Greeting People in Different Countries
In the business world, if you do not make a good first impression, you may not get another chance. According to an article in Psychology Today, people will make judgments about you in as little as 20 seconds, based upon their first impression. So knowing how to greet a person in a confident and friendly manner is extremely important. By using these simple strategies, you will be able to get off to a good start.
Standing up and coming out from behind a desk to greet someone is a good strategy because it gives the impression that you have enough respect for the person to greet them eye-to-eye. Remaining behind a desk puts you in an authoritative position (not equal to the newcomer), which could be perceived as unfriendly or disrespectful.
Friendly, Confident Facial Features
Making an effort to display a genuine smile and look the newcomer in the eye shows that you are friendly and confident. According to Psychology Today, others are very good at reading your facial expressions (and making judgments based upon them).
Introduction and Handshake
When you introduce yourself, you should say your first and last name, as in, "Hello, I'm Joan Smith." This is more formal than just giving your first name and is appropriate for a first-time greeting. The handshake also gives an important impression of you and must be done properly. Either party may extend their hand first, and you should grip firmly, but without undo strength. (Remember, it is not a contest.) The handshake only needs to last about 3 to 4 seconds.
Our planet is divided into many different countries which have many different races of people, different customs, and different manners. Each country has its own way of greeting people.
In the USA it is normal for men to shake hands when they meet but it is unusual for men to kiss when they greet each other.
The British often do no more than say “hello” when they see friends. Even adults usually shake hands only when they meet for the first time.
French people, including school-children, shake hands with their friends, or kiss them on both cheeks, each time they meet and they leave. That’s why French people think the British are unfriendly and impolite.
In Japan it is polite and normal for men and women to bow when they greet someone.
In Polynesia you take your friend’s hands and use them to stroke your face.
In Tibetit is very polite to stick your tongue out at someone. It shows you have no evil thoughts.
Unit II. Text A
Who is a consultant?
A consultant (from the Latin “consultare” means “to discuss” from which we also derive words such as consul and counsel) is a professional who provides advice in a particular area of expertise such as management, accountancy, the environment, entertainment, technology, law (tax law, in particular), human resources, marketing, emergency management, food production, medicine, finance, life management, economics, public affairs, communication, engineering, sound system design, graphic design, or waste management.
A consultant is usually an expert or a professional in a specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter. A consultant usually works for a consultancy firm or is self-employed, and engages with multiple and changing clients. Thus, clients have access to deeper levels of expertise than would be feasible for them to retain in-house, and may purchase only as much service from the outside consultant as desired. It is generally accepted good corporate governance to hire consultants as a check to the Principal-Agent problem.
“Consultant” is also the term used to denote the most senior medical position in the United Kingdom, Australia and Ireland (e.g., a consultant surgeon).
Some consultants are employed by a consult staffing company, a company that provides consultants to clients. This is particularly common in the technology sector. Consultants are often called contractors in the technology sector in reference to their employment contract.
Strategy consultants are common in upper management in many industries. There are also independent consultants who act as interim executives with decision-making power under corporate policies or statutes. They may sit on specially constituted boards or committees.
Consultants work at client places on behalf of a consultancy or Billing company.
From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
Various ways for dealing with conflict fall somewhere on two axes: concern for others versus concern for self. Some models are more successful than others. Skilled communicators know when to apply each of these methods and how the various strategies may be used in combination.
Every situation is different and needs to be judged on its own merits. Often, the choice of the approach or method is based upon that which provides a solution and which provides a long-lasting solution versus a temporary fix.
The “My-way” method typically promotes coercion or competition – a difficult dynamic to sustain (becomes “my way or the highway”). In this situation, one side uses their power over the other to force a decision to be made or a solution to be agreed upon. This creates a win-lose situation. It does result in a solution, but it’s not the “best” as seen by the “losing” party. The only time this method might be absolutely necessary is during an emergency when a manager must require compliance immediately because of safety or legal reasons.
Still, it is usually better to avoid this strategy, because it often promotes a win-lose attitude. The “No-way,” “Avoidance,” or “Withdrawal” method often does not result in a solution, making it counterproductive. This occurs when one side will not address the conflict and will instead walk away from the issue, resulting in a lose-lose situation. It is a temporary fix or solution, which only begs the problem to resurface until it is dealt with, either effectively or not. It may be minimally used, however, if you need to buy time to cool off or get additional information.
