Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Freedom and Slavery in “Huckleberry Finn” Essay

â€Å"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn†, by Mark Twain, is a classic American novel, considered by some to be the finest example of American literature. It follows Huck and Jim, a poor Southern white boy and a runaway slave, as they travel down the Mississippi River in a quest for freedom. Sometimes regarded as a simple children’s story, â€Å"Huckleberry Finn†, while still existing on that level, also has an abundance of symbolism and meaning that’s not immediately apparent. The novel contains ideas and observations that Twain felt were significant to the culture and the people he was writing to. The primary theme of the book (most appropriate considering the time period in which it was written) is the struggle between freedom and slavery. Huckleberry Finn experiences this struggle as the adults around him attempt to â€Å"sivilize† him and force him to conform to their ideas of appropriate behavior. Witnessing their hypocrisy, their interest in being SEEN as good respectable people over actually BEING good respectable people, Huck instinctively dismisses and rebels against their teachings. He resists being molded into something that’s pleasing to others but not himself, against becoming a slave to the person everyone else wants him to be, forever prevented from expressing who he truly is. Perhaps more literally, Jim also must struggle for freedom. A slave all his life, he becomes a runaway, forced to rely on a white boy whose attitudes and ideas have been molded all his life to view blacks as inferior. He’s struggling against society, which literally attempts to enslave him as someone whose only purpose is to serve his superiors (whites), whose life means nothing more than to serve as a piece of property. Both Jim and Huck fight for their own forms of freedom when all outside forces are trying to enslave them. Both merely want to be the masters of their own lives and persons, without external control. Not only is this concept a key theme in the novel, but in the South throughout it’s history.

Monday, January 6, 2020

The Inventions from the Bubonic Plague - 2053 Words

The bubonic plague, which has gone by many names over the years, has caused millions of deaths and is still around today. However, after the Plague hit Central Europe, there was a huge increase in quality of life. Religion was adversely affected as the churches were unable to stop or even slow down the Plague causing most of the population to lose faith. The economies changed in amazing ways for peasants with the loss of the feudal system, and life expectancy was improved with the creation of modern medicine. What is the Pestilence? Caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, the bubonic blague, also known as the Black Death and the Pestilence to Central Europe in the mid-1300s, is named after the buboes that appear on the groin, armpit, or neck within a week of being infected. Buboes are swollen lymph nodes filled with fluid that can reach up to the size of a large chicken egg. They are tender to the touch and are black in color. The onset of symptoms start with a fever and chills and progresses to headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and a cough that produces blood or sputum. Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian writer living in Florence in 1348 and said, â€Å"Soon after this the symptoms changed and black or purple spots appeared on the arms or thighs or any other part of the body, sometimes a few large ones, sometimes many little ones. These spots were a certain sign of death, just as the original tumor had been and still remained† (Eyewitness to History, 2001). Most victims of theShow MoreRelatedDeath by the Black Plague1017 Words   |  4 Pages The plague was the most devastating pandemic in human history, killing around 80-200 million people mostly throughout Europe, leaving most people back then wondering how they and others got sick and died. â€Å"Evidence available from rural continental Europe suggests a slow spread of human mortality across trade and travel routes, patterns consistent† (Carmichael 3), until after multiple inventions such as printing, word spread of this murderer, preventing more deaths and to treat those affected. ThisRead MoreThe Black Death : The Bubonic Plague Of The Thirteen Thousands Swept Through Europe Essay1298 Words   |  6 PagesTaylor Hurst Dr. Reedy College English 13 October 2016 The Black Death The bubonic plague of the thirteen hundreds swept through Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of its population in merely three years. This was the most horrific epidemic the world has seen to date. Poor sanitation practices, improper burial of corpses, and insufficient systems for waste removal were important factors in allowing the plague to manifest (Byrne 31). Infected fleas and rats, brought by trade ships and theRead MoreMiddle Ages and the Renaissance1274 Words   |  5 Pageswhich the Bubonic Plague devastated European society. The changes that took place as a result of the Plague altered the economic, social, artistic, political, and intellectual foundations of Europe forever. The Middle Ages were a time of feudalism, or a system in which the nobles provided military service in exchange for land. The entire social, economic, and political systems were intertwined with the idea of feudalism, but this system kept Europe primitive. However, the Bubonic Plague, which firstRead MoreThe Decline Of The Middle Ages Europe870 Words   |  4 Pagesstuck in a constant cycle of development and decline that could be attributed to a wide range of