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Showing posts from 2011

Explain the philosophy of the Gita. Is it right to say that ancient Indian philosophy was based entirely on austere asceticism?

The Gita is a message of eternity, and it has a timeless significance for every one of us. The vicissitudes of life have no impact upon this message, because it arises from a source that transcends the transitions of life. It is a message which embodies the knowledge of what is ultimately real.

Asceticism in the form of yoga and meditation possibly goes back to the earliest period of Indian history. Seals depicting a figure sitting in what looks like a yogic pose have been found at sites of the Indus Valley Civilization dating to the second millennium B.C.E. In the texts of the early Vedas (c. 1500–c. 1000 B.C.E.), ascetic practices appear in a variety of contexts. References are made to long-haired silent sages (muni s), clad in soiled yellow garments or naked, who are depicted as having supernatural powers, acquired perhaps as a result of their ascetic practices. The early texts also tell of the shadowy wandering ascetics (vratya s), who seem to have also practiced physical austerit…

What is the role of competitive benchmarking in TQM? Explain why it is referred to as a restless approach?

Benchmarking refers to the process through which organizations evaluate various aspects of their processes in relation to the best practices that are present within their own industry. They then plan to adopt these best practices in order to enhance performance. Benchmarking is a basic tool for implementation of Total Quality Management. TQM focuses on how to improve the work processes in order to get better products. And with the help of benchmarking one can measure a work process or procedure and then to set a standard and improve the processes to that standard. This would improve the effectiveness and efficiency and thus TQM's goal will be achieved.

Can advertising do without deception? Discuss with a view to an advertiser’s professional duty.

We have proved without sentiment and beyond reasonable doubt that truthfulness is indispensable to advertising because the public will gain from it but loose from deceptive advertising. Since every social relation is built on truth, therefore, truthfulness in advertising makes good background for effective communication. To the best of our knowledge, language is an instrument for action and such language should be devoid of deception because deception is always detrimental to public interest.

State the areas in human resource management where ethical problems may arise. What are the qualities essential in a good personnel manager? Explain in the light of business ethics.

The discussions on ethical issues that may arise in the employment relationship, including the ethics of discrimination, and employees' rights and duties are commonly seen in the business ethics texts. While some argue that there are certain inalienable rights of workplace such as a right to work, a right to privacy, a right to be paid in accordance with comparable worth, a right not to be the victim of discrimination, others claim that these rights are negotiable.

Some of the important qualities required in any personnel manger may be summarized below:
Sense of VocationSense of Social responsibilityCapacity for LeadershipPersonnel IntegrityCapacity for PersuasionPersonalityPublic SpeechFacial ExpressionSpontaneity of SpeechPersonal dignityCourtesy and social awarenessForesightedness

Differentiate organizational climate from organizational culture.

The reflection on culture vs. climate so far:

Climate touches on values about working relationships in the organization -e.g. communication, level of openness, trust, etc. Climate surveys asks about the espoused values of the organization and see to what extent members feel there are behaving in alignment to those values.

Culture is deeper shared tacit assumptions that are held by many people in the organization (there could be subcultures as well for different groups). It describes people's mindset about how the organization works - the scope could be more than just working relationships. It may be an assumption about the strategy, customers, how money is used.

What is meant by white collar crime? Write a note on the modern concept of professional behaviour.

Within the field of criminology, white-collar crime has been defined by Edwin Sutherland as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation" (1939). Sutherland was a proponent of Symbolic Interactionism, and believed that criminal behaviour was learned from interpersonal interaction with others. White-collar crime, therefore, overlaps with corporate crime because the opportunity for fraud, bribery, insider trading, embezzlement, computer crime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery are more available to white-collar employees.

Being professional is an important part of ingraining yourself into any corporate or work environment. However, many people are unaware of what the definition of professional even is or how to incorporate it into their regular work habits.

What do you understand by professional misconduct? How is the concept of ‘quality of work life’ comparable to human resource development?

Behaviour outside the bounds of what is considered acceptable or worthy of its membership by the governing body of a profession.

The definition of quality of life is: The degree to which a person enjoys the important possibilities of his/her life. Possibilities result from the opportunities and limitations each person has in his/her life and reflect the interaction of personal and environmental factors. Enjoyment has two components: the experience of satisfaction and the possession or achievement of some characteristic, as illustrated by the expression: "She enjoys good health." Three major life domains are identified: Being, Belonging, and Becoming. The conceptualization of Being, Belonging, and Becoming as the domains of quality of life were developed from the insights of various writers.

Explain the need for environmental ethics. What are the principles of ecological sustainability?

Most people recognize that some agreed-upon guidelines or general rules should exist between individuals when they interact with one another because if they did not, nothing in our lives would be predictable or safe. In other words, people need to know that besides actual laws, there are some basic, common ethics or principles of what is right and what is wrong that everyone agrees upon and usually follows or lives by. Ethics is sometimes called moral philosophy because it is concerned with what is morally good and bad or what is right and wrong. As a specialized part of ethics, environmental ethics is concerned with the morality (right and wrong) of human actions as they affect the environment or the natural world we live in.

There are some key principles if only ecological sustainability has to be achieved.
The society has to change its present habit of using resources as if they are infinite to a habit where the society lives within the ability of the earth to support it and one tha…

What is the responsibility of business towards society? Why is social responsibility at a low pitch in India?