The “Your-way” or “Accommodation” method is capitulation, but it may be successful if the other side has previously done the same, or if there is no other alternative and the relationship must be sustained. Quite often it is accomplished by downplaying the differences of each side. In this way, the disagreeing members will be more likely to compromise.
The “Half-way” or “Compromising” method can work under the same circumstances as those for “your way”. A compromise means that both sides have to give up something in order to find common ground. In this case, neither side totally wins, but neither side totally loses.
A true compromise is possible only when all parties involved attempt to meet all of the parties halfway. This occurs when there is equal concern for others as there is for you. Each side gives and each side gets. Everyone gives just enough so all parties end up satisfied.
The downside of compromise stems from the fact that many people see a compromise not as a win-win solution, but as a lose-lose proposition. They either feel they gave too much or did not receive enough, no matter what it was they gave or received during the compromise. The “what” becomes relatively unimportant in these situations, and it is the “how much” that becomes the focus, correctly or incorrectly. What you end up with is an “MUC” – a mutually unacceptable compromise where neither side will be committed to making the proposed solution to the problem actually work. It also faces the danger of one side not getting what it wants (known as the “tyranny of the majority”). A compromise in this manner is seen as a temporary solution.
The power of the “Our-way” or “Collaboration” method is often most successful for long-term results, because it gets the buy-in of everyone who is involved in the outcome, creating a win-win solution. It does, however, require the most time and effort, and that is the reason it may not be employed as often as it should. In theory the Collaboration method works great, but in a real-world situation it may not be feasible. For example, if two children are fighting over an orange, as adults we may be tempted to offer the following solution: simply cut the orange and half. Each child receives half an orange and is told to go away and leave the adults alone. But with this approach, we must go further. Ask each child why they want the orange. Perhaps one child wants the orange because he or she is thirsty, and wants to drink the juice from the fruit. The other child may want the orange in order to obtain the seeds, plant them, and grow additional oranges. Simply splitting the orange between the children would result in only a partial success.
With an “Our way/collaborating” approach, based upon the children’s needs, you can accommodate both parties. You must first build consensus within your group about a strategy (both children desire different parts of the orange). Then, make certain that is the best strategy and that you have the time to successfully implement it. One child can remove the seeds as the other presses the fruit to extract the juice. During the process, solicit feedback from everyone (brainstorming can be a useful tool here). Acknowledge disagreement, but focus on the things that everyone can agree on, and stay positive while taking small steps and you will be successful.
Confrontation is also known as problem-solving. The word confrontation may sound negative, but in this context it isn’t. It means you are simply dealing with and attempting to solve a problem. This can be done in several ways, but all of them require you to begin by researching the facts of the conflict and then making a decision based upon those facts. It is considered to be a win-win technique and one that PMI feels should most often be used by project managers.
From “Methods of Dealing with Conflict - Part II” (in the series Methods of Dealing with Conflict) by Global Knowledge
Unit III. Text A
Surviving stress at work
Your mobile phone won't stop ringing, your inbox is overflowing and deadlines are piling up. You're working longer hours and there seems no end to the increasing demands on you. Fed up and feeling undervalued and unappreciated, you struggle to remember why you liked your job in the first place. Sound familiar?
Spend a reasonable amount of time in the lunchroom of many workplaces and chances are you will hear staff talking about feeling 'stressed out'.
One reason for this is that many workers feel they have very little control over their work lives. Workplace stress, like other forms of stress, occurs when people feel they are not able to meet the demands placed on them. A report into workplace stress (published by private health insurer Medibank Private) found people are more likely to experience high levels of stress at work when they are placed under pressure, in terms of workload and responsibility, but feel they are unable to meet their deadlines or control their output.Another reason we're feeling stressed is that figures suggest many people are working hard, or at least long hours.
Long working hours, insufficient breaks, lack of resources and unrealistic deadlines all contribute to workplace stress. As can relationships with co-workers and managers, especially if these relationships involve conflict, harassment or bullying.
