Monthly Archives: December 2013

CSR, SMEs AND FOOD RETAILING: SMEs overcoming obstacles

Posted by Kathryn Schwartz on December 31, 2013
Retailing / No Comments

 SMEs overcoming obstacles

Diet and health are areas in which SMEs have an important role to play, especially as obesity and weight-related diseases are on the increase in the UK. For consumers having trouble accessing a healthy diet, the access problems and coping strategies are often very local in character; having effects over distances of no more than a kilometre or two. Difficulties experienced by consumers in the Yorkshire area (Shaw H, 2003) included main roads with numerous pedestrian crossings or steep hills, arduous for pensioners to carry food up or mothers with children to cross in safety when weighed down with shopping bags. These are areas where small local retailers may be better able to respond to local needs. Payday Loans Online

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CSR, SMEs AND FOOD RETAILING: SMEs and CSR in the community

Posted by Kathryn Schwartz on December 29, 2013
Retailing / No Comments

Every organisation has a goal or set of ideas which originate within the organisation itself, much like other ‘living organisms’, “each [entity]… contains the reason for its existence within itself, all the parts react on one another” (Goethe, W, 1988:121). Each small business therefore has a distinctive social identity and SMEs active within the community are able to define themselves in terms of their beliefs, values, norms and peculiar characteristics. Not only are these values explicit in the workplace environment but also in terms of their CSR strategies, their vision and mission statements which will indicate a preference for a particular cause. Booths and Waitrose are two examples of supermarkets that emphasise their local connections and responsibility to the communities within which they operate, and both enjoy customer loyalty and sustained growth even in the current Credit Crunch. Waitrose has maintained its status as a worker-owned co-operative, and has an innovative way of involving the consumer as part of its CSR initiatives; every Waitrose shopper is given a token at the till which they can put in one of several clear plastic boxes at the store exit, each box being labelled with a different local charity. Regular customers can see which charity is being favoured by popular referendum, and a new set of charities appears each week. Booths is a regional supermarket in the north west of England, and makes much of its family-owned status; it supports ‘Slow Food’ as well as Comic Relief (Booths, 2011). Booths is careful where it locates new stores, and what facilities (e.g. cafes) it provides in these stores, so as not to undermine existing businesses in the market towns it operates in (Shaw 2003). Obstronics system

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CSR, SMEs AND FOOD RETAILING: Globalisation

Posted by Kathryn Schwartz on December 27, 2013
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Globalisation

Food is a basic commodity; one that we need on a daily basis. However food is far more than that, it is deeply culturally significant, it speaks volumes both to us and about us, food is eloquent about its origin and geography, about our class, ethnicity, and culture. Food has been described as ‘noisy’ (Smith J et al, 2007:397). In an increasingly connected and environmentally-aware world, consumers are becoming more aware of the social-responsibility implications of their food, and the CSR values of companies within the food chain. CSR has become a major feature of the business world over the last decade, as companies strive to demonstrate their good corporate citizenship. Increasingly, retail giants such as Tesco, which have relied on the lower prices facilitated by the globalisation of supply chains and the massive buying power that comes with sheer size, are finding that these low prices alone cannot guarantee customer loyalty. If the consumer priority is low prices alone, she can always patronise one of the hard discounters. If the shopper is willing to pay more than the minimum price, the relational marketers may well infer from this that this consumer is probably looking for other, intangible, quality attributes to the food they purchase, including environmentally sustainable production and socially responsible conduct by the retailer. Education

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FEMINIST READING OF ARUNDHATI ROY’S (Part 5)

Posted by Kathryn Schwartz on December 21, 2013
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ROY’S (Part 5)

The optimism in Rahel makes her confident to continue with life in her own way. The separation from Larry never leaves her depressed. Like an independent woman she plunges into the battle ground for earning bread and butter for herself. She “worked for a few months as a waitress in an Indian restaurant in New York. And then for several years as a night clerk in a bullet-proof cabin at a gas station outside Washington, where drunks occasionally vomited into the money tray, and pimps propositioned her with more lucrative job offers”.

Ammu has to pay with her life for defying the love laws imposed by patriarchal society. Rahel knows it very well. She knows about the destructive consequences for doing anything which orthodox society does not approve. In spite of these consequences, what she does is more dangerous in society’s moral eyes than what her mother does. Her incestuous relationship with her brother at the age of thirty-one cannot be accepted at any cost. But she does not care a fig, and here lies the victory for women which Rahel wins.

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FEMINIST READING OF ARUNDHATI ROY’S (Part 4)

Posted by Kathryn Schwartz on December 19, 2013
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The rebellious spirit within Ammu does not allow her to accept the limits of a divorcee status, and she shows the courage to reclaim her body. She, breaking the age-old love laws, dares to enter into an illicit sexual relation with an untouchable Paravan who is socially, culturally and economically inferior to her. Patriarchal society cannot put up with this waywardness. In this context Emma Goldman’s comment on patriarchy is highly applicable. She in The Traffic in Woman and Other Essays on Feminism states: “Society considers the sex experiences of man as attributes of his general development, while similar experiences in the life of a woman are looked upon as a terrible calamity, a loss of honour and all that is good and noble in a human being”. When that relationship is revealed, she has to go through extreme physical and mental torture at the hands of Mammachi, Baby Kochamma, Chacko and Inspector Thomas Mathew.