Responsibility of business towards society
A society consists of individuals, groups, organizations, families etc. They all are the members of the society. They interact with each other and are also dependent on each other in almost all activities. Thus, it has certain responsibilities towards society, which may be as follows:
to help the weaker and backward sections of the societyto preserve and promote social and cultural valuesto generate employmentto protect the environmentto conserve natural resources and wildlifeto promote sports and cultureto provide assistance in the field of developmental research on education, medical science, technology etc.
In other words, the responsibility of business towards society are:
Protection of environment.Better living conditions like housing, transport, canteen, crèches etc.Promotion of sports and culture.Opportunity for better career prospectsRegular supply of goods and servicesProper working conditions and welfare amenitiesGoods and services at…

From the perspective of the firm, ethics is closely associated with trust. Comment.

Ethics and trust are both intrinsic and intangible items. A person may be ethical for one transaction but not another. Someone may trust a person but not find them to be an ethical person and vice-versa. Trust and ethics are not a measurable characteristic and can change from person to person as opposed to fact based item. Everyone has their dark-side so to be deemed as a trust-worthy person is quite a compliment but then to put the icing on the cake with the multiplier of ethical is a slam dunk! Ethics are how one operates in both a professional and personal manner and just because someone is ethical it does not ensure they are also trustworthy. Like a trustworthy person is not necessarily ethical. Ethics are defined differently for different individuals as is trust and the level given to a person.

What are the types of values and how are they formed? Is management by secularism more effective and important than management by spiritualism?

There are Personal values (Those things you think are important), Societal values (those things everyone in general agree are important) and Biblical or religious values (those values that have an ultimate foundation in the Bible or in a particular religious system of beliefs). One that's constantly referred to nowadays is Family values. There are also Work, Education, and Advancement values, which tend to get lumped in between personal values and societal values.

There is more danger in managing through spiritual means than secular ones. The spiritual dimension could be seen as effective if one is immersed in a homogeneous setting where all individuals are only one form of religious worship. Even this could be challenging as different individuals within the same faith or string of worship can hold varying perceptions of zeal towards the idea of the sacred. In a heterogeneous setting, secular instruction and management is more effective for a variety of reasons. The first is t…

Explain the concept of ethical relativism. Use examples to support your answer.

Ethical relativism represents the position that there are no moral absolutes, no moral right or wrong. This position would assert that our morals evolve and change with social norms over a period of time. This philosophy allows people to mutate ethically as the culture, knowledge, and technology change in society. Slavery is a good example of ethical relativism. Repeatedly the value of a human being is determined by a combination of social preferences and patterns, experience, emotions, and “rules” that seemed to bring about the most benefit.

Are you convinced about the need for business ethics? Give reasons for your answer.

Business ethics, being part of the larger social ethics, has always been affected by the ethics of the epoch. At different epochs of the world, people, especially the elites of the world, were blind to ethics and morality which were obviously unethical to the succeeding epoch. History of business, thus, is tainted by and through the history of slavery, history of colonialism, and later by the history of the cold war. The current discourse of business ethics is the ethical discourse of the post-colonialism and post-world wars. The need for business ethics in the current epoch began gaining attention since the 1970s. Historically, firms started highlighting their ethical stature since the late 1980s and early 1990s, as the world witnessed serious economic and natural disasters because of unethical business practices. The Bhopal disaster and the fall of Enron are instances of major disasters triggered by bad corporate ethics. It should be noted that the idea of business ethics caught the…

What are values? What is its significance in management?

Values are the rules by which we make decisions about right and wrong, should and shouldn't, good and bad. They also tell us which are more or less important, which is useful when we have to trade off meeting one value over another. The values that a company stands for tells a lot about its intentions and how it may respond to situations. Difficult, ethical situations arise from time to time, but when the values are clearly defined and understood the response.

How is education a purposeful ethical activity? Compare the system of education in ancient India with the current system. Has it changed? Give reasons for your answer.

Education is a purposeful ethical activity because it broadens choice in terms of how one should live. Education opens doors to an individual. It allows opportunity and the ability to make informed decisions about ethical conduct in one's life. All studies of ethical principles and policies start with the base of education. I am not aware of any ethical code of conduct that does not incorporate education into its framework. I would say that for this reason alone, education is a purposeful ethical activity. The second issue is much more dicey. I think that education in India has undergone change over time. The idea of "ancient" is one that has to be explained more clearly. That is to say that ancient India lived by the stringent following of the caste system in terms of education and other opportunities. Over time, this is something that is still there, but not to the extent it was. I think that the more appropriate question might be will India's educational…

Discuss the circumstances under which a company may be wound up.

Section 218. Circumstances in which company may be wound up by Court.

(1) The Court may order the winding up if -
the company has by special resolution resolved that it be wound up by the Court;default is made by the company in lodging the statutory report or in holding the statutory meeting;the company does not commence business within a year from its incorporation or suspends its business for a whole year;the number of members is reduced in the case of a company (other than a company the whole of the issued shares in which are held by a holding company) below two;the company is unable to pay its debts;the directors have acted in the affairs of the company in their own interests rather than in the interests of the members as a whole, or in any other manner whatsoever which appears to be unfair or unjust to other members;an inspector appointed under Part IX has reported that he is of opinion-that the company cannot pay its debts and should be wound up; orthat it is in the interests of …

Distinguish between private and public companies.