factors. The only constant aspect of Middle Ages Europe became its religion, which acted to keep the region afloat even as feudalism, invasions, and plagues sought to destroy any progress that could have been made. Feudalism is an interesting concept in theory, but in practice, at least in Europe, it only serves to stagnate progress and hurt the region. Feudalism was a form of government in which wealthyRead MoreBioweapons Essay1439 Words   |  6 Pagesthese dangerous competition of bioterrorism. For United States, using biological weapons were primarily for defense from other countries. Headquarters for research of bioweapons were established at Fort Detrick. (208) These research centers have been capable of increasing the hostility of a bacteria that causes anthrax. United States have also attempted creation of bubonic plague and tularemia bioweapons. U.S. scientists then became attentive on viral weapons, which are resistible to antibioticsRead MoreDemise of Feudalism Essay717 Words   |  3 Pageswere a famine that started around 1315 and the Bubonic Plague. The famine was a period of bad crops. Due to the bad crops, the peasants couldnt eat which led to further problems such as the weakening of the immune system. Following the famine that hit Europe was the disastrous Bubonic Plague. The plague first occurred in China. Since China was one of the worlds busiest trading nations, it was only a matter of time before the outbreak of plague spread to western Asia and Europe. Once peopleRead MoreThe Late Middle Ages Essay1713 Words   |  7 Pagesan exaggeration, but the truth was not too far behind, as evidenced by the staggering numbers of deaths. This plague is known in three different names, each resembling another aspect of the horrific disease. Bubonic plague is characterized by bubos, large boils of infection and pus formed on lymph nodes. The symptoms include chills, fever, and weakness. Septicemic plague (Black Plague), enters vial the bloodstream causing tissue bleeding, especially in the finger and toes. Necrotic patches on theRead MoreSummary : Elizabethan Era 1456 Words   |  6 PagesAlchin, L.K. Elizabethan Era e.g. Retrieved May 16 2012 from www.elizabethan-era.org.uk Summary: The main purpose of this source was to touch bases on how the diseases such as the black plague and typhoid started or continued. They said that the main cause of how it kept on getting transmitted and still going on was because rodents and other insects such as rats lice and fleas kept contaminating everything. But on that subject, they barley where clean this source said. In big towns mostly everythingRead MoreThe Death Of The Black Death1487 Words   |  6 Pageswas called the bubonic plague. The bacteria was infecting people when infected fleas bit them. Bubonic plague was one of the most feared diseases pf the ancient and medieval worlds. 2.City-states led to The renaissance in Italy: Renaissance society first took shape within the merchant cities of late medieval Italy. Italy had a cultural advantage over the rest of Europe because its geography made it the natural gateway between east and west. The city-states had wealth from commerce and thatRead MoreImpact Of International Communications On Public Safety894 Words   |  4 PagesAs international conflicts run rampant around the world, from terror attacks to trade interferences, individual nations must find ways to aid the global community in the fight to protect the public. Since the dawn of time, peoples have developed methods of communication to relay their feelings or ideas to each other, in order to express themselves or their ideologies. Matters today prove to be no different. Countries continuously communicate with one another in a variety of ways including trade,

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Principle of Substituted Judgment Essay - 1462 Words

The Principle of Substituted Judgment Traditionally, the physician was expected to use all of their talents and training in an effort to save the life of their patient, no matter the odds. More recently, the physician’s role has been redefined to preserve the autonomy of the patient. Now physicians must give life saving care only in so far and to the degree desirous of the competent patient. Until this century, it was rare that brain-dead patients could be kept alive for long periods of time. However, as technological prowess has increased, it has recently become possible to keep a patient alive without higher brain functioning for years and even decades. But, as is always the case with new technology and knowledge,†¦show more content†¦Thus, medical ethics searched for a method and/or principle that would direct them on how to care for incompetent patients in a manner that respected their autonomy. Surrogates seemed to be the ethical answer. Surrogates are those people who, by law or custom, are appointed to make decisions in the place of the incompetent or doubtfully competent patient regarding medical treatment (Garrett 43). The idea of the surrogate is that they will defend the patient’s autonomy by advocating treatment decisions based solely on what the patient would want. This means that the surrogate must ignore the interests of all other parties involved, including that of family, friends, and the surrogate themselves, when making treatment decisions for the incompetent patient (Garrett 71). In order to ensure that the surrogate is actually defending the patient’s autonomy, the substituted judgment principle is described as a main responsibility of the surrogate. The substituted judgment principle states that the surrogate should make decisions for the patient based on what the patient would choose as deduced