Saturday, December 7, 2019

Business Communication Conflict Management

Question: Discuss about the Business Communication for Conflict Management. Answer: Introduction This study has highlighted business communication of Coits Outback Adventures. The company conducts a number of different activities, including tours of the outback. The company's main clients are international tourists, particularly Chinese. Coit's Outback Adventures operates from Melbourne, Australia. This report analyses the concept of effective team communication and conflict management in this context. As per the case study, it can be mentioned that this study has highlighted the importance of the interpersonal skills. In this connection, the importance of the development of effective listening and non verbal communication has developed. Effective team communication According to Ali (2014), teammates must develop trust, since it is not automatic. Accordingly, members must communicate more openly than they normally would in everyday life. There must be honesty on all ends of the team, since withholding the truth could damage the team's integrity. Team members should always share information and feelings between each other. This allows for total trust between the team members. In order to make a business successful, it is necessary to make a good collaboration among the employees and the executives. Therefore, the staffs of the organisation can efficiently give answers to the clients. As it can be seen that their major clients are Chinese, therefore, the staffs require to communicate fluently with the clients (Aslani et al., 2013). Research has found that three or more people working together on a project are much more effective than a single person spending all of his time doing the same thing. However, without communication, the three-plus team members can be as useless as if the project went untouched. On the contrary, Baillien et al., (2014) argued that due to the lack of communication, the performance of the organisation would be decreased. Teams that fail to communicate effectively wind up wasting time and energy doing busy work and other work that is not required because of a lack of understanding of what needs to be done. These team members also misunderstand each other and their personalities. This often leads to conflict within the group and a lack of trust between group members. Team members in groups that fail to communicate effectively wind up not understanding what makes them more efficient, because they fail to get feedback from everyone else in the group, and there is no one else that they can c ompare their work to (Gross et al., 2016). There is nothing more important to a company and a project's success than effective and clear communication among team members. Good communication provides benefits to the company and to the team members that practice it. When you have effective team communication, as Aristotle said, "The whole is more than the sum of its parts." Skillful team communication creates awareness and understanding that promotes proficiency as team members complete their tasks. The elements of good team communication help a company to achieve and sustain profit (Leon-Perez, Notelaers Leon-Rubio, 2016). In order to develop an effective team management to make the business successful, it can be mentioned that there are five approaches, which are discussed in the following: Be Clear. When members of a team areunclear on the goals of the teamand their individual responsibilities, team motivation and morale can suffer. The expectation must be set that if any team member is not clear; they have an obligation to ask. One simple trick to help team leaders overcome this barrier is to check for understanding at the end of each meeting (Masuda Kostopoulos, 2016). Be Present. When team members communicate with one another, each team member must make a commitment toreally listen, seek to understand one another, use appropriate body language and ask clarifying questions. Be Courteous. Probably one of the most overlooked Bs to effective team communication is the lack of good old fashion politeness. Not being courteous in communication can result in hard feelings towards team members and the potential for individuals on the team to put up walls. Cutting people off when they are talking, not saying thank you excuse me and please, personally attacking team members and being condescending are all examples of poor team manners that can result in poor work communication on teams (McCauley, 2015). Be Flexible. There are going to be times when not everyone on the team is going to agree with an opinion or on a decision that has been made. Team members need to be flexible enough to support decisions contrary to their own desires, given that their opinions have been shared and adequately heard. Supporting the decision doesnt mean that everyone has to agree, but they must be willing to help make whatever has been decided a success (Mohammadnezamy, Mahdieh Fatemi, 2014). Be Team members must be careful to never talk bad about each other. If you cant say something nice, dont say anything at all. Or, if you arent willing to address a problem with the person there, then dont.Refrain from gossip, it erodes the trust of those you are gossiping to and takes big chunks out of team morale. Conflict management As per the statement of Prenzel Vanclay (2014), a conflict arises when individuals have varied interests, opinions and thought processes and is just not willing to compromise with each other. It is always wise to adjust to some extent and try to find a solution to the problem rather than cribbing and fighting. Conflicts and disagreements only lead to negativity and things never reach a conclusion. It only adds on to the tensions and makes life hell. It actually leaves you drained and spoils your reputation. Every individual should try his level best to avoid conflict at the first place rather than resolving it later. Precautions must be taken at the right time to avoid a conflict. In the words of Roberson et al., (2015), it can be mentioned that conflict management goes a long way in strengthening the bond among the employees and half of the problems automatically disappear. Individuals must feel motivated at work and find every single day exciting and challenging. Before implementing any idea, it must be discussed with everyone and no one should ever feel ignored or left out. This way, every employee feels indispensable for the office and he strives hard to live up to the expectations of his fellow workers and in a way contributing to the organization in his best possible way. Conflict management avoids conflicts to a great extent and thus also reduces the stress and tensions of the employees. No one likes to carry his tensions back home and if the manager of the tourism organisation fight with the colleagues and other people, then the managers are bound to feel uncomfortable and restless even at home (Schlaerth, Ensari Christian, 2013). Therefore, conflict management also plays an important role in our personal lives. Tussles and fights spoil relationships and only increase our list of enemies. Everyone needs friends who will stand by us when we need them. Conflict must be avoided at homes as it spoils the