A private company runs the business for it's own profit. Whereas, a public company does not much care about profit as it is providing the goods or service for the public. If a private company does not make money then they will have to sell their possessive things to pay off the debts and whereas the public companies will not have to marry whether making profit or not because they are public companies so they are providing a service to the public. Private companies tend to the big. However, they are not so the are liable for their debts.

What are shares and debentures? Discuss the different kinds of shares of a company and specify which of these you would prefer as an individual purchasing the shares of ITC limited.

A debenture is an unsecured loan you offer to a company. The company does not give any collateral for the debenture, but pays a higher rate of interest to its creditors. In case of bankruptcy or financial difficulties, the debenture holders are paid later than bondholders. Debentures are different from stocks and bonds, although all three are types of investment. Below are descriptions of the different types of investment options for small investors and entrepreneurs.

Debentures and Shares
When you buy shares, you become one of the owners of the company. Your fortunes rise and fall with that of the company. If the stocks of the company soar in value, your investment pays off high dividends, but if the shares decrease in value, the investments are low paying. The higher the risk you take, the higher the rewards you get.

Debentures are more secure than shares, in the sense that you are guaranteed payments with high interest rates. The company pays you interest on the money you lend it…

Explain the meaning, relevance and features of the Competition Act, 2002.

In 1969 Govt. has passed an act and it had given the name monopoly and restrictive trade practices (MRTP). It became popular with the name of MRTP 1969. This act has many provisions to control the monopoly and to promote the competition. It has defined RTP and also explained the powers of MRTP commission. But its scope was very narrow and Govt. of India has made new act called competition act 2002. On the place of MRTP ACT 1969 after this MRTP act 1969 was fully repealed.

Explanation of Competition Act 2002
Competition Act 2002 states that Indian traders must not do any activity for promoting monopoly. If they will do any activity in the form of production, distribution, price fixation for increasing monopoly and this will be against this act and will be void. This act is very helpful for increasing good competition in Indian economy.

Under this act following are restricted practice and these practices are stopped by this act.
Price fixing: If two or more supplier fixes the same price…

How is foreign exchange regulated and managed according to FEMA, 1999?

The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) has been in force with effect from 1.6.2000, thus replacing the old Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) 1973. Strict forex restrictions hailing from closed door economy era became outdated the day India embraced globalisation. Therefore India removed draconian provisions of FERA and put in place a forward-looking legislation covering foreign exchange matters in form of FEMA. There is sea change in the outlook of FEMA in comparison with FERA but reasonable restrictions with regard to foreign exchange transactions with a view to facilitate them in a regulated manner find a place in FEMA, 1999 and connected rules and regulations. The preamble to FEMA lays down that purpose of the Act is to consolidate and amend the law relating to foreign exchange with the objective of facilitating external trade and payments and for promoting the orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India. Rationale for strict regulations u…

How is a patent defined according to the Indian Patents Act, 1970? What are the inventions that are not patentable?

The Indian patents Act, 1970 is not only a complete Act but also in conformity with the TRIPS Agreement. It, however, needs enunciations in the form of judicial precedents as the same are lacking in case of patent law. It further must be analysed in the light of International developments in this field. The Indian Patent law must also be analysed in the light of both Public International law and the Private International Law as the same may create some problems in future. Further, the use of Information and Communication Technology.

There are some products and processes, which are not patentable in India as per Indian patent Law as described herein.

They are classified into two categories in the patent act
Those which are not inventions (S.3)Invention relating to atomic Energy (S.4)
Various types of non-patentable inventions under Section 3 are as follows-

3(a) An invention which is frivolous or which claims anything obvious contrary to well established natural laws.
Merely making in o…

Discuss the Copyright Act of 1957.

(1) Meaning of copyright. For the purposes of this Act, "copyright" means the exclusive right, by virtue of, and subject to the provisions of, this
in the case of a literary, dramatic or musical work, to do and authorise the doing of any of the following acts, namely –to reproduce the work in any material formto publish the work;to perform the work in public;to produce, reproduce, perform or publish any translation of the work;to make any cinematograph film or a record in respect of the work ;to communicate the work by radio broadcast or to communicate to the public by a loud-speaker or any other similar instrument the broadcast of the work;to make any adaptation of the work;to do in relation to a translation or an adaptation of the work any of the acts specified in relation to the work in clauses (1) to (6);in the case of an artistic work, to do or authorise the doing of any of the following acts, namely –to reproduce the work in any material form;to publish the work;to incl…

What are the grounds on which complaints can be made under Section 2(1) (C) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986? Explain with examples.

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides for serving of summons through Speed Post, Courier or even by Fax. In case, the party refuses to accept the notice, the Consumer Court can declare that notice is duly served on the party and can proceed further.

Section 2 imposes civil liability in tort for damage caused wholly or partly by a defect in a product. Liability falls on:
Producers;Persons holding themselves out as producers, for example by selling private label products under their own brand ("own-branders"); andImporters into the European Union (EU) for commercial sale.
Liability is strict and there is no need to demonstrate fault or negligence on behalf of the producer. Liability cannot be "written out" by an exclusion clause (s.7)

Damage includes (s.5):
Death;Personal injury;Damage to property, including land, provided that:The property is of a type usually intended for private use;It is intended for private use by a person making a claim; andThe value of the …

What is a promissory note? What essential requirements must it fulfil?

A written, dated and signed two-party instrument containing an unconditional promise by the maker to pay a definite sum of money to a payee on demand or at a specified future date.

