to build human capital capabilities 4.1 CHALLENGES FACING PRASA 1..1 Consolidation / Turnaround / Restructuring The sequential amalgamation, in quick succession, of the SARCC, Metrorail, Shosholoza Meyl and Autopax bring with it the normal challenges that are posed when merging disparate organizations in related but different operational arenas. A key driver in Governments decision to consolidate these entities into a single delivery arm of the DOT was to effect operational and asset turnaround of what were acknowledged to be declining businesses, albeit, some with the potential for growth. Linked with both these processes is the need to internally restructure the various businesses to align them with the new mandate given to PRASA through the amendment to the Legal Succession Act that was promulgated on 23 December 2008 PRASA (2009). 1..2 Sustainable Funding The ability to provide the requisite level of funding (substantial) to address both the investment capital and rapidly expanding operational requirements to affect the mandate is fundamental to the successful performance of PRASA. The integrated passenger transport plan requirements will need to be developed. Fully motivated funding requirements, covering both operations and investment capital, in line with the 5-year financial plan requirements of the various Integrated Transport Plans (ITPs), will be developed to begin to align the funding requirements with statutory plan requirements. The approved funding base makes no provision for two key activities that need to be accommodated: The incorporation of Autopax, an operating company that is currently materially dependent upon Transnet Limited for funding to re-capitalize and sustain the business going forward. The acquisition of new rolling stock. Analysis has indicated that the rolling stock refurbishment and upgrading programs are not maintaining pace with the requirements to buy time before the inevitable purchasing of new fleet becomes unavoidable. While the profile reflects a rising trend in investment funding support, the allocation of these funds to the different asset classes (Rolling Stock Infrastructure) will need to be reviewed. A careful balance needs to be struck to ensure that the sustainability of the asset base is not compromised PRASA (2009). 1..3 Ageing Rolling Stock and Infrastructure PRASA (2009) reports that the prolonged under-investment in passenger rail of almost thirty years is manifestly experienced in the deterioration of the general rail asset i.e. Rolling Stock and Infrastructure (Signalling and telecommunications, electrical systems, perway). This has resulted in a situation where services are experiencing continued decline, primarily due to poor availability and reliability of rolling stock and ageing infrastructure. The lack of investment in the asset base has also had a negative impact in the skills base of the passenger rail industry over a period of time. For example, the average age profile of commuter coaches is 40 years and has been left behind by international advancements in rail technology over the past few decades. The life expectancy of railway rolling stock is of the order of 54 years. The railway industry norms are that the coaches will be upgraded at half life (27 years) and overhauled every 9 years, so as to ensure the structural and su b-systems integrity is not compromised by metal fatigue, age, wear and tear or environmental condition. Thirty-three percent (33%) of the commuter rail fleet is already above 36 years and therefore would be uneconomical to upgrade. 1..4 Human Capital Development Human capital development is generally understated and under-rated in supporting the development of an organization. It is a multi-faceted process that requires clear understanding to enable human capabilities to be built that will support the key performance drivers of the business and ultimately the business results that can be expected from that performance. The key challenge for PRASA is to formulate human capital development processes that facilitate and fast-track the appropriate human capital capabilities at all levels within the organization that will enable delivery on the key drivers of which, in the case of PRASA are : * increased productivity (operational efficiencies), * improved service quality (service excellence), * customer focus and * innovation in the provision of integrated public transport solutions The nature of the various operational divisions, while related and providing synergistic opportunities for service co-operation and delivery, are by their very nature, different business environments, each requiring a specific set of human capabilities to perform optimally. PRASA needs to provide guidance in the process framework that delivers this requirement PRASA (2009). 1..5 Change Management The finalisation of the PRASA consolidation process, the turnaround and restructuring necessitate that a number of parallel change management processes are undertaken. Numerous change management processes will be identified that are needed to combine the five organizations into a consolidated organization. The very ability of PRASA to ensure effective implementation of such processes becomes critical as is the capacity of the organization (including divisions and subsidiaries) to manage them successfully PRASA (2009). 1..6 Leadership Skills Development There is currently an acknowledged shortage of key skills as well as a lack of depth of skills in critical areas within the organization. For PRASA to meet the expanded mandate of supporting governments socio-economic and transport objectives in both urban and rural contexts, the organization will need a focused approach to human capital development, on leadership development, talent management and the progressive training of a strong base of key skills that will lay the foundation for sustaining rail passenger transport sector PRASA (2009). 