ambience and spreads negativity. Individuals tend to disrespect others as a result of conflicts. Conflict management prevents fall out between family members, friends, relatives and makes life peaceful and stress free. Blame game never helps anyone, instead it makes life miserable. No idea can ever be implemented if the individuals fight among themselves (Wolff Yakinthou, 2013). Conflict management helps to find a middle way, an alternative to any problem and successful implementation of the idea. Problems must be addressed at the right time to prevent conflict and its adverse effects at a later stage. Through conflict management skills, an individual explores all the possible reasons to worry which might later lead to a big problem and tries to resolve it as soon as possible. Conflict Management is very important because it is always wise to prevent a fight at the first place rather than facing its negative consequences. Stress disappears, people feel motivated, happy and the world definitely becomes a much better place to stay as a result of conflict management. Conclusion This report shows the business communication of Coits Outback Adventure. This organisation usually conducted tours of the outback. The clients of the organisation are mainly Chinese. In this connection, this study has aimed to the importance of the development of interpersonal skills. The organisation also requires to communicate with the Chinese clients, therefore, the organisation requires to follow non verbal communication. This can make a successful relationship between the management and the employees. On the other hand, conflict management is required to follow by the organisation. This is the process of limiting the negative aspects ofconflictwhile increasing the positive aspects of conflict. The aim of conflict management is to enhancelearningand group outcomes, including effectiveness or performance in organizational setting. Recommendation In order to improve the performance of an organisation, it can be recommended that the organisation requires to aim to the importance of effective team communication and the conflict management. There are five types of conflict managements, which can be followed by the organisation. The five styles are such as Competing, Compromising, Collaborating, Avoiding, and Accommodating. Conflict management minimizes the negative outcomes of conflict and promotes the positive outcomes of conflict with the goal of improving learning in an organization. References Ali, S. (2014). Post-disaster conflict management: crowd sourced governance at the local level. Innnual Conference of the International Association for Conflict Management, IACM 2014. Aslani, S., Ramirez-Marin, J., Semnani-Azad, Z., Brett, J. M., Tinsley, C. (2013). 10. Dignity, Face, and Honor cultures: implications for negotiation and conflict management.Handbook of research on negotiation,249. Baillien, E., Bollen, K., Euwema, M., De Witte, H. (2014). Conflicts and conflict management styles as precursors of workplace bullying: A two-wave longitudinal study.European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology,23(4), 511-524. Gross, M., Wallace, M., Adair, W., Neuman, E., Aarts, N., Ayoko, O., ... Amsler, L. B. (2016). Negotiation and Conflict Management Research. Leon-Perez, J. M., Notelaers, G., Leon-Rubio, J. M. (2016). Assessing the effectiveness of conflict management training in a health sector organization: evidence from subjective and objective indicators.European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology,25(1), 1-12. Masuda, A. D., Kostopoulos, K. C. (2016). Performance in Teams: The Role of Conflict-Management Styles, Team and Leadership Identity.Rethinking Innovation: Global Perspectives, 238. McCauley, C. (2015). What are students' perspectives on the quality of the Conflict Management Program?. Mohammadnezamy, E., Mahdieh, O., Fatemi, A. (2014). The relationship between conflict management and the acquisition and sharing of knowledge.Arth prabandh: A Journal of Economics and Management,3(3), 9-29. Prenzel, P. V., Vanclay, F. (2014). How social impact assessment can contribute to conflict management.Environmental Impact Assessment Review,45, 30-37. Roberson, P. N., Fish, J. N., Olmstead, S. B., Fincham, F. D. (2015). College Adjustment, Relationship Satisfaction, and Conflict Management A Cross-Lag Assessment of Developmental Spillover.Emerging adulthood, 2167696815570710. Schlaerth, A., Ensari, N., Christian, J. (2013). A meta-analytical review of the relationship between emotional intelligence and leaders constructive conflict management.Group Processes Intergroup Relations,16(1), 126-136. Wolff, S., Yakinthou, C. (Eds.). (2013).Conflict management in divided societies: theories and practice. Routledge.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Huck Finn Superstition Essays - Picaresque Novels,

Huck Finn Superstition Mark Twain saturates the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with many examples of superstition and myths. These aspects of the novel help the story progress, they provide entertainment and help the story identify with the time. The most important reason for the superstition and the rituals that come along with them are they are one of the main reasons for the adventure in the first place. There are many examples throught the story of the superstition from the spider in the candle to the rattle-snake skin and the hair-ball. One of the first examples of superstition is a simple thing that carried some of the biggest consequences.?One morning I happened to turn over the saltcellar at breakfast. I reached for some of it as quick as I could to throw over my left shoulder and keep off the bad luck, but Miss Watson was in ahead of me, and crossed me off. ?This is an example of how everything superstition has a ritual to remove the bad luck. Huck was not satisfied thought with what the widow had done for him he says ?The widow put in a good word for me, but that warn't going to keep off the bad luck, I knowed that well enough.? This fear of bad luck was acompanied by seeing his fathers shoe prints in the snow so Huck knew he had to do something. What Huck ended up doing was going to Miss Watson's slave Jim who had a magical hair-ball. When Huck goes to find out what the hairball can tell him Jim tells Huck that the hairball needs money to tell his fortune. All Huck had however is a conterfiet quarter. Jim managed to make it work though by sticking it inside a potato to fool the hair-ball. What the hair ball ended up telling them is this ?Yo'ole fathe doan' know yit what he's a gwyne to do. Somtimes he spec he'll go ?way, en den ag'in he spec he'll stay. De bes' way is tores easy enlet so ole man take his own way. Dey's two angels hoverin' roun' ?bout him. One uv'em's light en t'other one is dark. One is rich en t' other is po'. You's gwyne to marry de po' one fust en de rich one by en by. You wants to keep ?way fum de water as much as you kin, en don't run no resk, ?kase it's down in de bills dat you's gwyne to git hung.?. Without these cases of bad luck Huck's father might have never shown up and there would be no reason to leave. So with out the superstition there would be no adventure. Book Reports

Monday, November 25, 2019