Promissory notes must expressly fulfill the following essential requirements:
the expressions "to the order" or "promissory note" in the note’s language.the unconditional promise to pay the designated certain amount;the maturity date;the place of payment;the name of the person to whom or to whose order payment must be performed;the date and place of issuance of the promissory note;the issuer’s signature.

You sold a shipment of goods to ABC Company and received a bill of exchange for it. But now you find that the bill has been dishonoured. Can you sue ABC Company? What would your rights be in a court of law in this scenario?

Yes! We can sue the company. A notice that must be given by the holder of a bill of exchange to the drawer and to each endorser when the bill has been dishonoured; any drawer or endorser to whom notice is not given is discharged. The notice must identify the bill and state that it has been dishonoured by non-acceptance or non-payment. The notice must be given within a reasonable time of the dishonour (to which strict rules apply). Certain excuses are recognized for failure to give notice or delay.

Distinguish between coercion and undue influence. How are they defined and what are their effects?

Coercion: The Consent is given under the threat of an offense (i.e., committing or threatening to commit an act forbidden by the Indian penal Code or detaining or threatening to detain property unlawfully).Undue influence: The Consent is given by a person who is so situated in relation to another that the other person is in a position to dominate his will. In other words, consent is given, under moral influence.
Coercion: Coercion is mainly of a physical character. It involves mostly use of physical or violent force.Undue influence: Undue influence is of moral character. It involves use of moral force or mental pressure.

Write a note on bailment. What are the duties of a bailee?

Bailment is a matter of property law, and not criminal law. A bailment occurs when an individual in lawful possession of a piece of personal property (the bailor) gives over possession to another individual (the bailee) for a specific purpose, with the understanding that once the purpose has been achieved, the personal property shall be surrendered back to the bailor.

A bailee owes a duty to protect the property, and to return the property promptly. Bailments apply to items which have been borrowed or loaned, items being transported by couriers, and customer goods in the possession of repairmen.

What are the rights and duties of an agent?

Agent's duties include:
to act on behalf of and be subject to the control of the principal,to act within the scope of authority or power delegated by the principal,to discharge his or her duties with appropriate care and diligence,to avoid conflict between his or her personal interests and those of the principal, and to promptly hand over to the principal all monies collected on principal's behalf.Principal's duties include:
to compensate the agent as agreed, andto indemnify the agent against claims, liabilities and expenses incurred in discharging duties assigned by the principal.

What do you understand by contracts of indemnity and contracts of guarantee? Compare and contrast the two.

Contract of indemnity
there are 2 parties indemnifier and indemnity holder.there is 1 contract between indemnifier and indemnified.the nature of liability of indemnifier is primary and independentin a contract of indemnity, the indemnifier promises without the request of debtor.a contract of indemnify is for reimbursement.Contract of Guarantee
there are 3 parties Creditor, Principal Debtor And Surety.there are 3 contracts between creditor and principal, principal and surety, surety and creditor.Liability of surety is Secondary.contract of Guarantee is for security of a debt or performance of promise.

‘No consideration, no contract’. Discuss consideration in light of this phrase.

Exceptions to the rule that “No consideration – No contract”

Section 25 declares that ‘an agreement made without consideration is void’. It means that consideration is a must in all cases. Exceptions to the rule are:
written and registered agreement out of natural love and affection between the parties;promise to compensate a person who has voluntarily done something for the promisor;promise to pay time-barred debt;completed gift;creation of agency

Case Study: Mergers of banks

The past fifteen years have seen numerous mergers of banks in every part of the US. Invariably, bank managers point to significant cost reduction (increasing returns to scale) associated with consolidation of computer systems, combining neighbouring branch outlets and reduction of corporate overhead expenses as justification. Many of these mergers involved multibillion dollar banks, which appeared to be inconsistent with existing empirical research on bank costs that showed significant diseconomies of scale for banks with more than $25-50 million in deposits. Unfortunately, these studies used data only for banks with less than $1 billion in deposits. In a more recent study, Sherrill Shaffer and Edmond David used data for large banks ( those with $2.5 to $121 billion in deposits) and found increasing returns to scale (i.e., declining per unit costs) up to a bank size of $15 to $37 billion. Clearly, the owners and managers of the merged banks knew more about their actual cost functions …

Case Study: A perfect competition

In 1997, over $700 billion purchases were charged on credit cards, and this total is increasing at a rate of over 10 per cent a year. At first glance, the credit card market would seem to be a rather concentrated industry. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are the most familiar names, and over 60 per cent of all charges are made using one of these three cards. But on closer examination, the industry seems to exhibit most characteristics of perfect competition. Consider first the size and distribution of buyers and sellers. Although Visa, Mastercard and American Express are the choices of the majority of consumers, these cards do not originate from just three firms. In fact, there are over six thousand enterprises (primarily banks and credit unions) in the US that offer charge cards to over 90 million credit card holders. One person's Visa card may have been issued by his company's credit union in Los Angeles, while a next door neighbour may have acquired hers from a Miami …

Discuss the methods of making investment decisions under conditions of risk.

An eight-step approach to making better decisions.