1..7 Rail Technology Development PRASA, of necessity, will need to become a technology based organization that blends best practice policies with intelligent asset management philosophies to leverage organisational productivity and efficiency gains to provide shareholder value. PRASA recognises that technology upgrade is critical to the modernisation of South Africas railways and is well aware that the capacity for technology upgrade may not be immediately available in South Africa or the African Continent as a whole. Technological obsolescence is a major factor that will inhibit PRASA from delivering on its mandate. A rail technical strategy that guides technological renewal, upgrading, replacement and development over the next 30 years is a critical requirement. The average age of the metropolitan rail commuter networks/system in South Africa ranges between 60 80 years and still supports 1940/50s technology. The system in SA is showing serious age related condition decline with increasing systemic risks and techn ological obsolescence. Railway systems are designed for an extended economic life, but it is acknowledged that the current ad hoc investment flows into the ageing system in South Africa are not productive in terms of future demand, operational performance requirements and escalating maintenance costs. Global technology advancement in rail has moved beyond the limited application of heavy rail, regional and long distance passenger rail. Various new rail based technologies of alternative applications have evolved globally to ensure the competitiveness and attractiveness of rail solutions. If South Africa is serious about ensuring environmentally friendly and energy efficient transportation for its cities to counter growth in private vehicle travel, congestion and spiralling cost of fossil fuels, a selective conversion of appropriate new and improved rail based and mass transit technologies needs to be evaluated, introduced, and established in South Africa ensuring that these take thei r place in the hierarchy of public transport service provision. The technological needs of PRASA over the next 30 years need to be clearly articulated and incorporated into PRASAs long-term planning if passenger rail is to be sustained over the longer-term. The development of a rail technology strategy, together with the appropriate migration requirements over this period will assist in guiding decision-making in much critical technology upgrade or replacement areas within the organisation. The phased implementation of the strategy will be captured in each of the Business Plans roll-outs over time PRASA (2009). 4.1 RESEARCH AIM, QUESTION, SUB-QUESTIONS AND OBJECTIVES Research Aim The aim of this research is to understand to what extent alignment between Business and IT strategies exists, at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). Research Questions The research question derived from the problem statement is What can PRASA do to improve business and IT strategies, alignment? The sub questions to answer the main question are: 1. What are business and IT strategies? 2. What is alignment between business and IT strategies? 3. What factors contribute to an alignment gap between business and IT strategies? 4. What factors contributes to an improved alignment between business and IT strategies? Objectives of the research Based on the sub questions the objectives of the research are to 1. Analyse the Businesss and IT strategy 2. Carry out a literature review on the alignment between Business and IT strategies. 3. Analyse the factors that contribute towards Alignment Gap 4. a. Establish strategic alignment best practice. b. Formulate a methodology for aligning Business and IT strategies. c. Propose recommendations to improve PRASAs Business and IT strategies alignment. 4.1 CURRENT STATUS OF THE RESEARCH AREA The literature review will be based on the research into alignment of business and IT strategies. There is a plethora of research available on the alignment of business and IT strategies. Chan and Reich (2007) have carried out comprehensive research on this topic. 4.1 Business and IT strategies 1..1 Business Strategies Croteau and Bergeron (2001) define business strategy as the outcomes of decisions made to guide an organisation with respect to the environment, structure and processes that influence its organisational performance. Hambrick (1980) states that business strategies may be textual, multivariate or typological. Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) architects of the SAM model, view strategy as involving both strategy formulation (decisions pertaining to competitive, product market choices) and strategy implementation (choices that pertain to the structure and capabilities of the firm to execute its product market choices).The SAM model presents two business strategy perspectives where business strategy is the driver namely strategic execution, and technology transformation. figure 3 presents the key attributes of these perspectives. Figure 3 Attributes of Business Strategy perspectives (Henderson Venkatraman 1993) Perspective Driver Role of top management Role of IS management Performance criteria Strategy execution Business Strategy Strategy Formulator Strategic Implementer Cost/Service centre Technology transformation Business Strategy Technology visionary Technology Architect Technology leadership One of the six components of the SAMM Luftman and Kempaiah (2007), is partnership which includes ITs role in defining the businesss strategies. Both of these models (SAM and SAMM) are about aligning business and IT strategies and can be criticised because it does not define what business strategy is. Kay (1996) says that there is much debate on the substance but that most commentators agree that business strategy is concerned with the match