essay guinness Essays

essay guinness Essays essay guinness Paper essay guinness Paper The University of Westminster Westminster Business School Module Title: Principles of Marketing COURSEWORK TWO REFLECTIVE ESSAY Student Name: Jonas Franck-Winther student ID: 145858611 Seminar Leader Name: Ilya Girson word count: 1085 Date: 5/12-2013 1. Principles of marketing The essence of marketing is value creation, where the goal is a long-term satisfaction by building relationships and attracting new customers by offering better value than the competition. Because marketing is based on exchanges where the objective is for all parties in the exchange to feel satisfied and gain some kind of value Cobber and Ellis-Chadwick, 2013). Customer value is determined on how the customer perceives the benefits of a product and the sacrifice that is associated with the purchase, so when the perceived performance matches or exceeds expectations it provides customer satisfaction Cobber and Ellis-Chadwick, 2013). Customer satisfaction can lead to customer loyalty and profitability, because it can cost up to five times more to attract a new customer than to maintain an existing one. Loyalty is a reaction that a customer shows, when they repeatedly return to the same supplier, because they are atisfied with the products or services they receive Cobber and Ellis-Chadwick, 2013). Hence, whether the aim is to build relationships with customers or to offer short-term incentives to customer loyalty, then you need to focus on your marketing strategies by applying an effective marketing mix Cobber and Ellis-Chadwick, 2013). The classical marketing mix consists of product, price, promotion and place. These four key elements are used to create a competitive advantage, which is the achievement of superior performance through differentiation to provide superior customer value r by managing to achieve lowest delivered cost. So an effective marketing mix is aeslgnea Dy ensurlng tnat It satlsTy customer needs, creates a competltlve advantage, is well mixed of the four elements and matches corporate resources Cobber and Ellis- Chadwick, 2013). 2. Guinness principles of marketing Guinness marketing is focused on the consumers by offering what they want, which are quality. The company want to deliver high quality standards and uses it as an advantage to stand out on the market by offering a stout beer, which is made from heir own raw materials, on high-level of equipment and having employers with well- trained capability (Vanguard, 2013), because they believe that you cannot make money from people unless you are willing for people to make money from you (Sohn, 2013). They have also increased their focus on the marketing of Guinness brand name in 2013 by E34 million to boost its quality association on the beer market, so the drinkers get a feeling of quality when they taste a Guinness. This strategy is based on their market research, which confirm that consumers associate a quality int with a quality pub and 80% of male drinkers believe getting the quality of serve right is more important in draught beer than in any other drink category (Charles, 2013). Therefore Guinness manages to implant a special place in the collective consumer conscience, which leads the consumer into thinking about the great heritage and consistency in quality they possess, wherever it is sold (Diego, 2013). This can be seen in their advertising and communication of slogan, which says that Good things come to those who wait, which is referring to the time it takes to pour a erfect Guinness. Furthermore they launched a new marketing slogan called Made of More, which states that Guinness is better than their competitors on the beer market, because they are providing more than Just the experience of a great beer. This slogan is also related to the old history of the company by the special way of pouring a Guinness and its traditional look (Guinness a, 2013). Another key element of the Made of More advertising is reaching the consumers values on many different levels by telling stories, that reflects human values and present the brand in clear way, which distinguish themselves from their competitors and breaks the industry stereotype, who usually focus on football, party and hot women in their advertising (Taube, 2013). The human values from their advertising signals the importance of doing things together with your friends and how Guinness should be enjoyed in social contexts (Guinness a, 2013). To summarize that, Guinness wants to ensure that the whole company signals high quality on everything of what they do and reflect human values in their advertising to distinguish themselves from their ompetitors, so they can have a competitive advantage and establish a value brand (Vanguard, 2013). 3. Analysis marketing principles of Guinness The analysis is based on the understanding of the principles of market and the marketing principles of Guinness. Guinness is a marketing-orientated company, who follow the principles of marketing by getting close to their customers and demands, so tney can unaerstana tnelr needs ana acnleve pront ana oDJectlves Dy satlsTylng the customers better than the competition. This marketing strategy is very suitable or Guinness and works very well, since they are the best selling stout beer in the world and have a competitive advantage on the stout market that distinguish them from their competitors on the beer market (Guinness b, 2003). The competitive advantage is based on their product, promotion and place in the marketing mix by offering a high quality product that meets the customers demand, which match a report from brand index on Samuel Adams day, where the customers on the beer market have ranked Guinness as number two in quality out of all major beer brands (Marzilli, 2013). The promotion of Guinness also breaks the beer industry stereotype by using new innovative advertising on the communication of beer market, which distinguishes them from their competitors by relating the beer to human values. Furthermore Guinness place is brewed in 50 countries and sold in countries, which gives a solid distribution channel worldwide and move them closer to their customers. Based on that, Guinness has achieved a differential advantage through a strong brand personality and they have built a loyal relationship with their customers. 4. Conclusion This reflective essay concludes that the principle of marketing is based on creating consumer value to maintain and attract new consumers by satisfying their needs. Guinness marketing strategy is focused on the consumers demand by offering a high quality stout beer and making innovative advertising that breaks the beer industry stereotype by reflecting human values, which distinguish them from their competitors on the market. Thereby, Guinness has achieved a competitive advantage by having an effective marketing mix, which makes them the best selling stout beer in the world. 5. References Books: David Jobber and Fiona Ellis-Chadwick (2013). Principles and practice of marketing. 