But each of us responds to these stressors differently. So a work environment that just makes one person feel a little uptight, might push another person to breaking point.
There are, however, certain factors that can put you at greater risk of experiencing workplace stress, burnout or psychological injury.
Unfortunately, people do miss the early warning signs that they are stressed.
But there are some warning signs that tell you heading towards the upper end of the stress scale, these can include:
Other red flags include: poor performance at work, avoiding family or friends and adopting maladaptive coping strategies (such as drinking too much or using drugs).
Stress can also manifest as new physical ailments or a worsening of existing conditions.
And while you will often need the help of your workplace to turn things around, there are some strategies that might help improve your wellbeing and ability to cope with stress. These can include:
From ABC Health & Wellbeing
Unit IV. Text A
Travelling through life
It is estimated that the total number of travelers in England is about 90,000. “New-Age Travellers” account for around 50,000. The remainder are gypsies.
Where do they live?
Whereas Gypsies traditionally traveled around the country in brightly-coloured wagons, nowadays they are more likely to live in modern caravans and stay in one place, usually a municipal caravan site. New-Age Travellers follow a more itinerant lifestyle, traveling around the country in convoys of trucks following seasonal work and music festivals.
Who are the New-Age Travellers?
Some New-Age Travellers are well-educated, literate people, mainly in their 20s and 30s, who are anticonsumerists and have ‘green’ beliefs. In many cases it is their strongly-held opinions that make them take the road.
New-Age Travellers try to live as close to nature as the modern world will allow. They also try to stop new development schemes such as road-building and airport extensions.
A case study
Fiona Earle is a typical New-Age Traveller. She lives in a truck with her three children but, as she needs to supplement her income, Fiona occasionally puts on smart clothes and teaches in secondary schools. “I use teaching to get the money I need to find my alternative lifestyle,” she says. “Initially schools I work in don’t know that I am a New-Age Traveller. When I eventually mention in, teaching colleagues say, “Oh, you don’t look like one of those”.
Whereas Gypsy parents generally insist on primary education for their children, and withdraw them as soon as they reach secondary age to join in the working life of the family, New-Age Travellers do things differently. One-third educate young children at home. The problem comes at secondary age. Because they want their children to get a proper education, many parents decide to come off the road and move into houses so that their children can attend school regularly. But when parents are dependent on nomadism for their livelihood, settling down can be difficult.
The Times Educational Supplement
The Independent traveler
I’ve been traveling now for about twenty years. When I was younger I used to regularly take off with my backpack and my camera and head for some remote place, maybe working, maybe just hanging out. I spent a whole year in India in my early twenties. I’ve backpacked all round Europe and the Middle East, spent some time in China and I’ve also been trekking in Nepal and South America. So I’ve picked up a bit of experience along the way.
In the early days I always used to take each day as it came and not really plan very much. Nowadays I plan a bit more. And I tend to go on more organized trips, using tour operators and travel agents. Although I still like to be independent when I get to a place. Believe it or not, you can find responsible tour operators who care about the environment and the places they are taking you to-but you do have to look carefully and ask a lot of questions.
Also, before you go, think carefully about your packing and what you are going to take. Things like shampoo, lotions, sun cream and so on should be kept to a minimum. Make sure you really need them and you are not taking too much-there is no point coming back with bottles that are still nearly full-and above all, make sure they are environmentally-friendly and made from natural substances. In the developing world in particular, they can easily find their way into the water supply and cause pollution.
You can do this very simply-and it also makes your experience much more enjoyable. Make sure that you eat and drink local produce. Try not to go for the big international fast food chains. Most of that money doesn’t stay in the country and you are not helping the local community by using them. Many rural areas in the Mediterranean, for example are seeing their agriculture decline and by eating locally-produced food you will help the local economy. I also try to stay with locals, preferably in bed and breakfast and avoid the big foreign-owned hotel chains.
If you can, use public transport-it may not be as quick as hiring a car but it’s cheap and interesting, and it’s certainly one way of meeting the local people.