between a companies internal capabilities and its external environment. According to Kaplan and Norton (2001) strategy implies the movement of an organisation from its present position to a desirable but uncertain future position. Because the organisation has never been to this future position its intended pathway involves a series of linked hypotheses. It enables the strategic hypotheses to be described as a set of cause and effect relationships that are explicit and testable Kaplan and Norton (2006) The effectiveness of the approach is derived from its ability to clearly describe strategy (using Strategy Maps) and the ability to link strategy to the management system using the BSC. For the purpose of this research business strategy will be described in terms of corporate strategy meaning it will be concerned with the overall purpose and scope of the organization Johnson and Scholes (1997). A definition of corporate strategy presented by Andrews (1980) is : Corporate strategy is the pattern of decisions in a company that determines and reveals its objectives, purposes, or goals, produces the principal policies and plans for achieving those goals, and defines the range of business the company is to pursue, the kind of economic and human organization it is or intends to be, and the nature of the economic and non-economic contribution it intends to make to its shareholders, employees, customers, and communities. Strategic management which is similar to corporate strategy is defined as the set of decisions and actions that result in the formulation and implementation of plans designed to achieve a companys objectives Pearce and Robinson (1988). These tie in with the strategy view of the SAM and Balanced scorecard which both discuss strategy in terms of formulation and execution. Kaplan and Norton (2006) state that the IT strategy gets aligned to business strategy through a portfolio of strategic IT services, which is derived from the business strategy and negotiated with the business units and is measured by the value adding contribution of IT. This is done by providing access to timely and accurate information, creating and supporting business unit partnerships and strategic support to the business for competitive advantage. 1..2 IT Strategic Management Gartner (2007), define IT strategy as a discipline that defines the business value the IT organization will deliver to the enterprise, and the direction it will take to deliver. To do this they recommend that IT build a complete, business-success-focused IT strategy consisting of demand, control and supply. Well-crafted IT strategies demonstrate how IT will contribute to the success of the enterprise relative to its key business goals. The strategies also link major business missions and goals to IT initiatives. The SAM Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) model presents two I/T Strategy perspectives where I/T strategy is the driver namely competitive potential and service level. Figure 4 presents the key attributes of these perspectives Figure 4 Attributes of IT Strategy perspectives (Henderson Venkatraman 1993) Perspective Driver Role of top management Role of IS management Performance criteria Competitive potential I/T Strategy Business visionary Catalyst Business leadership Service level I/T Strategy Prioritizer Executive leadership Customer Satisfaction The latter two models will be used to better understand the alignment between Business and IT at PRASA. 4.1 What is an alignment gap? Business and IT strategies may from time be out of synchronisation or may be misaligned. This misalignment is referred to as an alignment gap. No clear accepted definition of an alignment gap between Business and IT strategy is found in the literature. Luftman and Brier (1999) mention inhibitors which hinder alignment. These inhibitors include: IT/ business lack close relationships, IT does not prioritize well, IT fails to meet its commitments, IT does not understand business, senior executives do not support IT, and IT management lacks leadership Luftman and Brier (1999). They also talk of companies striving to link business and technology and what the impact of misalignment might be if there is no harmony between business and IT. Reich and Benbasat (1996) define linkage as the degree to which the IT mission, objectives, and plans support and are supported by the business mission, objectives, and plans. According to Norton (2002) the reasons why a business strategy and IT strategy gap exist are poor strategy development, management, communication, lack of strategic focus within organizations, and no strategic management process. Rathnam,Johnsen and Wen (2004), used a case study to research why alignment gaps exist, the reasons for alignment gap and the strategy for minimizing the alignment gaps between business and IT. Although the authors talk extensively of alignment gaps in their research, they do not define the term. Their results suggest that improving business strategy vision and communication has the greatest potential for aligning business and IT strategies. Beer and Eisenstat (2000) state that companies have long known that, to be competitive they must develop a good strategy and then appropriately realign structure, systems, leadership behaviour, human resources policies, culture values and management processes. They have identified what they call the the silent killers of strategy implementation and learning. Some of them are, a top down but laissez-faire senior management style, an unclear strategy and conflicting priorities, an ineffective senior management team, also and importantly a poor vertical communication channel, poor coordination across functions and businesses and inadequate down-the-line leadership. Further factors contributing towards the misalignment can take several forms according to Fonvielle and Carr (2001). This can be where individuals believe its members are aligned but in fact, the individuals have different sets of goals or could have the same goals but unstated disagreements on how the goals should be reached. It may also well be that warring camps exist within the organization, ensuring that overall commitment to any chosen strategy is weak. A more relevant case is where an active opposition does not exist, but many group members are unconvinced of the need for, or the likely efficacy of, the proposed action. In other situations and cases people dont know what the goals of the organization are. Gartner (2008), state that aligning IT with the business is often one of the more frustrating and time-consuming experiences. Alignment is often seen as the business and IT operating in parallel worlds, maintaining a common direction, but separated by distance. 