from the patient’s written statements, oral notifications, or the patient’ s actions and values (Garrett 70). This usually ensures that, when available, a person who knew the patient well will be their surrogate. However, there are many problems that arise with the substituted judgment principle inShow MoreRelated Ethical Issues Essays1576 Words   |  7 Pageshas the right to assert their power over another. Likewise, a physician should be allowed to decide not to perform a procedure if doing so would conflict with his or her values. In the Cruzan case, Nancy’s autonomy by way of her parents’ substituted judgment was overridden in favor of the State of Missouri’s policy to preserve life. Although the Supreme Court did not deny that Nancy had the right to refuse nutrition/hydration, there was not enough clear and convincing evidence to know that refusalRead MoreAnalysis Of Spinoza And Nietzsche s Spinoza 1699 Words   |  7 Pagesspeculative propositions may be, you can only judge them at the level of the ethics that they imply /implicate. As a result of his†¦[ontological] flattening of everything onto an absolutely infinite substance that comprehends all things as its modes†¦he substituted a veritable plane of immanence for the [hierarchical causal] sequence. It s an extraordinary conceptual revolution: in Spinoza everything happens as if on a fixed plane. An extraordinary fixed plane which is not going to be a plane of immobilityRead MoreThe Court Of India, While Administering Environmental Justice Essay1492 Words   |  6 Pageswhile administering environmental justice, has evolved certain principles and doctrines within and at times outside the framework of the existing environmental law. Environmental principles, such as polluter pays principle, precautionary principle and public trust doctrine have been adopted by the Court in its concern to protect the environment from further degradation and improve the same. It is important to note that these principles have been developed in various i nternational agreements and conferencesRead MoreMahatma Gandhis Extraordinary Contribution to India’s Freedom Movement561 Words   |  3 PagesMahatma Gandhi’s role and contribution to India’s Freedom Movement was extraordinary and exemplary. He has demonstrated his grounds of self-construal that has widely affected his judgment and decision making throughout his provision as an activist. Self-construal extents to which independently of others and interdependently with others. Independent self-construal refers to an individual that maintains as a separate and self-contained individual in attitudes, traits and abilities from others. In contrastRead MoreThe Following Are The Primary Sources Of Shariah Law Essay1175 Words   |  5 Pagescollect or to compile, meaning Quran is a holy book that was collected and codified under Allah’s protection. The Jurist state that the collection of Quran verses will remain unchanged, always preserved and still remain in its actual state until the Judgment Day. b) Qar’ana This is a union or conjunction, which refers to literal physical existence of the Quran and its properties. So, the Quran is actually given a proper, unique and special name caused by the combination of its letters that join to formRead MoreTallerman Co Pty Ltd V Nathans Merchandise (Vic) Pty Ltd (1957)1448 Words   |  6 Pagescontract for 1,600,000 bullets had been formed in Sydney by the correspondence, and the plaintiff sought to recover damages from the defendant who then appealed to the Full Supreme Court of New South Wales, which allowed the appeal and ordered that judgment be entered for the defendant. The subsequent action arose when the plaintiff further appealed for two breaches of contract by the defendant, for the sale of Hungarian .22 long rifle bullets. Having believed that previous contracts were to be rescindedRead MoreEducators Perceptions Of Debriefing1613 Words   |  7 Pagesincluding facilitator feedback, peer discussion of their experiences, and hindsightà ¢â‚¬â€all of which the HFS does not offer. It has been proved that the debriefing period provides a more enriched learning experience rather than HFS by combining the principles of active learning, educator and peer feedback, and instructor-student collaboration which effectively enhances student achievement of learning outcomes. Recommendations In regards to the topics of HFS and debriefing, there are several recommendationsRead MoreEthical and Bioethical Issues in Medicine: Death and Dying1385 Words   |  5 Pagesbioethical principles that have a strong influence in the practice of medicine, predominantly medicine that deals with those who are dying. The first is beneficence, which directs the physician and health care worker to take positive actions, specifically by restoring health and relieving suffering (Bongard et al., 2008). Then there is nonmaleficence. Goldman and Schafer (2012) add that nonmaleficence is the idea that people should not be harmed or injured knowingly. The third ethical principle is autonomyRead MoreEvaluating Cataract Patients Pre Op Education1192 Words   |  5 Pagespresented. For example, when a patient arrives without arrangements for transportation home, this leads to several patient safety concerns. The anesthesia administered during the surgery causes increased vulnerability by de creasing inhibitions and judgment. This impairs the patient’s ability to safely drive home. The bus is not a good option, because the patient maybe distracted, easily manipulated and/or slightly disoriented. A taxi home is not the best alternative, because without an escort the patientRead MoreThe First Great Awakening By The Puritans1356 Words   |  6 Pagesestablished immediately and is maintained throughout its entirety as a result of Edward’s use of fervently potent terminology such as â€Å"vengeance†, â€Å"wicked†, â€Å"bitter†, â€Å"punishment†, â€Å"destruction†, â€Å"torment†, â€Å"furiousness†, and â€Å"wrath†. No euphemisms are substituted for words or expressions that would commonly be deemed too abrasive when referencing a topic that is unpleasant such as death. Rather, death is referenced in a much more magnified and grotesque manner such as when Edwards states, â€Å"It makes no objection