7th edition. United Kingdom: McGraw-Hill Education. Online articles: Our strategy is to have the best and necessary brands Guinness Director. Vanguard, 2013. Vanguard News. [ONLINE] Available at: vanguardngr. com/2013/01/ our-strategy-is-to-have-the-best-and-necessary-brands-guinness-director/ God and Guinness: The Missional Drink that Changed the World. Paul Sohn. 2013. Marketing Week. [ONLINE] Available at: http://paulsohn. org/god-and-guinness-the-missional- rink-changed-the-world/ Guinness reinvents Surfer Ad for Quality marketing push. Gemma Charles. 013. Marketing Week. [ONLINE] Available at: http:// www. marketingmagazine. co. uk/article/1210008/guinness-reinvents-surfer-ad-quality- marketing-push Guinness launches E12m bid to push quality to push quality credentials. Sebastian Joseph. 2013. Marketing Week. [ONLINE] Available at: http:// www. marketingweek. co. uk/news/guinness-launches-12m-bid-to-push-quality- creoentlals/4UU/ / /Y. artlcle Guinness. Diego. 2013 Dlego P AvallaDle at: d iageo. com/en-row/ourbrands/infocus/Pages/lnFocus-Guinness. spx Guinness a. 2013. Guinness Advertising. ONLINE] Available at: http:// www. guinness. com/en-gb/AdsGallery. html? adsclass=classic=world An incredible New Guinness Ad Breaks The Industry Stereotype. Aaron Taube. 2013. Business insider. [ONLINE] Available at: businessinsider. com/new- guinness-ad-breaks-the-mold-2013-9 Guinness b. 2013. Guinness facts. [ONLINE] Available at: guinness-storehouse. com/en/FactSheets. aspx Samuel Adams tops beer brands. Ted Marzilli. 2013. YouGov. [ONLINE] Avaiable at: http:// today. yougov. com/news/2013/09/25/samuel-ada ms-tops- beer- brands/

Friday, November 22, 2019

Engineering project management Assignment Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

Engineering project management - Assignment Example A large number of employees would increase the rate at which the work will be done and increasing chances of completing the project on time (Panneerselvam & Senthilkumar 2009). The contractor may also employ other technologies and equipment instead of using manpower. The use of machines instead of humans to do certain tasks is normally advantageous since the tasks can be done at high rates there by increasing the chances of completing the project on time (Nagarajan 2007). The contractor may also divide the project into small and more manageable units, and each unit should have a goal to achieve. As for the case of the company, the organization should give additional funding to contract so as to fund the additional works as well as fund additional manpower and/or any new equipment acquired for the task. Another solution that might help the company meet its aims is that the organization may consider subcontracting sections of the order while it is still waiting for the new equipment to be installed. (Word count: 248) Question 2: Safety and Health ramifications and Time scale a) Time scale ramifications Due to safety concerns associated with asbestos, the scope of the project is likely to be changed (removal of the existing duct and its contents). The changing of the scope would mean that other constrains such as time and cost will be adjusted accordingly (Kanda 2011). This means that the project deliverable (installing a new machine’s base) will not be produced on time. The consequence of not completing this project on time is dire to the company since the organization might lose an important order, and due to the cost investment made on the new equipment the organization might be forced to close down. This means that delaying the installation of the base of the new machine is not an option for the organization. b) Safety and Health ramifications Employees are amongst the most important elements for organizations; therefore, there health should be made pri ority (CCH 2009). In addition, safety of environments in which employees work must conform to occupational safety and health standards (Lingard & Rowlinson 2005). Compromising the health of workers by making them work alongside these asbestos ducts would affect health, and consequently their productivity will also be affected (CCH 2009). The organization may also risk being closed down for not following occupational safety standards and regulation. (Word count: 202) Question 3: Consequences of the organization following strict time scales regardless of the presence asbestos a) Consequences If the organization decides to meet the strict time scale without regarding the presence asbestos, the consequences may be dire to the organization. First, as earlier mentioned the employees of the organization may be exposed asbestos to limits more than those specified by occupational health and safety authorities of the region in the organization is operating. The result of this is that the empl oyees may contract heart and lung related ailments, which may in turn affect their productivity (CCH 2009). This means that the organization may fail to meet its current production levels as well as the sales target. Another consequence of following the strict deadline without regarding the presence of asbestos is that the organization may be closed down by the safety and health occupation authority in the area in which it is operating for violating the recommended threshold values of the asbestos.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Single Parent Families Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words

Single Parent Families - Essay Example The mother takes the responsibility of the nurturing of the children at home, while the father is the bread earner for the family. With the well defined duties of the mother and the father, the children are brought up in an environment that is conducive for their excellent psychological nurturing and emotional counseling. In single parent families, the whole load of responsibilities of the two parents has to be solely borne by one parent. The parent has to both earn the bread for the children and also ensure that the children get all the attention they require. This is certainly extremely difficult to achieve in the absence of a partner. In the contemporary age, cost of living is sky high. In many families, both of the parents have to work in order to make both ends meet. In such circumstances, when a single parent remains out for work for a major portion of the day, he/she can not take care of the children at home. They are prone to kidnapping and physical abuse by neighbors, servan ts or other outsiders. Besides, the parent can not afford to keep tutors and manage their salaries within the scanty hard earned money. Because of this, the children become weak academically like all other areas. The children also have no less hard time than their parent.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Discuss the differences between leadership and management. Is there a Assignment