The following list is adapted from Smart Choices by Hammond, et al.:
Work on the right decision problem. Be careful in stating the problem, and avoid unwarranted assumptions and option-limiting prejudices.Specify your objectives. Determine what you want to accomplish, and which of your interests, values, concerns, fears, and aspirations are the most relevant.Create imaginative alternatives. Alternatives represent different courses of action, and your decision can be no better than your best alternative.Understand the consequences. Determine how well different alternatives satisfy all of your objectives.Grapple with your tradeoffs. Since objectives frequently conflict with each other, it becomes necessary to choose among less-than-perfect possibilities.Clarify your uncertainties. Confront uncertainty by judging the likelihood of different outcomes and assessing their possible impacts.Think hard about your risk tolerance. In order to cho…

Define capital budgeting. Examine how the optimum level of capital is determined.

Capital Budgeting
Ideally, businesses should pursue all projects and opportunities that enhance shareholder value. However, because the amount of capital available at any given time for new projects is limited, management needs to use capital budgeting techniques to determine which projects will yield the most return over an applicable period of time.

Popular methods of capital budgeting include net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), discounted cash flow (DCF) and payback period.

Many formal methods are used in capital budgeting, including the techniques such as
Accounting rate of returnNet present valueProfitability indexInternal rate of returnModified internal rate of returnEquivalent annuity

Write a note on transfer pricing.

Transfer price refers to the amount used in accounting for transfer of goods or services from one responsibility centre to another or from one company to another which belongs to the same group.

Transfer pricing is a mechanism for distributing revenue between different divisions which jointly develop, manufacture and market products and services.

Transfer pricing systems are designed to accomplish the following objectives:
to provide each division with relevant information required to make optimal decisions for the organisation as a whole;to promote goal congruence – that is, actions by divisional managers to optimise divisional performance should automatically optimise the firm's performance; andto facilitate measuring divisional performances.

Why is a perfectly competitive firm called a price taker and a monopolist a price maker?

In the context of the stock market, individual investors are price-takers.Suppose you sell water, which of course is supplied by millions of other places, including the sky. If you decide to set the price of a gallon of your water at $10, you will likely sell nothing because this commodity is readily available elsewhere for a much cheaper price.Price Maker
A monopoly is a price maker as it holds a large amount of power over the price it charges.A price maker that is a firm within monopolistic competition produces goods that are differentiated in some way from its competitors' products. This kind of price maker is also a profit-maximizer as it will increase output only as long as its marginal revenue is greater than its marginal cost, in other words, as long as it's producing a profit.

What do you understand by duopoly? Explain Cournot's duopoly model.

A true duopoly is a specific type of oligopoly where only two producers exist in one market. In reality, this definition is generally used where only two firms have dominant control over a market. In the field of industrial organization, it is the most commonly studied form of oligopoly due to its simplicity.

The Cournot model, shows that two firms assume each others output and treat this as a fixed amount, and produce in their own firm according to this.

It has the following features:
There is more than one firm and all firms produce a homogeneous product, i.e. there is no product differentiation;Firms do not cooperate, i.e. there is no collusion;Firms have market power, i.e. each firm's output decision affects the good's price;The number of firms is fixed;Firms compete in quantities, and choose quantities simultaneously;The firms are economically rational and act strategically, usually seeking to maximize profit given their competitors' decisions.

What is meant by monopolistic competition? Explain and critically analyse Chamberlin's theory of monopolistic competition.

Pure monopoly and perfect competition are two extreme cases of market structure. In reality, there are markets having large number of producers competing with each other in order to sell their product in the market. Thus, there is monopoly on one hand and perfect competition on other hand. Such a mixture of monopoly and perfect competition is called as monopolistic competition. It is a case of imperfect competition.

The conclusion is drawn after analysing Chamberlin's theory of monopolistic competition that under monopolistic competition the equilibrium price is higher, and the volume of output prob­ably (not necessarily) lower, than under pure competition. The net profits of enterprise, however, may or may not be higher than under pure competition because of the expense which is required to maintain the monopoly elements and which is often increased by a multiplication of substitute products surrounding the monopolist. Chamberlin argues that monopolistic competition need not brin…

What are the chief objectives that business firms seek to achieve that concern an economist?

A firm or business firm is defined by Samuelson and Nordhaus as:

“The basic, private producing unit in an economy. It hires labour, rents or owns capital and land, and buys other inputs in order to make and sell goods and services.”
They further state that firms are motivated by the desire to maximize profits. Thus, though a business firms may follow may pursue, many different objectives, the economists only focus on the profit objective of the firms. They study how the firms decide and act in their attempt to maximize their profits.

This does not mean that business firms do not have any other objectives. As a matter of fact they may have many other objectives. But economists do not study those aspects of firms.

Analyse the relationship between output and per unit costs in the short run.

A short-run marginal cost curve graphically represents the relation between marginal (i.e., incremental) cost incurred by a firm in the short-run production of a good or service and the quantity of output produced. This curve is constructed to capture the relation between marginal cost and the level of output, holding other variables, like technology and resource prices, constant. The marginal cost curve is U-shaped. Marginal cost is relatively high at small quantities of output; then as production increases, marginal cost declines, reaches a minimum value, then rises. The marginal cost is shown in relation to marginal revenue, the incremental amount of sales revenue that an additional unit of the product or service will bring to the firm. This shape of the marginal cost curve is directly attributable to increasing, then decreasing marginal returns (and the law of diminishing marginal returns). Marginal cost equals w/MPL. For most production processes the marginal product of labor ini…

Discuss isoquant curves and isoquant maps.