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Hobbes And The State Of Nature - 1549 Words

Thomas Hobbes, a 17th century English philosopher outlines in his book Leviathan (1651) that the state of nature is a state of â€Å"warre, as if of every man, against every man†. Hobbes sets out his moral philosophy with regard to human nature; the way humans behave amongst each other and the state of nature; the natural condition of human interaction as a proceed of nature. Hobbes uses the state of nature as a mechanism for demonstrating the preconditions of a political society. By highlighting the pre-political condition as an unendurable state of permanent conflict, Hobbes intends to establish the necessity of a distinctive political society, one that is governed by a collective and undivided absolute sovereign. Hobbes argues that the worst that a man can endure is the reversal to the state of nature, which is when society is faced with a civil war, as Hobbes himself witnessed in his lifetime. Hobbes claims that a sovereign with absolute power is the greatest security aga inst the reversal of the state of nature. Hobbes believes that men are not born to be sociable and that it is not in their nature to seek a life together. Instead, Hobbes contends that men will create an absolute sovereign entity to govern all men. There are contradictions of Hobbes arguments particularly the question of how men are able to give up their freedom and rights to live under a sovereign that implement laws and punishments, rather than staying in the state of nature where they are free to do whatShow MoreRelatedHobbes And The State Of Nature1474 Words   |  6 Pages1. According to Hobbes the state of nature leads to a war of all against all. What Hobbes refers to when he discusses the state of nature is a state in which there are no civil powers. To reach his conclusion about how the world would be in the state of nature, Hobbes first explains what human nature is and then explains the relationship between man and civil government. As Hobbes sees it men are naturally in conflict. Hobbes sees three reasons for this. They are competition, diffidence, and gloryRead MoreThomas Hobbes And The State Of Nature1387 Words   |  6 PagesThomas Hobbes describes the state of nature in which men, driven by appetites and aversions, are constantly in a state of competition and conflict with one another. Because there are limited resources like food and shelter and people have a desire for the same end, there is no peace or unity in society. Every man must fend for himself in this individualistic, power struggle. The combination of finite resources, mistrust of other men, and equality of power in the state of nature, an unending state ofRead MoreHobbes And The Natural State Of Nature Essay1514 Words   |  7 PagesThomas Hobbes political philosophy lies in his delineations of two distinct conditions which men can reside in; the state of nature, and the commonwealth led by a sovereign, otherwise referred to as the Leviathan. In order to illustrate how the former state gives way to the latter, Hobbes constructs a perception of nature in which the lives of men are riddled with ambiguity, fear, and distrust. He proposes, then, that the optimal civil society is not constructed by embracing the natural state of manRead MoreHobbes Account Of The State Of Nature2258 Words   |  10 PagesDoes Hobbes’ account of the ‘State of Nature’ involve a false generalisation about human nature? Hobbes’ state of nature has been used as a philosophical and political basis for the actions and policies of many modern governments. According to Hobbes, the state of nature is â€Å"the Naturall Condition of Mankind, as concerning their Felicity, and Misery.† The Hobbesian state of nature was a condition in which many European peoples existed under conditions of â€Å"high moral density† or morality butRead MoreThe State of Nature in Hobbes ´ Leviathan1062 Words   |  4 PagesIn his text, Leviathan, Hobbes argues that the generation of all states ,regardless of what type of state, comes from the need to escape a common fear among all men. In other words, there is generally no great difference between one type of state from the other in terms of the ends that such states seek to achieve. The generation of all states, ,principalities or republics, comes from the common fear of what Hobbes dubs â€Å"the state of nature† (54). The state of nature is essentially life in an anarchicRead MoreThe State Of Nature By Thomas Hobbes2160 Words   |  9 PagesMichael Swain Paper 2 PS 171 (1) The state of nature as Thomas Hobbes claims is violent, dangerous and solitary. In a state of nature mankind is subjected to constant fear of death and it essentially runs every aspect of mans life. Yet a human is a rational being and there is a drive to get rid of this fear, one of the rights that Hobbes brings up is the right of self preservation and the fact that a man must not bring harm to himself. Hobbes discusses how natural rights are different than naturalRead MoreThe State Of Nature By Thomas Hobbes3347 Words   |  14 Pagesmen live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man.