As you know, I’m keen photographer, so my camera is my most important piece of equipment. But be sensitive when you are taking photographs, particularly of people-the cultural rules are often quite different. Don’t be scared to complain if you see something wrong, something that’s damaging the environment or whatever. Tell someone. If you come across a polluted beach tell your tour representative; if you see another tourist dropping litter ask them to pick it up. It’s only by doing such things that we’ll get people to change their ideas and their behavior and to get tourism to be a more caring and responsible industry.
Sue Robbins, First Insights into Business, Longman
Through out the world different countries are known for their stereotypical taxis for example America has its 'Yellow taxis' where as Britain has its 'Black cabs' and Hackney carriages. Taxi services have been running in many different countries for many years and the history behind some of these famous taxi groups is below:
· Yellow Cabs –The yellow cab company is one of the oldest running taxi firms in the US as it has over 50 years of public service with the company starting in 1905 when John Hertz and Walden W Shaw became partners and the company has been progressing since then to become a world wide known symbol of its country. In earlier years when the company was trying to publicize itself they researched a survey that showed most people associated the colour yellow with a taxi, this resulting in the distinguishing colour. They then had to create an advertising campaign that would remove the stigma from riding in a cab as people had seen riding in a taxi as an undignified thing, so they turned it round saying people riding in cabs could afford the care free ride to where they wanted to go.
· Black cabs –The first official black taxi of London first came around in the 17th century when they used horses and the service group was known as Hackney Carriage. The term taxi came along in later years when a Wilhelm Bruhn invented the taximeter, this measures the distance travelled and time taken so a fair price could be devised, his technology is the foundation for the taximeters used today. Being a black cab driver in London means you have to pass the hardest taxi driving test in the world it’s known as the knowledge and can take some people up to 4 years to learn completely, but only after the test is passed can you progress to drive the taxis. There are also specific requirements, conditions of fitness, that the taxis have to meet before being put to service for the public, these have been in place for many years and some of them may seem a little strange to the modern day public. For example there is one requirement that states the cab must have enough height in the back of the vehicle for the passenger to sit with a bowler hat on comfortably.
· Hackney carriage – This Company was one of the first taxi firms in the world and started in the 17th century with horse drawn carriages. Throughout the 20th century cars tended to replace the horse cabs, although there was still a special horse service that was drawn by two horses, had four wheels and could fit up to six passengers in it. Unlike many taxi firms that are private hire and you can only ride in the vehicle if you have previously booked for one to pick you up the hackney carriage taxis drive round the streets looking for passengers to pick up.
Although these may just be a form of public transport they have become iconic elements to the countries they come from, for example many people when thinking of New York automatically think of the streets full of yellow taxis. This showing how these taxi firms are important tradition to the countries they originate from.
From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
Unit V. Text A
My Meals on Wheels
Looking back on things now, perhaps my being a “van-vendor” or a mobile canteen owner was meant to be. I’ve pretty much always been on the road. My father’s work involved moving around a lot, so by the time I was fifteen, I had been to six different schools! When I was at college studying Hospitality, I began to work part-time for a programme called ‘Meals On Wheels’.
I was a volunteer who drove a van stocked with prepared food. I handed out of the food to various elderly or ill people who couldn’t prepare meals for themselves. The meals were really good. All well prepared, with hygiene and nutrition taking priority, and people even had choices of vegetarian, diabetic or particular types of ethnic cuisine.
I had to stop working there when I got a full-time job for a catering business. I learnt many tricks of the food trade there as well, but my goal was to become my own boss. I didn’t have enough money and unsure of exactly what I wanted to do.
A trip to Japan was the inspiration for my current mobile food business. I loved trying the variety of foods at the “yatai” or street stalls. One of the owners told me that “yatai” actually means “a cart with a roof”, and I even saw were the modern equivalents, large vans that had been converted into mobile kitchens with a large serving window in their side. Customers would line up by the dozens to buy their range of offerings.
When I came back home, that was it–I finally knew exactly what I was going to do. I bought an old van, got it customized by a carpenter friend of mine and then by a plumber. My van ended up with benches, cupboards, a microwave, fridge and sink and a huge sign proudly sporting “Fred’s Food to You”. I applied to the council for the relevant permits and in no time my business was up and running!