In economics, an isoquant (derived from quantity and the Greek word iso, meaning equal) is a contour line drawn through the set of points at which the same quantity of output is produced while changing the quantities of two or more inputs. While an indifference curve mapping helps to solve the utility-maximizing problem of consumers, the isoquant mapping deals with the cost-minimization problem of producers. Isoquants are typically drawn on capital-labor graphs, showing the technological tradeoff between capital and labor in the production function, and the decreasing marginal returns of both inputs. Adding one input while holding the other constant eventually leads to decreasing marginal output, and this is reflected in the shape of the isoquant. A family of isoquants can be represented by an isoquant map, a graph combining a number of isoquants, each representing a different quantity of output. Isoquants are also called equal product curves.

Explain the statistical methods of forecasting demand.

Quantitative forecasting or statistical methods of forecasting demand is often referred to as objective analysis.

Quantitative forecasting can be characterized by one of the two basic techniques:
a) Time series - where the future tends to look and behave like the past, or
b) Relational - where the future is dependent on the direction of a variety of factors.

These techniques use statistical methods for projecting from historical data. The main assumption is that the historical pattern will continue into the future.

Extrapolation involves making statistical projections based on historical trends that are projected for a specified period of time into the future. It is usually relevant when causal factors will remain constant or are not understood. An important principle for extrapolation is to use long time-series when developing a forecast. Two major types of time-series methods are moving averages and exponential smoothing; with exponential smoothing being the most popular and c…

What do you understand by indifference curves? How are they derived? Describe their properties.

In microeconomic theory, an indifference curve is a graph showing different bundles of goods between which a consumer is indifferent. That is, at each point on the curve, the consumer has no preference for one bundle over another. One can equivalently refer to each point on the indifference curve as rendering the same level of utility (satisfaction) for the consumer. Utility is then a device to represent preferences rather than something from which preferences come. The main use of indifference curves is in the representation of potentially observable demand patterns for individual consumers over commodity bundles.

There are infinitely many indifference curves: one passes through each combination. A collection of (selected) indifference curves, illustrated graphically, is referred to as an indifference map.

Properties of indifference curve:
Slopes downward to the rightUpward slopingStraight line parallel to X-axisIndifference curve cannot be parallel to the Y-axisIndifference curve is …

Discuss the Cardinal Utility Theory. How do the cardinalists derive the demand curve? What are its drawbacks?

Cardinal Utility Theory is a method which assumes that satisfaction can be measured using the unit of ‘util’.

The cardinal utility theory treats utility as something that can be measured in absolute terms. We can measure a person and say the person is 1.7 meters tall. So too, these theorists say, we can measure the utility a person gets from a good or service and say they get 1.7 utils, for example, from it.

This is in contrast to ordinal utility theory which simply says that a person gets more utility from good A than good B.

Cardinal utility is helpful for teaching about marginal utility and things like that. However, it seems to me that it is quite impossible to measure utility in a cardinal way. I can only talk about how much satisfaction I get from buying a book by comparing it to what I get from watching a movie. I cannot put a number on the book without reference to other things.

What do you understand by price elasticity of demand? Analyse the relationship between price elasticity and marginal revenue.

Price elasticity of demand (PED or Ed) is a measure used in economics to show the responsiveness, or elasticity, of the quantity demanded of a good or service to a change in its price. More precisely, it gives the percentage change in quantity demanded in response to a one percent change in price (holding constant all the other determinants of demand, such as income). It was devised by Alfred Marshall.
PED is a measure of responsiveness of the quantity of a good or service demanded to changes in its price. The formula for the coefficient of price elasticity of demand for a good is:

The relationship between (Marginal Revenue) MR and Ed is that each measurement is important in managerial decisions on price and quantity. For example if a manager understands the elasticity of demand for its product, he or she will be able to make an informed decision on how consumers will react to a price increase or decrease. If the manager decides to raise the price of the product and demand for the prod…

Explain the demand function with the help of examples. Draw appropriate graphs where required.

The demand equation is the mathematical expression of the relationship between the quantity of a good demanded and those factors that affect the willingness and ability of a consumer to buy the good. For example, Qd = f(P; Prg, Y) is a demand equation where Qd is the quantity of a good demanded, P is the price of the good, Prg is the price of a related good, and Y is income; the function on the right side of the equation is called the demand function. The semi-colon in the list of arguments in the demand function means that the variables to the right are being held constant as we plot the demand curve in (quantity, price) space.

Discuss the relationship between economics and management functions. How does the former contribute to the latter?

Economics and Management are ideal intellectual partners, each particularly fitted to strengthen and cross-fertilize the other. Economics provides the broader understanding of economic activity within which all organizations function; management in turn analyses the character and goals of that functioning. The management economics is often a subsection of the economic science and thus in broader sense a special form of the social, culture and Geisteswissenschaften. Like the economic science it is based in principle on the fact that most goods are limited and must by the participants be managed. It describes the economic functions of the enterprise within a national economy. In addition above all the optimal organization of the factors of production belongs apart from the company targets and the economical functions. In the broader sense also all households are enterprises.

Case Study: The New Boss

One of the largest NGOs in Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal is the Environment Protection Agency. The grant management section of its water division was formed seven years ago. The main functions of this division are to review applications for grants, engineering designs and requests for change. It also inspects the operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment facilities. Four engineers, one technician and one secretary-cum-programmer reported to Prem Sharan, head of the section. Prem was 36 years old and had headed the section since its inception. He had earned a good reputation for his technical acumen and dedication. Three of the engineers had joined the section recently. The senior engineer, R. Sundaram, had been working there for the last four years. Prem had personally trained him. Because of his experience and expertise, Prem had allotted to him the areas with the most complicated projects. The other three engineers were given less complex regions. They were asked to work clo…

Case Study: Human Resource Planning - What is that?