†1 Here Thomas Hobbes portrays the state of nature; in which life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.2 He then proposes a social contract where people of the state enter into a commonwealth governed by an absolute power. Through this social contract, the people give up their rig ht to â€Å"everything† to the sovereign in exchange for securityRead MoreThomas Hobbes And The State Of Nature1727 Words   |  7 Pagesphilosophers the notion of the State of Nature, a concept used to describe the hypothetical conditions of human life before the development of societies, is important in determining political societies, or the governmental structures that composed these. However, many philosophers have different notions of the State of Nature. In this essay I am going to use the writings of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacque Rousseau to explain how their notions of the State of Nature shape the way they envisionRead MoreHobbes V State of Nature Essay1306 Words   |  6 PagesThomas Hobbes claims that in a state of nature, people are constantly fighting against each other, and the only way to overcome this is to form a commonwealth. He does this by going over the conditions that describe a state of nature, certain rights that all people have in natur e, and the method for transferring these rights, by way of a pledge to a sovereign, whether it to the one person, or a group of people in order to achieve a state of peace. While Hobbes makes a very clear argument, it doesRead MoreThe State of Nature: Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury1691 Words   |  7 PagesIn this essay, I will present three reasons as to why the absolute authority of the sovereign in Hobbes’s state of nature and social contract is justified. The three reasons Hobbes uses are: the argument from contract, the argument from authorisation and the argument from weakness of mixed or divided sovereignty. Firstly, I shall explain Hobbes’s understanding of human nature and the natural condition of humanity which causes the emergence of the social contract. I shall then analyse each argument

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Ikeas Internalization Strategy free essay sample

During Ikea’s expansion on the international market Japan was the first country in Asia that Ikea considered to enter in 1970’s. The differences between culture, lifestyle and behavior made Ikea face the failure. Japan is different from other European countries that Ikea was already present in, so it was difficult to pursue success in the same way. In 1986 Ikea had to withdraw their store out of Japan because of difficulties and then, twenty years later, they decided to reenter the Japanese market for one more time. At present, there are six Ikea stores in Japan, last of which was opened in 2009. Having entered only five European countries by the time Ikea decided to internationalize in Japan, Ikea’s international experience was rather poor. In this thesis, it will be studied why Ikea chose to internationalize in a culturally distant country as Japan at the given time as well as analyzed which cultural and strategic factors were behind Ikea’s failure and success on the Japanese market. 1. 2 Thesis statement The objective of the thesis is to understand factors in Ikea’s internationalization strategy in Japan that influenced the failure on the Japanese market in the first round but success in the second round. 1. 3 Delimitations The thesis makes use only of secondary data, whereas primary data is not present, due to the difficulty in accessing the data since Ikea has expanded to Japan for the first time for a long time ago. Moreover, executives continually changed, which made it very difficult to find a way of contacting them. Customer interviews, which could have been a useful tool for analyzing effectiveness of Ikea’s new strategy in Japan, are not used in this thesis for the reason of great distance between Japan and Denmark and language barriers, which made it almost impossible for me, as a student, to accomplish. In depth economical analysis of the Japanese market is left out of discussion being considered irrelevant, since the thesis focuses on external communication. For the same reason analysis of Ikea company structure and internal communication is not included. 1. 4 Method In the thesis secondary data is used for analysis. Even though secondary data does not possess the same advantages as primary data, which is collected for a particular research purpose, it is less time and money consuming, proving a suitable method to solve a specific research problem. [1] The information retrieved by and large form various articles was carefully collated and subjected to critical scrutiny in order to increase its consistence and reliability. Yet, since Ikea’s first expansion on the Japanese market took place more then thirty years ago, no articles which would treat the whole set of strategies employed at that time were available. The information derives mainly from articles which describe Ikea’s new entry on the market and only refer to the past events. It is fully acknowledged that this fact can result in a somewhat deficient picture of Ikea’s strategy in the 1970’s, yet the key data relevant for our analysis could still be retrieved from the secondary sources to form a reliable basis for our research. 1. 4. 