I visit large companies and factories from early morning through to the afternoon selling sandwiches, fish and chips, cakes and more. I open when I please and close when I want. My customers know me by name and I know most of them. Good food and service, that’s what people want and that’s what I’m about.
Virginia Evans, Linda Edwards, Upstream Advanced
Bits about THE BRITS
You can’t walk far along a British high street without coming to a pub. A sign hangs high over the door, proclaiming some grand heraldic name like “The King’s Arms” or, more modestly, “The Slug and Lettuce”.
Especially in the country, pubs can be cozy, welcoming places, with comfortable furniture and a fire glowing in the corner. Most country pubs have a good number of “regulars” who have been drinking there for decades and always sit in the same seat;woe betide you if you accidentally take it!
City pubs often date from Victorian times and many feature mahogany bars, large, ornate mirrors and old-fashioned flock wallpaper. As offices close, these pubs fill up with business people fortifying themselves for the journey home–you have to use your elbows to get near the bar at the most popular ones.
Once at the bar, don’t make the mistake of ordering “a beer”; beer comes in two sizes (pints or “halves”–half-pints) and a huge variety of brands. Be specific: “a pint of Guinness, please” or “a half of John Smith’s.” If you can’t name a brand of beer, you should at least say whether you want “bitter” (the traditional British brew), “mild” (similar, but not quite so strong) or “lager” (usually an internationally known brand of light beer) as well.
Most of the pubs you go into will contain roughly twice as many men as women. This may be because women derive less entertainment from drinking eight pints of bitter and then falling over on the way home. This predominantly male pursuit is known as “a night out with the lads”. Another common reason for “going down the pub” is for “a game of arrows”, or darts. Many British pubs are equipped with darts boards; look carefully before you cross the floor when games are in progress!
It is illegal to go into most pubs if you are under the age of fourteen. Between fourteen and eighteen, you can drink soft drinks. A landlord or landlady could lose his or her license for selling alcohol to someone aged under eighteen.
One last thing–if you’re planning a visit to a pub, don’t leave it too late! “Last orders” is at 10:30 p.m.–11.00 p.m.at the latest! “Drink up now, please!”
If it’s about paprika, it’s news in Hungary. The national spice, paprika, is a key ingredient in most Hungarian meat dishes-and in some, the main ingredient. Life is unimaginable without it: you’ll find matching salt, pepper, and paprika shakers on every restaurant table, and in the home. Apart from politics, there are few subjects that can arouse such strong feelings in Hungarians as the subject of how to cook with paprika.
But on Thursday 28th October the worst happened: Hungary woke up to hear that the government had banned the sale of the spice. It was announced that the paprika in shops and even their own kitchens, and on dining tables throughout the country, may contain poison. Not only was the problem of what to cook and eat, but there was also the risk of becoming ill.
The moment the news broke, the leading opposition party called for an investigation into the scandal. Two months previously, sixty tons of imported paprika, contaminated with a poisonous fungus called aflatoxin, had been discovered, but apparently no action had been taken. Meanwhile, some producers had illegally mixed these cheaper varieties with their own local produce, to make up for a bad summer and poor pepper crops, Now, Hungary’s market position as one of the world’s leading paprika producers, with exports of over 5,000tons of ‘red gold’ a year, worth around ?13 million, was under threat.
To the outside world, the word ‘paprika’ only refers to the rich red powder made from the dried capsicum annuum L.red pepper. In Hungary, however, ’paprika’ also refers to their range of fresh peppers, which are eaten, cooked and stuffed, chopped raw and added to soups, or as an accompaniment to bread, cheese and salami. Of the powdered form of paprika, the form that was banned, there is a “sweet” variety, used to liven up soups and stews-such as the national dish, goulash-with its flavour and colour, and a ‘hot’ variety, typically sprinkled onto egg or potato salads for decoration, or used as a key ingredient in spicy red sausages.
The 2,000 or so hours of sunshine which reach the Hungarian Great Plain each year are perfect for the cultivation of capsicum annuum L. As they mature, the peppers change from green to brown and finally to a rich red. Traditionally, these were dried in early autumn on long threads of string against the whitewashed walls of every house. Nowadays, however, the peppers are dried in factories and crushed to powder between stones and steel cylinders. The seeds of the pepper are added in varying quantities to determine the degree of spiciness of the final product. Production is centered in the south of the country the two “paprika capitals” of Kalocsa, which has a paprika museum, and Szeged, where paprika production employs 3,000 people, and where you can visit the world’s only paprika research laboratories.