You are a human resource consultant. The newly appointed president of a large paper manufacturing firm has called you:

President: I have been in this job for about one month now, and all I seem to do is interview people and listen to personal problems.
You: Why have you been interviewing people? Don't you have a human resource department?
President: Yes, we do. However, the human resource department does not hire top management people. As soon as I took over, I found out that two of my vice presidents were retiring and we had no one to replace them.
You: Have you hired anyone?
President: Yes, I have, and that is part of the problem. I hired a person from the outside. As soon as the announcement was made, one of my department heads came in and resigned. She said she had wanted that job as vice president for eight years. She was angry because we had hired someone from outside. How was I supposed to know she wanted the job?
You: What have you done about the other vice president job?

Discuss how collective bargaining evolved in India.

Collective Bargaining in India has been the subject matter of industrial adjudication since long and has been defined by our Law Courts. In Karol Leather Karamchari Sangathan v. Liberty Footwear Company3 the Supreme Court observed that,“Collective bargaining is a technique by which dispute as to conditions of employment is resolved amicably by agreement rather than coercion."

According to the Court, the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 seeks to achieve social justice on the basis of collective bargaining. In an earlier judgment in Titagarh Jute Co. Ltd. v. Sriram Tiwari , the Calcutta High Court clarified that this policy of the legislature is also implicit in the definition of ‘industrial dispute'.

In Ram Prasad Viswakarma v. Industrial Tribunal 4the Court observed that, "It is well known how before the days of ‘collective bargaining', labour was at a great disadvantage in obtaining reasonable terms for contracts of service from its employer. As trade unions developed…

Why do you think it is important for an organization to involve employees or employee representatives at all levels of the decision-making process?

It is important for an organization to involve employees or employee representatives at all levels of the decision-making process because they
knows how much leadership to offer and how much to let individuals grow on their own.strikes the right balance between specific and generic guidance so the unique individual traits of the workers come through in the business model and solutions to problems, system design and success of the firm are derived from the people running the enterprise and not from the management.manages constructively by fostering an environment respectful of all points of view but drives to fulfilling progressive objectives as a first priority and blends differences of opinion decisively.

What steps would you take to tackle human relations problems in your organization?

Maintaining a positive, productive work environment is critical for all managers. We accomplish this by engaging in the steps to tackle human relations problems in our organization:
mentoring and coaching your staffregular feedback, including annual performance reviewsopen and honest communication regarding group, unit and university business issueschange management strategiesemployee engagement and empowermentfairly, assertively and promptly addressing workplace challenges and problems.Addressing declining performance or poor personal skills is an unwelcome but necessary function. Unacceptable performance and conflicting relationships can quickly impact the productivity and workplace environment for the entire group.

Design a systematic transfer policy.

Organizations should clearly specify their policy regarding transfers. Otherwise,superiors may transfer their subordinates arbitrarily if they do not like them. It causes frustration among employees. Similarly, subordinates may also request for transfers even for the petty issues. Hence, an organization should formulate a systematic transfer policy. A systematic transfer policy should the following items:
Specification of circumstances under which an employee will be transferred in the case of any company initiated transfer.Name of the superior who is authorized and responsible to initiate a transfer. Jobs from and to which transfers will be made, based on the job specification,description and classification, etc.The region or unit of the organization within which transfers will be administered.Reasons which will be considered for personal transfers, their order of priority,etc.Reasons for natural transfer of employees.Norms to decide priority when two or more employees request for tra…

'Morale is high when there is improved employee contribution, lower labour turnover and absenteeism.' Discuss.

Morale describes how employees feel about their work, their colleagues and the organisation. It is a motivating force which drives the level of effort people put into their work and their intention to stay with the organisation. Its often called motivation.

Morale shows the three important aspects:
Level of efforts -- that is reflected in performanceIntention to stay -- that is reflected in staff turn overKeenness to attend, (managing the stress level) -- that shows the employee's absenteeism.Employees with high morale have less absenteeism,less staff turnover, higher productivity and higher customer satisfaction as compared with staff with low morale.

Discuss how the recommendations of the National Commission of Labour can be used effectively in private organizations.

The recommendation for National Commission of Labour can be effectively utilised in the private organisation that will automatically raise the level organisation. They need to follow relevant guidelines from the recommendation and apply it in the organisation policy.

The recommendations of the Commission consists of the chapters, namely:
The terms of the reference of the CommissionIntroductory review,Industrial Development and Progress after independence,Impact of globalisation - in comparison with neighbouring countries,Approach to review laws,Review of laws,Unorganised sector,Social security,Women and Child labour,Skill development,Labour administration,Other matters.

Why is the quality of work life important for the employee and the organization?

The success of any organization depends on how it attracts, recruits, motivates, and retains its workforce. Organizations need to be more flexible so that they develop their talented workforce and gain their commitment. Thus, organizations are required to retain employees by addressing their work life issues.

The elements that are relevant to an individuals quality of work life include the task, the physical work environment, social environment within the organization, administrative system and relationship between life on and off the job.

Providing quality at work not only reduces attrition but also helps in reduced absenteeism and improved job satisfaction. Not only does QWL contribute to a company's ability to recruit quality people, but also it enhances a company's competitiveness. Common beliefs support the contention that QWL will positively nurture amore flexible, loyal, and motivated workforce, which are essential in determining the company's competitiveness.