Discuss the differences between leadership and management. Is there a difference If so, how - Assignment Example The managers in management tend to be under control, often rational and problem solvers. They put a lot of emphasis on the predetermined objectives, personnel, structures and availability of resources. The personalities of these kinds of people mostly seem to have strong will, persistence, intelligence and analysis. Leaders are often referred as mercurial and brilliant people who possess great charisma. Despite the fact that the leaders are private people and loners, they are usually comfortable of taking risks is it crazy or wild risks. Most of the leaders have high levels of creativity and imagination. Leadership puts a lot of focus in leading people while management only concentrates at managing the people. Management is more of task oriented and concerned with results. Leadership is people oriented and puts its attention on achievements (Gunter, 2005). The approach towards tasks of the two methods of running an organization clearly differentiates them. Management creates policies, strategies, and methods that facilitate the combination of teams and ideas to enhance smooth running of operations. They people through obtaining their views, principles, and values. They do this having in mind that the combination will decrease the inherent success and lead to success. Leadership, on the contrary, looks at the problems at a different angle and devises new and creative solutions. Due to their great charisma and intense commitment, they bring excitement, motivation, and focus to other people to come up with solutions and excel. In management the organizations are ran through styles such as dictatorial, transactional, authoritative, autocratic, democratic and consultative since power is got through formal authority and position. This is quite different in leadership as it practices indulging styles such as Transformational, Participative a nd Consultative styles due to the charisma and influence they possess (Schermerhorn,

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Functional Analysis of Behaviour Clinical and Ethical Issues

Functional Analysis of Behaviour Clinical and Ethical Issues Discuss the clinical and ethical issues involved in  conducting a Functional Analysis of behaviour when  working with a client with a learning disability. What  evidence is there that this is an effective approach? Word count: Contents (Jump to) Introduction A Holistic approach The case for employing the functional analysis of behaviour approach Difficulties with functional analysis Functional analysis in everyday clinical practice Case study using functional analysis Ethical issues relating to the functional analysis approach Combining different approaches Conclusion References Faced with challenging behaviours shown by people with learning disabilities, the psychologist must decide which analytical approach – behavioural, biophysical, ecological or psychodynamic – will best facilitate appropriate therapeutic interventions. A number of wide-ranging reviews of the available literature, together with meta-analyses of this area, indicate that interventions based on the behavioural approach offers the most effective way forward. The behavioural approach advocates that all behaviour is learned, and that behaviours are functions of the interplay between an individual and various factors within his/her environment In his meta-analysis, Didden (1996) concludes that there is â€Å"a convincing level of change in terms of reducing challenging behaviour through systematically applied behavioural approaches†, and that behavioural approaches are much more effective than, for example, medication. The behavioural approaches used to tackle difficult/challenging behaviour fall into three main categories: [RZ1]â€Å"Differential Reinforcement† involves what is essentially a reward system, whereby an individual is encouraged to exhibit appropriate, rather than challenging, behaviour. â€Å"Gentle Teaching† aims to minimise or eliminate problematic behaviour by creating an environment in which bonding, ; interdependence and mutual respect are paramount, thereby eliminating the need for challenging behaviour. The teaching of functionally equivalent responses involves firstly a â€Å"Functional Analysis† of a particular problematic behaviour, followed by the teaching of more appropriate behaviour, which serves the same function. When attempting to decide on an appropriate intervention strategy, there is a body of evidence to suggest that the last of these three approaches – the functional analysis – can, if conducted properly, provide an invaluable pointer as to what type of therapeutic intervention might be appropriate. This essay will explore the clinical advantages and disadvantages of using a functional analysis of behaviour when working with clients with learning disabilities, examining the research in this area (much of which indicates that this is a generally successful approach) and look at the ethical issues arising from this particular psychological approach. Definition: Learning Disability A report from the British Psychological Society (BPS 2004), on Clinical Practice Guidelines for interventions for people with learning disabilities and Severely Challenging Behaviour â€Å"states that  ,if an individual is to be reasonably regarded as having a â€Å"learning disability the individual’s intellectual and adaptive/social functions must both be significantly impaired; and the condition must have existed before the onset of adulthood. An extremely broad-ranging group of learning-disabled individuals fall within these parameters. Definition: Challenging Behaviour The following definition by Emerson et al (1988) is widely regarded as a sound working definition: â€Å"Severely challenging behaviour refers to behaviour of such an intensity, frequency or duration that the physical safety of the person or others is likely to be placed in serious jeopardy, or behaviour which is likely to seriously limit or delay access to and use of ordinary community facilities.† The nature of the â€Å"challenging behaviour† (the causes and functions of which can be many and diverse) itself has been described as â€Å"behaviour which: places the individual or others in physical danger; results in destruction of their immediate environment; causes at least an hour’s disruption; or behaviour which limits or delays access to ordinary community facilities† (Scottish Office, 1998). Challenging behaviours may involve verbal or physical aggression, self-harm behaviour, and other non-injurious (but nevertheless undesirable) behaviours. Challenging behaviour is generally understood to be triggered by the interaction between variables within individuals themselves (mood, health, etc.) and variables within their social and physical environment.