So back in October, a vital part of Hungarian life was under threat. Thousands of worried citizens, frightened of illness, phoned the National Ambulance Service. Despite being told that the amount of poison was minimal and harmless, one mother told a newspaper that this was like asking people to drink bottled water containing 99% mineral water and 1% sewage.
Eventually, after the interviews with top paprika-producing executives, the Hungarian “FBI” tracked down those responsible for the crisis. Two weeks on, government officials stated that they believed they had the problem fully under control.
One by one, products containing paprika were tested. By early November, paprika products were slowly beginning to make their way back to the supermarket shelves. And not one person had been admitted to hospital.
Eight months later, a number of individuals were fined a total of ?40,000 for misleading consumers, and, to ensure lasting safety for all housewives, the government enforces strict regulations on the industry concerning spot checks and product labeling.
So at last, Hungarians, whose economy, culture, and pride is represented by the red powder, could celebrate together over a kettle of goulash. As they say in Hungary: One man may yearn for fame, another for wealth, but everyone yearns for paprika goulash.
Business One: One, Oxford University Press
Unit VI. Text A
The impact that mobile phones have on health is unclear. Some scientific studies have linked use of mobiles to headaches, memory loss and cancer, while the industry claims that they are perfectly safe.
A government-funded committee headed by scientist Sir William Stewart concluded that while there was no direct evidence of a health risk from using mobiles, more research was needed to prove their safety.
Now the government is unveiling a research project to try to uncover the truth.
News Online asked two people on opposite sides of the debate for their advice.
Roger Coghill is a specialist in bioelectromagnetics, who runs an independent laboratory in Gwent. He has long campaigned for mobile phones to carry a health warning.
"I do not see that mobile phones used normally pose a health problem, but some people are using them for 20-30 minutes or more at time, and there is overwhelming scientific evidence that there is a hazard to health from that kind of use.
"My advice is not to get panicked, and to use your phone normally, but to restrict calls to around five minutes a day.
"We have just carried out a survey of 500 users that shows that 12% of users use their phones for more than 20 minutes a day, and that 1.8% use them for more than two hours a day.
"It is that 1.8% that we are worried about - that is about 250,000 people who are being put at risk of serious ill health.
"We do not know exactly what the risks are of sustained exposure to mobile phone electromagnetic radiation. Mobile phone manufacturers should have funded research into that question before they put them on the market - if they were pharmaceutical products they would have to have been pre-tested.
"What is clear is that there is a syndrome associated with excessive mobile phone use.
"Around 40% of users complain that they suffer from headaches, and many people find that after a day's heavy use of the phone that they have a thumping headache.
"After a while users feel extremely tired, and their reaction times start to fall off.
"After 14 months to two years some users will start to develop leukemia.
"My laboratory has carried out research which shows that after a seven-and-a-half hour exposure to a mobile phone on stand-by there was a serious degradation of the while blood cells (the cells that fight disease). A day after exposure there was a substantial fall in the viability of white blood cells, and after the second day only 13% of white blood cells were viable.
"There are some simply, virtually costless things that people can do to minimize risk.
"If somebody touches a mobile phone to their head radiation is conducted directly into the head. Keeping the phone a couple of centimetres away from the head reduce the exposure to radiation by orders of magnitude.
"Also if users hold their phone away from their head then after a while they will start to get a muscle ache which will warn them they have been on the phone too long.
"Protective pouches also help to reduce exposure to radiation, but earpieces are enormously adverse, because they conduct radiation directly to the head."
Tom Wills-Sandford is director of information and communications technology for the Federation of the Electronics Industry.
"We firmly believe that there is no link between use of mobile phones and any adverse human health effect.
"This is based on many years of research. The mobile phone industry is a global industry and research into the safety of phones is done on a global scale - probably $60m has been spent on this particular issue.
"You have to look at the totality of science, and when you do you will find that there is no evidence of a link between use of mobile phones and ill health.