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FEMINIST READING OF ARUNDHATI ROY’S (Part 3)

Posted by Kathryn Schwartz on December 17, 2013
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ROY’S (Part 3)

Women’s education, ambitions, yearnings and aspirations have no significance for the male chauvinistic society. They are supposed to play the role of a mother, daughter-in-law and wife. That is why they have been deliberately kept illiterate so that they can spend their entire lives in the service of the family. Ammu is such a victim of male dominated society whose higher education is an “unnecessary expense”  for Pappachi whereas his son Chacko is sent to Oxford for higher studies because he is supposed to be the future authoritarian figure who will rule over the next generation of women. Ammu’s education is interrupted. What can a girl do in this situation except remain confined to the house to do house work and wait for marriage? But the prospect of her marriage also appears to be futile because her father indifferent to her does not have enough money to raise a suitable dowry. Ammu becomes frantic. “All day she dreamed of escaping from Ayemenem and the clutches of her ill-tempered father and bitter, long-suffering mother. She hatched several wretched little plans”.

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FEMINIST READING OF ARUNDHATI ROY’S (Part 2)

Posted by Kathryn Schwartz on December 15, 2013
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Pappachi, a stern torch-bearer of patriarchy, is a sadist who often belches out all his anger and frustration at his failure to be recognized as the discoverer of a new species of moth on his wife Mammachi and daughter Ammu. He beats Mammachi regularly every night with a brass flower vase. “The beatings weren’t new. What was new was only the frequency with which they took place. One night Pappachi broke the bow of Mammachi’s violin and threw it in the river”. Mammachi suffers this disgrace and dishonour regularly till one day Chacko stops him by twisting his vase-hand around his back and warned, “‘I never want this to happen again’”. It is a great irony that Mammachi is able to escape from the cruel clutches of her savage husband only to enter into the new trap of her son, another agent of patriarchy who dispossesses her from the right of her own pickle factory and makes her sleeping partner. After that incident even the fragile bond between Mammachi and Pappachi is broken totally. Papachi appears more devastating and revengeful towards Mammachi. He stops to speak with her, but always tries to insult her directly and indirectly, not only within the family, but outside it also. To create an impression of his wife’s negligence and indifference to him, he pretends to stitch the buttons that are not missing on his shirt, sitting on the verandah in front of the visitors. He is a serpent in the grass that appears to be kind, generous and polite elsewhere but rude and tyrannical at home. He buys an old car called Plymouth with an intention to humiliate Mammachi whom he never allows to sit in the car.

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FEMINIST READING OF ARUNDHATI ROY’S (Part 1)

Posted by Kathryn Schwartz on December 13, 2013
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ARUNDHATI ROY’S (Part 1)

Indian society is structured around two classes: the powerful and the powerless. One takes decisions and the other is at the receiving end of these decisions. The powerful’s sole purpose is to assert their power in every walk of life. The various rules, laws, norms, code of conduct have been formulated and put in place to preserve this power equation. No transgression is ever forgiven. The untouchables, the people from the lower castes, the down-trodden, the tribal, minorities and women are the powerless of society who are born to serve the interests of the powerful upper class, high caste section of society. Even within the same class, women are the worst affected, the most vulnerable section of relentlessly patriarchal social sensibility and attitudes. Governed by the regulating framework of self-sacrifice, the woman puts up with miseries and abuses within the family as well as outside it. The ways in which a woman is controlled by the different institutions of the society, and the degree of the brutality a woman is subjected to is the central theme in the writings of several writers. They, including feminist critics, challenge the society based on male predominance and female subordination. Arundhati Roy, a spokesperson of the weak and the suppressed, raises her voice for the devoiced. She protests against the treatment of woman as no better than the legal, economic and sexual property of her husband sanctified by socio-legal texts.

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IMPROVING UTILIZATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE CLOUDS: UNDERSTANDING INFRASTRUCTURES

Posted by Kathryn Schwartz on December 11, 2013
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UNDERSTANDING INFRASTRUCTURES

Infrastructure as a Service is a form of hosting. It includes network access, routing services and storage. The IaaS provider will generally provide the hardware and administrative services needed to store applications and a platform for running applications. Scaling of bandwidth, memory and storage are generally included, and vendors compete on the performance and pricing offered on their dynamic services.

The service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, running and maintaining it. IaaS can be purchased with either a contract or on a pay-as-you-go basis. However, most buyers consider the key benefit of IaaS to be the flexibility of the pricing, since you should only need to pay for the resources that your application delivery requires. IaaS provides an environment for running user built virtualized systems in the cloud. Figure 3 illustrates how a virtual machine is built for an IaaS environment, uploaded to the environment, configured, and then deployed within the environment.

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IMPROVING UTILIZATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE CLOUDS: CLOUD COMPUTING

Posted by Kathryn Schwartz on December 09, 2013
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CLOUD COMPUTING

Cloud computing is typically divided into three levels of service offerings as showed in Fig. 2:Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a service (IaaS). These levels support virtualization and management of differing levels of the solution stack.

Software as a Service

This is the idea that someone can offer you a hosted set of software (running on a platform and infrastructure) that you don’t own but pay for some element of utilization – by the user, or some other kind of consumption basis. Here you don’t have to do any development or programming, but you may need to come in and configure the (very flexible, configurable and sometimes customizable) software. You don’t have to purchase anything. You just pay for what you use. ASaaS provider typically hosts and manages a given application in their own data center and makes it available to multiple tenants and users over the Web. Some SaaS providers run on another cloud provider’s PaaS or IaaS service offerings. Oracle CRM on Demand, Salesforce.com, and Netsuite are some of the well known SaaS examples.

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