1 Choice of theory As this thesis is about internationalization process, literature relevant for the topic had been reviewed. In order to find out why Ikea internationalized on the Japanese market, what factors influenced the choice of marketing strategy in the fist round and lead to failure, and what factors made Ikea to review the strategy and succeed in the second round, the choice had been placed on the following theories: 1. The Uppsala internationalization process model explains the impact of knowledge and learning to the firm’s approach to foreign markets. It has been used to understand why Ikea decided to internationalize on the Japanese market in the first place and how the knowledge affected the entry mode and strategy choice. Moreover, it is used to analyze why and how Ikea has changed the strategy when expanding on the Japanese market for the second time and the consequences of that. Criticism of the theory is taken into consideration when conducting the analysis. 2. The concept of psychic distance is implemented to gain understanding of factors that hampered the successful internalization and explain how the perception of the cultural differences influenced choice of a marketing strategy. 3. Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions have been used to define cultural differences between countries of interest. 4. Standardization and adaptation pproaches are used to elaborate on the strategies used on the Japanese market, and explain how the degree of adaptation contributed to failure in the first round and success in the second. Furthermore, advantages and disadvantages of both strategies are discussed. 2. Discussion of theory In this section theories that are considered relevant for the study are presented and discussed. 2. 1 Reasons for internationalization The retailer’s decision to internationalise is in most cases driven by the sales growth. Sales growth is a measure of success and if the desired growth could be achieved on the domestic market, according to Kotler, most companies would prefer to remain domestic. However, it is much easier to grow sales by increasing the store network than by getting more sales out of existing stores, and if the domestic market is not large enough any more, foreign markets give the retailer an opportunity to grow. The international arena gets attractive when the company discovers higher profit opportunities than on the domestic market, when it needs a larger customer base to achieve economies of scale, when the company wants to reduce its dependence on a particular market or gives an opportunity to counterattack the competitors that attack the company on its domestic market on their home markets. [2] In general, a company prefers to enter countries that rank high on market attractiveness, that are low in market risk, and in which it possesses competitive advantage. [3] 2. 2 The Uppsala internationalization process model Once a firm has reached a decision to internationalize, the next step would be to choose a strategy. The internationalization strategy is a first step to success or failure. The choice of the country and the way to approach it require knowledge of foreign markets. The Uppsala internationalization model reflects on how the knowledge development influences the market choice and international marketing activities, and is employed in this thesis while analyzing Ikea’s expansion on the Japanese market. The Uppsala internationalization model was developed by Johanson and Vahlne in 1977 and is based on Johanson and Wiedersheim-Paul study of internationalization of four Swedish firms. There are two assumptions that the model is based on: first, firms want to increase their long term profit at one site, but at the other site want to keep risk-taking at a low level; second, the lack of knowledge about foreign markets is a major obstacle to the development of international organizations, and that the necessary knowledge can be acquired mainly through operations abroad. [4] It focuses on four aspects that firms should face while going abroad: market knowledge and commitment, and commitment decisions and current activities which are divided into stage and change aspects that interact with each other in a cycle. [pic] The two state aspects market knowledge and commitment decisions are resources committed to foreign markets. Market commitment is measured as the amount of resources committed to foreign markets on the one hand, and the degree of commitment on the other hand. The amount of resources committed is easy to grasp. â€Å"It is close to the size of the investment in the market, using this concept in a broad sense, including investment in marketing, organization, personnel, and other areas. †[5] The degree of commitment is related to the difficulty of finding an alternative use for the resources and transferring them to it. â€Å"The more specialized the resources are to the specific market the greater is the degree of commitment. †[6] Market knowledge is classified into two types. Objective knowledge can be taught and on its basis it is only possible to formulate theoretical opportunities. Experiential knowledge can only be learned by personal experience and provides the framework for perceiving and formulating opportunities. Johanson and Vahlne view the experiential knowledge as critical, for it cannot be so easily acquired as objective knowledge. It must be gained successively during the operations in the country. Another way to classify knowledge is to make a distinction between general knowledge and market-specific knowledge. General knowledge concerns, in the present context, marketing methods and common characteristics of certain types of customers, irrespective of their geographical location, depending, for example, in the case of industrial customers, on similarities in the production process. It has been argued that the market-specific knowledge relates to characteristics of the specific national markets such as its business climate, cultural patterns, structure