'Separation means cessation of service agreement with the organization.' Discuss the different ways of separation in light of this statement.

'Separation means cessation of service agreement with the organization.'

The different ways of employee separations are:

Involuntary separations
It occurs when an employer decides to terminate its relationship with an employee due to
Economic necessity orA poor fit between the employee and the organization.There are three types of involuntary separations:
Discharge - Discharge takes place when management decides that there is a poor fit between an employee and the organization. It could be a result of poor performance or because of some unacceptable behavior.Layoff - Layoff means the “failure”, “refusal" or “inability” on the part of any employer to give employment to any number of workmen on account of shortage of raw material, accumulation of stock, breakdown of machinery or for any other reason.Retrenchment - Retrenchment means “discharge of surplus labour or staff” by the employer on account of long period of layoff, or rationalization or improved machinery or automat…

Write a short note on The Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948.

The Employee State Insurance Act, [ESIC] 1948, is a piece of social welfare legislation enacted primarily with the object of providing certain benefits to employees in case of sickness, maternity and employment injury and also to make provision for certain others matters incidental thereto. The Act in fact tries to attain the goal of socio-economic justice enshrined in the Directive principles of state policy under part 4 of our constitution, in particular articles 41, 42 and 43 which enjoin the state to make effective provision for securing, the right to work, to education and public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement. The act strives to materialise these avowed objects through only to a limited extent. This act becomes a wider spectrum then factory act. In the sense that while the factory act concerns with the health, safety, welfare, leave etc of the workers employed in the factory premises only. But the benefits of this act extend to employees w…

Which appraisal system would you recommend to your organization for appraising its employees and why?

I would recommend 360-degree feedback, i.e., in human resources or industrial/organizational psychology, also known as multi-rater feedback, multisource feedback, or multisource assessment; because it is the feedback that comes from all around an employee. "360" refers to the 360 degrees in a circle, with an individual figuratively in the center of the circle. Feedback is provided by subordinates, peers, and supervisors. It also includes a self-assessment and, in some cases, feedback from external sources such as customers and suppliers or other interested stakeholders. It may be contrasted with "upward feedback," where managers are given feedback by their direct reports, or a "traditional performance appraisal," where the employees are most often reviewed only by their managers.

'The purpose of training is to achieve a change in the behaviour of those trained and to enable them to perform better.' Discuss.

Reasons for emphasizing the growth and development of personnel include creating a pool of readily available and adequate replacements for personnel who may leave or move up in the organization.
Enhancing the company's ability to adopt and use advances in technology because of a sufficiently knowledgeable staff.Building a more efficient, effective and highly motivated team, which enhances the company's competitive position and improves employee morale.Ensuring adequate human resources for expansion into new programs.

An HR Audit is expensive, and though organizations are not legally bound to take it, they still pursue it. Why?

The Human Resources (HR) Audit - is a process of examining policies, procedures, documentation, systems, and practices with respect to an organization’s HR functions.

The purpose of the audit is to reveal the strengths and weaknesses in the human resources system, and any issues needing resolution. The audit works best when the focus is on analyzing and improving the HR function in the organization.

The audit itself is a diagnostic tool, not a prescriptive instrument. It will help you identify what you are missing or need to improve, but it can’t tell you what you need to do to address these issues. It is most useful when an organization is ready to act on the findings, and to evolve its HR function to a level where its full potential to support the organization’s mission and objectives can be realized.

In the times of economic recession, how would you balance the supply and demand of Human Resources in your organization?

Now, if you’re finding you have a surplus of HR resources (not normally the case, but can happen occasionally) then here is an opportunity to think out-of-the box and look for other ways to be of service to your organization. This approach dispenses with the, “It’s not in my job description” mentality. There is always a backlog of HR housekeeping work (updating personnel files and employee office manual, performing an HR audit, etc.) things that seem not to get done when we’re humming along and busy. Another notion is to conduct organization-wide surveys that allow HR to better understand what’s happening in the organization and allow HR to become more proactive in organizational development rather than reactive, which is often the case. Additionally, and especially in recessionary times, you may look to assist other departments with their efforts. Look for your transferable skills that might be utilized in marketing, operations, and production, i.e., budgeting, scheduling, project ma…

Discuss the issues that an HR department faces in the context of its structure in an organization.

The organisation of the human resource function and the role of professionals within the function will depend upon a number of factors such as the size of the organisation, where it is positioned within the organisation etc. In some organisations there may be no human resource management professionals employed but of course that does not absolve organisations from their responsibilities in this area. Here we identify the main issues which are important for human resource professionals and managers to be aware of and address, as appropriate, be they directly employed by an organisation or if they engage external Consultants to help them in the addressing of these issues.

Do you agree that HRM is faced with several challenges in today's world? What are the steps that organizations should take to handle these challenges?

Two types of challenges are faced by HRM today.

The changing environment:

1. Work force diversity
2. Economical & Technological changes
3. Globalisation
4. Organisation Restructuring
5. Changing nature of work

Changing role of the HR manager:

1. Flatter organisation
2. Employee empowerment
3. Team work
4. Ethical management

To remain in business, human resource managers need to efficiently address following human resource challenges:

1. Handling Multicultural / Diverse Workforce
2. Managing Change
3. Retaining the Talents
4. Conflict Management