[RZ2] Functional analysis are comprises various methods, all with the aim of establishing the link between antecedents, behaviour and its consequences. (Kazdin,1994) More specifically, functional analysis are is a tools to reveal reinforcing conditions[RZ4], I am translating from Norwegian)..established operations and triggers for problem behaviour. (Vold, 2005) This information is then used for customizing interventions and treatment for the person in question. This definition includes all systematic methods that examine the root cause(s) of a certain behaviour. These methods include interviews and standardised tools like MAS (Durand, 1990) and FAI (O’Neill et al, 1997), different methods of observations of the person in his/hers environment, likce â€Å"scatter plot† (Touchette et al, 1985) and ABC charts ( antecedent-behaviour-consequence ) charts. (Bijou et al, 1968) In addition, we there arehave the experimental methods, also called analogue conditions. These methods consists of the a systematiccally testing and manipulation of events (or other factors[RZ5]), which are thought to be associated with the occurrence of problem behavior. It is therefore a means of formally examining the relationship between specific events and the particular problematic/challenging behaviors of an individual in a specific environment. (Iawata, et al, ,1982) These methods complement each other, but by using one – or a combination of them the â€Å"functional analyst† aims to have a much clearer idea of the triggers of, and the purposes served by, a specific behaviour. It should also be pointed out that functional analysis can be used in either a clinical application or as a valuable research method (Vollmer and Smith, 1996). Furthermore, Vollmer and Smith concluded that functional analysis could be used to identify individuals with the specific behavioural functions[RZ6] required enabling psychologists to pursue specific avenues of research (while bearing in mind that functional analysis does not always yield conclusive results). Rather than simply looking at the functional analysis as a means of dealing with challenging behaviours, Groden and LeVasseur 111posit a more holistic approach, which takes into account â€Å"the dynamic relationship between the individual, his or her skills and the environment, including the stressors, in which the behaviour occurs.† A behavioural assessment method, which has stood the test of timeme, is detailed in Groden et al (1996).[RZ7] Using this method, the behavioural assessment data for each individual is obtained from a number of sources. The procedure not only involves including a functional analysis of the target behaviour, but also an ecological inventory, a Stress Survey Schedule, and reinforcement surveys. The information is then placed in an illustrated A-B-C format, with each illustration designed to match the individuals intellectual abilities and reinforcers. It depicts the preferred mode of behaviour, which the person with a learning disability can use in a specific problematic scenario. In the early years of the use of the functional analysis by psychologists working with people with learning disabilities who exhibited challenging behaviour, four key functions were identified: attentionattention- seeking, escape (task or social avoidance),; sensory reinforcement, and tangible events (Carr, 1994). Functional analysis can uncover new functional properties of problem behaviour, but it is also necessary to develop additional strategies to address the complexities of an individual’s normal (i.e. non-experimental) environment. One such approach is the hypothesis-driven model developed by Repp et al (1988), which is based on both direct observation and the analysis of antecedent and consequent events. In the seminal paper â€Å"Psychological interventions for severely challenging behaviours shown by people with learning disabilities – Clinical Practice Guidelines†, the British Psychological Society established step-by-step â€Å"gold standard† guidelines for those who wish to employ the functional analysis of behaviour approach. (BPS, 2004) Having gained the appropriate consent[RZ8], the process should commence with the Pre-assessment, (a term first employed by Toogood and Timlin (1996)), at which stage the psychologist engages in initial information gathering, with a view to honing the initial focus of the psychological assessment. At the Assessment stage, the assessor collects and then evaluates all appropriate information about the person with a learning disability, the environment (both social and physical) and the challenging behaviour exhibited by the individual. These steps should enable the psychologist to collect the information required to create a well-structured psychological assessment and an appropriate intervention strategy, and to establish a baseline, which will enable the psychologist to measure the success of any intervention. At the Formulation stage, the psychologist draws up a hypothesis about the nature of the specific behavioural problem(s), thereby providing a guide to subsequent clinical activity as well as establishing key evaluation criteria. It will also specify the target of any intervention. At the Intervention stage, the psychologist will endeavour to change the individual’s problematic behaviour in an appropriate manner, utilising both technical psychological expertise as well asnd the detailed information previously accumulated about the individual and his/her environment. At the Evaluation stage, the success/effectiveness of the intervention(s) will be weighed up and carefully considered. The process is finalised at the self-explanatory Feedback stage (from and to all interested parties, first and foremost the person with a learning disability). In the course of their study, Vollmer and Smith (1996) concluded that functional analysis has its limitations. Most importantly, some interventions derived from functional analysis can be difficult to carry out while still maintaining non-intrusive procedural integrity. Martin et al (1999) demonstrated that there can be problems in interpreting the data arising from functional analysis in an experimental context. For the purposes of their study, the validity of a functional analysis was investigated using three different data-interpretation methodologies (two previously utilised methods, and â€Å"criterion Z† created by the authors). They ultimately concluded that all three methods were equally unsatisfactory as a way of establishing the function of a particular behaviour. [RZ9] It should also be remembered (Freeman, Special Connections website). that challenging behaviour does not always have a specific function. It is possible,; instead, that â€Å"internal sensory feedback† is responsible for triggering an individual’s challenging behaviour. Such behaviours tend to occur when the person with a learning disability is alone, or arise in many quite different and contrasting social scenarios, and may be the result of internal, rather than external, reinforcers.[RZ10] Lack of agreement about function across different methods After carrying out a thorough functional analysis, a psychologist (or other practitioner) should be in a position to identify the cause-effect relationship between an environmental â€Å"trigger† and a specific behaviour. However, different approaches to functional analysis appear to give conflicting results. Toogood and Timlin (1996) looked at the three approaches to functional analysis described above and found a low level of agreement between each of the different approaches in relation to their understanding of the target behaviours’ functions. The importance of identifying idiosyncratic variables A very wide range of stimuli can trigger challenging behaviour. Because a wide range of unanticipated variables can come into play, certain some of which may appear to be apparently insignificant, but which are in factin fact key, these variables can may be overlooked during the initial assessment, thereby giving rise to misleading results. An important study by Carr et al (1997) underlined the necessity of identifying specific â€Å"idiosyncratic† (or unanticipated) variables. In this particular study, each of the three clients was autistic (and regarded, broadly speaking, as learning disabled) and