of the market system, and, first and foremost, characteristics of the individual customer firms and their personnel. While general knowledge can be transferred from one country to another, market-specific knowledge can be achieved mainly through experience in the market. [7] The two change aspects are current business activities and commitment decisions. They are of more variable nature then the state aspects. Current business activities are all of the activities undertaken by a firm at a certain moment. There is a lag between current activities and the consequences of these activities. The longer the lag, the higher is the commitment of the firm. Marketing activities are a good illustration of this. Current activities are also the prime source of experience. Market experience can be also obtained by hiring people with this experience or to make an appeal to external advisors. To clarify the roles of these alternative ways of integrating experience into the firm in the internationalization process, the authors of the model make a distinction between firm experience and market experience, both of which are essential. Persons working on the boundary between the firm and its market must be able to interpret information from inside the firm and from the market. â€Å"The interpretation of one kind of information is possible only for one who has experience in the other part. [8] The authors conclude that, for the performance of marketing activities, both kinds of experience are required; and in this area it is difficult to substitute personnel or advice from outside for current activities. The more the activities are production-oriented, or the less interaction is required between fi rm and its market environment, the easier it will be to substitute hired personnel or advice for current activities. On the other hand, the more market-oriented, the more difficult it is to rely on hired personnel or external advice because they lack the necessary firm experience. The second change aspect is the decision to commit resources to foreign operations. According to Johanson and Vahlne, these decisions are made because there are problems or opportunities in the market. Problems and opportunities are mostly discovered by parts of the organization working in the market (marketing personnel, salesmen). But opportunities can also be seen by individuals in organizations with which the firm is interacting; these individuals may propose alternative solutions to the firm in the form of offers and demand. The probability that the firm will be offered opportunities from outside is dependent on the scale and type of operations it is performing; that is, on its commitment to the market. [9] There are two kinds of commitment decisions: scale-increasing commitment decisions and uncertainty reducing decisions. Scale-increasing commitments are influenced by factors such as competitive or political stabilization of the market, which means that the firm can function peacefully and obtain market knowledge through experience, that way increasing market commitment by declining uncertainty about the market, and increase of total returns of the firm or more aggressive approach towards risk, which leads to increasing market commitment by raising the maximum tolerable risk level. Uncertainty-reducing commitment can be occasioned by decrease of maximum tolerable risk level or increase of existing risk in the market. [10] Another aspect of the model, the stage model, is that firms develop their activities abroad over time in an incremental fashion, based on their knowledge development, in two dimensions. One dimension is mode of operation which illustrates the market commitment, and the other is market dimension which illustrates the geographic diversification. There are 4 stages of entering an international market in the mode of operation. First stage is no regular exports activities, stage two is export via independent representatives, third stage is establishment of a foreign sales subsidiary, and fourth stage is foreign production and sales subsidiary. The successive stages represent higher degrees of market commitment. [11] International activities require knowledge when entering new markets, which is emphasised in the market knowledge aspect of the model. The better the knowledge about the market the more valuable are the resources and the stronger is the commitment to the market. Even though the empirical research confirms that commitment and experience are important factors explaining international business behaviour, some criticism concerning the model has been expressed. [12] Studies have shown that the model is not valid for service industries, because the growing reinforcement of foreign commitments implied by the process model is absent. Given that Ikea is not a service but a retailer only including subordinate services, this criticism will be seen at as not relevant in this particular case. Another criticism of the model is based on studies claiming that firms seem lately to skip the early stages of the establishment chain entering psychically distant markets at an early stage and to â€Å"leap-frog some intermediate entry modes in order to move away from the sequentialist pattern and more directly to some kind of foreign investment†. [13] As Hollensen explains, this is possible, because the level of uncertainty is reduced by the fact that markets are becoming more homogenous, psychic distance has decreased, and services and information offered by international consulting firms reduce the level of uncertainty by providing knowledge about foreign markets. This does not exclude, however, that the firm’s international activities develop in the incremental fashion based on their knowledge development, but means that the process of knowledge development is going faster. 