4.1 What factors contributes to an improved alignment between business and IT strategies? Luftman (1999) and (Rathman et al., 2004) suggest the following to improve alignment between Business and IT strategies . This is shown in figure 5 Figure 5 Business and IT strategies are improved by alignment between the two Luftman Rathman et al Senior executive support for IT IT involved in strategy development IT understands the business Business partnership Well-prioritized IT projects IT demonstrates leadership Improve business strategy development process More collaborative strategy development between IT and Business departments Define when and how new technology is introduced into strategy development discussions Restructure the organization to ensure focus on enterprise needs (e.g. structure the organization around business processes) Build a business architecture Use a centralized IT organization Include a CIO at the executive council level The Balanced Scorecard will be used to measure the performance of the organisation to ensure alignment between Business and IT strategies Users of the Balanced Scorecard started using the scorecard as a management system, used to manage strategy, Kaplan and Norton (1996). From this they introduced five principles of Strategy-Focused Organisations to assist with aligning and focusing resources on strategy, namely 1. Translate the strategy to Operational Terms 2. Align the organisation to the Strategy 3. Make Strategy everyones everyday Job 4. Make Strategy a Continual process 5. Mobilise Change through Executive leadership This conceptual model will be used to better understand the alignment of Business and IT strategy at PRASA and is depicted in Figure 5. Figure 6 Achieving alignment between Business and IT strategy at PRASA 4.1 RESEARCH DESIGN The research design will use the interpretive case study approach. The interpretive approach involves the researcher adopting an empirical approaches which focus on human interpretations and meanings Walsham (1995). Interpretive research involves non or anti positivism in which facts and values are intertwined and hard to disentangle, and both are involved in scientific knowledge and nomatism which takes the view that scientific knowledge is ideological and inevitably conducive to particular sets of social ends. Either of the latter two positions is open for the interpretive researcher to adopt A case study which is defined by Robson (2002) as a strategy for doing research which involves an empirical investigation of a particular contemporary phenomenon within real life context using multiple sources of evidence. .Case Study is also known as a triangulated research strategy Tellis (1997). The need for triangulation arises from the ethical need to confirm the validity of the processes Tellis (1997). In case studies, this could be done by using multiple sources of data Yin (2003).The rationale for using multiple sources of data is the triangulation of evidence Tellis (1997). Triangulation increases the reliability of the data and the process of gathering it. In the context of data collection, triangulation serves to corroborate the data gathered from other sources. Yin (2003) identified six primary sources of evidence for corroborating case study research. These are documentation, archival records, interviews, direct observation, participant observation and physical artefacts Yin (2003). The research will use the following sources of data: documentation, archival records and interviews. 4.1 DELINEATION OF THE RESEARCH The study will explore to what extent (if any) an alignment gap between Business and IT strategies exists, at PRASA. The population would include IT managers and business managers from other departments within the PRASA group. 4.1 CONTRIBUTION OF THE RESEARCH Alignment between Business and IT strategies has been problematic (Luftman, 2007). This study will provide a better understanding of the alignment issue in order to do further research into possible frameworks. Studies have shown that better performance can be attained if organisations are tightly aligned. The research will start with identifying the strategic choice of the organisation, based on the work of (Henderson Venkatraman, 1993). This will be followed by a strategic alignment maturity assessment developed by Luftman (2001). Finally performance measures described by the BSC will be used to monitor progress in aligning Business and IT strategies. The contribution of this research would be to better understand the alignment between Business and IT at PRASA. 4.1 Structure of the research Chapter one is an introduction to the research. Chapter two is an in depth literature research on the subject. Chapter three provides comprehensive background on the three theoretical models used, SAM,SAMM and BSC. Chapter four introduces the research design and research methodology followed. Chapter provides the results of the unstructured interviews and Chapter six is the conclusion and recommendations the organisation could use