had exhibited problem behaviours such as aggression, self-harm and vandalism. Interviews and direct observations indicated that these challenging behaviours might serve the functions of attention gaininggaining attention or escape. On subsequent and closer examination using Carr’s ABC, narrative protocol, however, it became apparent that specific â€Å"idiosyncratic† stimulus variables (or the absence thereof) had a major influence on the results of the functional analysis. In the final stage of the study, the specific idiosyncratic stimulus variables which had been observed in a naturalistic environmental context (small hand-held objects, and the presence of puzzles/magazines in the room) were manipulated[RZ11] in an experimental context (a room with a two-way mirror that facilitated the video-taping of the proceedings) with a view to establishing their effect on the outcome of the functional analysis. While this study generally endorsed the usefulness of the functional analysis approach, it underlined the importance of meticulous attention to detail to ensure the accurate identification of behavioural-stimulus variables which that were not immediately obvious. Failure to do so would have significantly altered the outcomes of functional analyses. The authors concluded that that tailored guidelines should be in place when it is suspected (because there is a discrepancy between information arising from interviews and actual observed behaviours; when different results occur in different locations; or if the results differ from day to day) that idiosyncratic stimuli may be significant triggers for the behaviours being studied, e.g. .because there is a discrepancy between information arising from interviews and actual observed behaviours, or when different results occur in different locations, or if the results differ from day to day. Taking into account the above-described difficulties, together with the fact that a thorough functional analysis is time consuming,. pPsychologists in everyday clinical work are faced with a number of challenges. Some of these are of ethical nature and will be discussed later, whilst others are more practical issues. It follows from the initial definition of functional analysis used in this essay that the term is applied for different procedures, each presenting both the practitioner and the client with different challenges and benefits. In addressing the fact that time limitations can often compromise attempts to complete a thorough functional analysis in its more experimental design, Wallace and Iwata (1999) examined the extent to which variations in session duration (5,10five, ten, and 15 minutes) affected the outcome of a functional analysis. Their findings led to the conclusion that brief sessions did not give less clarity than longer sessions. An important study by Derby et al (1992) provided a analysis of the success of brief functional analysis. This study presents a summary of the results of 79 cases which used functional assessment procedures in order to determine how often the brief functional assessment successfully identified the triggers of aberrant behaviour, and whether the treatments based on the assessment were effective. Given that only 90 minutes were generally allocated to outpatient evaluations in the instructions of interest to the authors, Derby et al adapted the functional analysis procedures described by Carr and Durand (1985) accordingly. They went on to publish a report summarising the results of 79 cases in an effort to establish whether functional assessments correctly identified the â€Å"specific maintaining conditions of aberrant behaviour†,† and if subsequent treatments were effective. In each of the 79 studies, clients were, under pre-specified conditions, evaluated by direct observation of behaviour. Of the 63% of the cases studied in which functional analysis correctly identified the function of aberrant behaviour, 77% resulted in effective treatment. This finding suggests that the abbreviated 90-minute functional assessment can in many cases successfully lead to successful treatments. These â€Å"short-cuts† should not, however, entirely replace the full-scale, thoroughly researched, non time-limited functional analysis, but can be viewed as a viable â€Å"second best† alternative when available time is limited. It should be noted that tThe ecological validity of functional analysis methodology has been questioned (Martin et al, 1999) as the assessments take place outside the natural environment where the problematic behaviour usually takes place. When relying upon informant-based and/or descriptive methods, other problems arise, and psychologists need to ask themselves questions about the informants’ capacities to record observations without traces of interpretation. For example, tThe fact that clients are being observed may well influence their behaviour and invalidate results. In an inpatient setting, the mere presence of an observer may change the ecological environment, which will affect all the clients’ behaviour, and the antecedents and/or triggers for the target behaviour will be increased or decreased, and the data may be invalidated. Carr and Durand (1985) have provided evidence that the functional analysis approach can give rise to effective intervention strategies. They posit that, broadly speaking, â€Å"challenging behaviour fulfils four main functions : These are (a) a means of gaining attention (b) an ‘â€Å"escape from demands’† (c) a ‘â€Å"tangible reinforcement’† and (d) a means of obtaining â€Å"sensory stimulation†. A form foofr self injuring behaviour , for instance, head banging , may well fit into one or more of these functions.. But the head banging doesn’t fails to tell us whether the person is doing it because of frustration, hallucinations, anger or a middle ear infection.[RZ12] It is widely recognised that people with learning disabilities often have limited verbal communication ability. Many may therefore rely on non-verbal means of expressing themselves, especially in regards to communicating emotions. As a whole, people with learning disability are more prone to suffer from mental illness, personality disorders, anxiety and depression than the rest of the population. But whatever function the challenging behaviour fulfils, it can be seen as a form of learned communication that previously has fulfilled the needs of the person with a learning disability. A person with a learning disability who gains a caregiver’s undivided attention (even if the caregiverr is angry or irritated) more readily by shouting than by talking politely will tend to conclude that the most efficient and effective way to get the carer’s attention is to engage in the aforementioned challenging behaviour. A self-injury by a person with a learning disability may result in a show of gratifying concern from a carer. This â€Å"positive† outcome may lead to repetition of the self-injurious behaviour. One or more problem behaviours can, in certain circumstances, serve the same function, and can occur in a chain of escalating seriousness (e.g. minor fiddling with a small object leading on to the violent hurling of a larger object, minor complaints leading to vicious abuse). Awareness of this can enable a caregiverr to intervene early in the â€Å"chain,†, thus minimising negative consequences (i.e. events which come directly after an instanc e of problematic behaviour (Albin et al, 1995). Caregivers should be careful not to simply assume that a consequence is regarded as a â€Å"punishment†, and should consider whether the supposed punishment decreases or in fact increases the undesirable behaviour. For example, iIn a setting such as a hospital for people with learning disabilities detained under the Mental Health Act, for example, consequences such as restraint or even seclusion may actually be increaseing the incidence of challenging behaviour, as the behaviour in question can provide a means of gratification. The following case study shows how a functional analysis was useful to show the likely presence of these factors at play with a woman with a learning disability detained under the Mental Health Act in a medium secure unit. Case study: The 25 year old woman had a dual diagnosis of learning disability and a mental illness.