2. 3 The concept of psychic distance The internationalization process is also explained by the concept of psychic distance, with firms expanding first into markets which are psychically close and most easy to understand and into more distant markets as their knowledge develop. Psychic distance is defined in terms of factors such as differences in language, culture, and political systems, which disturb the flow of information between the firm and the market. [14] The higher is the level of psychic distance, the more knowledge is required in order to reduce the uncertainty level. However, there has been some criticism concerning among other things the measurement of the psychic distance. According to the model, psychic distance is caused by individual decision-makers perceived uncertainty, which means that the distance exists in the minds of individuals. As a result, â€Å"the concept does not refer to an objective concept or measurement of a cultural distance which may influence corporate behavior. Hence, the psychic distance may not capture the influence of cultural differences on firm’s internationalization process. †[15] Seen from another perspective, however, cultural distances among countries have an influence on the individual’s perception. The greater the cultural distance of the foreign country to the home country, the less knowledge about the new environment is likely to be available and the more difficult it is to understand and learn about the foreign country on the individual level as well. Thus, according to Sousa and Bradley analysis, there is a positive relationship between cultural and psychic distance: the greater the cultural distance between the home and the foreign market, the greater is the psychic distance. [16] According to Sousa and Bradley, cultural distance, and thus psychic distance, can be measured using Hofstede’s study on cultural differences. Bjorkman and Forsgren argue, however, that Hofstede’s results concern cross-cultural differences in people’s relationship with one another when they act as employees, i. e. ntra-organizational relationships across nations. They do not explain cultural differences in general, for instance, cross-cultural differences in consumer behavior. [17] Still, cross-cultural differences in intra-organizational relationships and consumer behavior have the same root, which is the difference between cultures in general and lack of its understanding. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, which are power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation, describe the cultural differences on the intra-organizational level because they explain the cultural differences in these areas in general, thus giving an insight in the culture. So, even though they cannot explain psychic distance and consumer behavior completely, they still do highlight some preferences and can be useful in an analysis of cultural differences. This conclusion will be used when dealing with the psychic distance concept in this thesis. The concept has also been criticized in other aspects. First of all, for that it assumes that all firms at a given stage of internationalization are influenced by cultural differences in the same direction and by the same intensity. This does not justify that multinational companies are not influenced by cultural differences in all aspects of their international behavior as small companies. Secondly, it may be problematic to use the country as a unit of analysis when dealing with psychic distance. What really matters is the gap between actual and expected behavior. [18] This critic is considered when conducting an analysis. 2. 4 Srandardization vs. adaptation Once a company has decided which markets to enter, it needs to deal with the cultural differences identified on the foreign market and choose a marketing program accordingly. The following theory reflects on the strategy choice and will be used to analyse it in case of Ikea on the Japanese market. International companies must decide how much to adapt their marketing strategy to local conditions. At the one extreme are companies that use a globally standardized marketing mix worldwide, whereas at the other extreme is an adapted marketing mix, where the producer adjusts the marketing program to each target country. Standardizing the marketing program has advantages such as economies of scale in production and distribution, lower marketing costs, consistency in brand image, ability to leverage good ideas quickly and efficiently. [19] It is said to offer the possibility of building a uniform worldwide corporate image, a world brand or global brand with a global image. However, only few products and brands allow for a fully standardized approach. Differences in consumer needs, wants, and usage patterns for products, consumer response to marketing-mix elements, differences in brand and product development, competitive environment, legal environment, marketing institutions and administrative procedures all make it necessary for the company to place the choice between standardized and differentiated marketing strategy. Some changes in product features, packaging, channels, pricing or communication are needed in different global markets in order to make sure that the company’s marketing is relevant to consumers in every market. The degree of adaptation can be influenced by product category, the company’s organization and management, homogenization of consumer needs and tastes, product life cycle and brand positioning or, for instance, by psychic and cultural differences.