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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This is a test Post

This post wiill link to an article about Steve Jobs. Click here to view the address.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today I discovered the creed of Auburn University and was stirred by its lucid, sensible message. In my opinion, words such as these can help guide us to lead more fruitful, productive lives and should be shared with friends and family. Herewith, the Auburn creed:

I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn.

Therefore, I believe in work, hard work. I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.

I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.

I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.

I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.

I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.

I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God."

And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.
George Petrie (1945)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cultural Effects on Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior is largely dependent on cultural factors consisting of mutually shared operating procedures, unstated assumptions, tools, norms, values, standards for perceiving, believing, evaluating, and communicating. Cultural factors vary by country but become increasingly complex when people immigrate to foreign countries that have different cultural dimensions. In these situations, people are subjected to a wide variety of cultural reference groups that ultimately affect their purchase behavior. In addition, reference groups may consist of familial groups or external peer groups with each group providing specific and often conflicting information that affects purchase and consumption behavior. In response, marketers must develop marketing communication that addresses cultural and reference group factors from both a domestic and global perspective. To this end, marketers use market segmentation and micromarketing to develop customer-centric marketing messages with the goal of providing precisely defined marketing messages that satisfy consumer’s need for personal information regarding products and services so that consumers should be adequately stimulated to purchase the product or service being advertised.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Influence of Cultural Reference Groups on Consumers.

The elements of culture consist of mutually shared operating procedures, unstated assumptions, tools, norms, values, standards for perceiving, believing, evaluating, and communicating. Culture is a macro-level perspective of a population whereas cultural reference groups are a micro-level perspective of specific clusters of and individual people within the culture. This is especially important for consumer-oriented marketing because reference groups because they form the lens through which consumers view advertising messages and products.

Cultural characteristics are country dependent and research has shown that consumers within a specific culture tend to interpret and react to marketing information differently from other cultures which means marketers should use culturally matched advertisements to induce consumers to act. For instance, consumers in countries like Japan or China are high in collectivism (Hofstede’s low Masculinity value) and react to advertisements differently than consumers in countries like the U.S. or England where there is a high degree of individualism (Hofstede’s high Individualism value). The cultural problems are compounded when people migrate to a country that has different cultural values because their reference group orientation changes as they are acculturated to the resident country’s culture thereby modifying their purchasing and consumption behaviors to conform more to the resident country rather than to their country of origin.
To download the full article, click the following link:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Electronic Commerce Life Cycle

Electronic Commerce is the use of the Internet or non-traditional forms of electronic marketing between a company and its customers, suppliers, or other business partners. Electronic Commerce is also known as e-commerce or e-business but for the purpose of this discussion it will be referred to as e-commerce or EC. Through e-commerce we can use a PC or smartphone to connect to the Internet and conduct business, manage email, purchase a plethora of products, and acquire research information virtually anywhere in the world. This powerful capability is ubiquitous and dependable but has had a problem-plagued growth that was overcome in only about the last five years. E-commerce, however, has gained consumer trust and global usage, and businesses are investing heavily in its future.

Throughout the history of the United States, innovations in business and commerce have had a temporarily disruptive effect on the economy starting with the introduction of mass retail purchasing in the post-Civil War era, to mail-order shopping, big-box discount stores, to e-commerce. From its Pre-Internet stage to the present, the Electronic Commerce Life Cycle has had a startling effect on worldwide commerce. Despite its fitful start and tumultuous growth, EC has opened new avenues of product acquisition and information retrieval that are efficient, convenient, and cost effective. Bruce McDougall declared, “Electronic technology has changed the way we think about money and monetary value. It’s changing the way companies organize themselves and do business. . .”

Friday, October 8, 2010

Human-Computer Communication in Electronic Commerce

An important consideration for creating effective electronic commerce applications is for developers to be fully cognizant of the nature of human-computer communication relative to customer service. Humans, by nature, need to interact with other people especially when we are experiencing stress or trying to resolve a purchase-related problem; leaving a message with a computerized messaging system or working solely with an automated system can exacerbate the stress.

In the 1990s I worked for an IBM business partner selling and installing banking telephony-based interactive voice response (IVR) systems. Typically, we would place the IVR systems in front of the human-manned call center. The plan was to have the IVRs handle the mundane calls thereby allowing the call center reps to devote their time to more complex issues. Customers, however, disliked the arrangement, so many banks placed the computers behind the call center in order to handle call overflow. Now here is where it becomes interesting: The bank’s customers loved having a human rep answer the initial call but quickly wanted to be transferred to “the machine” to transact their banking business. The net result was that the IVR’s were doing exactly what we had originally planned for them to do but the only difference was that customers wanted to talk to a human first.

I frequently remind my colleagues that the reason we have computers and electronic commerce is because of people. In order to develop more effective applications we must focus on people first and info systems second.
There are times, however, that I feel like a voice in the darkness.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Leaders

Emotional intelligence appears to be a distinguishing feature of successful leaders. We hear of leaders who defy conventional wisdom and logic and are successful anyway because they went with their feelings rather than pure logic.

Jacques (1996) pointed out that industrial era thinking marginalized the entire domain of relational practice including emotions, nurturing, and empathy. Furthermore, in the 21st century, relational skill will be increasingly important for effectively organizing but these skills are not typically found in an industrial workplace. To relate and nurture implies an emotional connection to another person. It implies that we acknowledge and value their feelings. Cooper and Sawaf (1996) state, “Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection, and influence” (p.xiii).

In addition, Bass (1990, p. 111) cites research that confirms that emotional expresivity, emotional sensitivity, and emotional control are important social skills for a modern leader. Factor this in with Jacques (1996) and Cooper and Sawaf (1996) and it becomes obvious that emotional intelligence is important to success in the 21st century.


Bass, B. M., & Stogdill, R. M. (1990). Bass & Stogdill's handbook of leadership : Theory, research, and managerial applications ( 3rd ed.). New York: Free Press.

Cooper, R., & Sawaf, A. (1996). Executive EQ: Emotional intelligence in leadership and organizations. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group.

Jacques, R. (1996). Manufacturing the employee: Management knowledge from the 19th to 21st centuries. London: Sage Publications.