[RZ13] She was admitted to a mixed gender ward with both male and female staff. She was a very big and strong lady and her challenging behaviour, which took the form of attacks for no apparent reason, posed a threat both to staff and fellow patients. Prior to herBy admission, a pre – assessment and initial risk assessment had been carried out. This was followed up by an initial assessment, carried out by nursing staff who recorded theing frequency and severity of her challenging behaviour in an ABC chart, as well as monitoreding activities and situations the patient she seemed to enjoy. Her mental health symptoms were treated with the recommended drugs. The data collected showed up to four weeks without challenging behaviour that wasn’t easily deflated. On At occasion (during a one-to-two week period)s she could, however, during a one to two weeks period, display behaviour that at least once a day lead to necessary restraint by staff. The intervention put in place  included allocation of a specific health care worker that would initiate activities that the patient she liked doing and instruction to staff to redirect  her when she was becoming restless. Due to her lack of communication skills, key staff was trained in specific ways of communicating with her. After approximately six6 months there was a marked increased frequency in the incidents of challenging behavior as well as in the duration and violence involved. . Although the patient’sher communication skills had improved and her daily activities had been refined to suit her strengths and interests, her attacks became so viciously that seclusion became an unfortunate necessity at least three times a month, usually within the same week. As no new antecedents were detected, a functional analysis was carried out , which included the three main methods, was carried out: Nursing staff continued to observe her the patient continuously and filled in ABC charts. Records were taken of her sleeping pattern, food and drink intake and menstrual cycle (informant-based method). Any changes in the ward were recorded, i.e. new admissions, staff leaving and new staff appointed. Assistant psychologists observed her on the ward and recorded behaviour on during 5 five-minute s intervals (direct observation). The clinical psychologist, who also had participated in observations, analysed the data and drew up a hypothesis about the nature of the increased challenging behaviour. On this basis of this, variables in the patient’s environment were, one at athe time, changed and tested (experimental method). The data collection demonstrated that the incidents of challenging behaviour peaked at a certain time in her menstrual period, indicating a hormonal factor. This factor alone was not conclusive enough on its own to account for her behaviour. It was treated as a setting factor that increased the probability of incidents, when short-term triggers were also present. The observations also carried out highlighted that when restraint was necessary, male staff carried it out, due to the patient’s size and strength, mainly did this. When there wereith only female staff working inon the ward, there was a significant reduction in her attacks, provided that she was being kept occupied by staff to avoid boredom. The policy and procedures for seclusion made it mandatory for staff to remove clothing that she might use to hurt herself with. Although female staff always carried out removal of clothing, she was still being placed in restraints by male staff. Direct observations and staff reports suggested that the presence of male staff during this process escalated her behaviour. Most importantly, however, was the correlation between her challenging behaviour and the presence of a specific male member of the staff. Nursing reports showed that when he was off duty, the client’s challenging behaviour never reached the level when seclusion was necessary. Furthermore, observations showed that she was always happy to greet this member of staffstaff member when he arrived for work, and she frequently sought him out for help or company.[RZ14]. The interventions implemented were to move  the male member of staffstaff member to another ward for a period of time and to  stop male staff participation intervention in the restraint processrestraints. Guidelines were implemented to ensure that the patient she was dressed in clothes she could safely wear if seclusion was necessary. The cA contraceptive pill was prescribed in order to keep her hormone level in balance, and a program with intermittent positive reinforcement was developed to re-introduce a certain interaction with male staff.[RZ15] The intervention was successful insofar that heras the patient’s challenging behaviour decreased. It demonstrates the effectiveness of a functional analysis as well as the danger of interventions become too intrusive. But it also, it highlights many of the ethical challenges a practitioner might face when working with people with learning disability and challenging behaviour.[RZ16] Given that the vast majority of individuals with learning disabilities are highly vulnerable to abuse, neglect and exploitation, it is vital that an â€Å"ethical framework† exists, within which practitioners can operate when using the functional analysis approach. The practitioner must also ensure the following: that he/she operates within the law of the land at all times; the practitioner must endeavour to operate within the parameters imposed by the relevant professional association’s’ Code of Practice; must adhere to local standards and policies (e.g. those set by a particular Trust); and must operate (as far as possible, given the previous strictures) within his/her own personal set of ethics and principles. Consent As with any other assessment or intervention, the client or service-user must give his or her consent. People with learning disabilities encompass a broad range of abilities. Some will understand the implications of assessments and interventions and will be able to give their consent, whilst others are unable to do so. The latter group may have guardians to provide consent on their behalf. But most lay people tend to accept without much questioning that â€Å"the professionals know best.† . It is the