"The FEI welcomes all good peer reviewed science, including Dr Preece's work in Bristol, in which, we note, he failed to find any link between mobile phone usage and memory loss despite the enormous amount of publicity we have seen in the last few weeks.
"The one effect he did find was that choice reaction times were reduced by four per cent after exposure to radiation from analogue mobile phones, but this contrasts with other studies which have found a 20% variation in reaction times when no mobile phone usage has been involved.
Committed to openness
"The industry is committed to being open about this matter. We take this issue seriously, and we are concerned if our customers are concerned.
"But the National Radiological Protection Board and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection set the guidelines that the industry follows, and all mobile phones sold in the UK are designed, built and tested to these standards which take account of all the scientific research into this issue.
"It is perfectly legitimate that the public should be concerned, and we welcome responsible public interest but we do not get headlines about the many studies that come up with no link between mobile phones and ill health.
"My advice to people who are worried is that they can always use an earpiece, which can be very convienient in a hands free environment - although they do not need one for health reasons.
The Internet, a global computer network that embraces millions of users all over the world, began in the United States in 1969 as a military experiment. It was designed to survive a nuclear war. Information sent over the Internet takes the shortest path available from one computer to another. Because of this, any two computers on the Internet will be able to stay in touch with each other as long as there is a single route between them. Owing to this technology, if some computers on the network are knocked out (by a nuclear explosion, for example), information will just route around them. One such network already survived a war. It was the Iraqi computer network, which was not knocked out during the Gulf War.
Most of the Internet host computers (more than 50%) are in the United States, while the rest are located in more than 100 other countries. Although the number of host computers can be counted fairly accurately, nobody knows exactly how many people use the Internet, there are millions, and their number is growing by thousands each month worldwide.
The most popular Internet service is e-mail. Most of the people, who have access to the Internet, use the network only for sending and receiving e-mail messages. However, other popular services are available on the Internet: reading USENET News, using the World-Wide-Web, telnet.
In many developing countries the Internet may provide businessmen with a reliable alternative to the expensive and unreliable telecommunication systems of these countries. Commercial users can communicate over the Internet with the rest of the world and can do it very cheaply. When they send e-mail messages, they only have to pay for phone calls to their local service providers, not for calls across their countries or around the world. But who actually pays for sending e-mail messages over the Internet long distances, around the world? The answer is very simple: a user pays his/ her service provider a monthly or hourly fee. Part of this fee goes towards its costs to connect to a large service provider. And part of the fee got by the larger provider goes to cover its cost of running a worldwide network of wires and wireless stations.
But saving money is only the first step. If people see that they can make money from the Internet, commercial use of this network will drastically increase. For example, some western architecture companies and garment centers already transmit their basic designs and concepts over the Internet into China, where they are reworked and refined by skilled – but unexpensive – Chinese computer-aided-design specialists.
However, some problems remain. The most important is security. When you send an e-mail message to somebody, this message can travel through many different networks and computers. The data is constantly being directed towards its destination by special computers called routers. Because of this, it is possible to get into any of computers along the route, intercept and even change the data being sent over the Internet. In spite of the fact that there are many strong encoding programmes available, nearly all the information being sent over the Internet is transmitted without any form of encoding, i.e. “in the clear”. But when it becomes necessary to send important information over the network, these encoding programmes may be useful. Some American banks and companies even conduct transactions over the Internet. However, there are still both commercial and technical problems, which will take time to be resolved.
From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
A Multilingual Internet
As both European and Asian markets use the Internet more and more to conduct business, there will be an increasing need for language choices for the different markets.
English is so often used on the Internet that it might make you think that everyone in the world speaks English, or at least give you the impression that it is the world’s most widely-spoken language. If this were true, it would, of course, bring benefits for worldwide communication and understanding, though that it could also possibly become a threat to cultural diversity. English certainly seems to be everywhere, from films to pop music and TV, and from business to science and other fields.
Information varies, but suggests that about 75% of the pages on the Web are in English. Yet English is the mother tongue for only 5.4% of the world’s population, while further 7% of the world’s population are proficient speakers of English. This means that only around 12% of the world’s population can communicate well in English. This figure is nowhere near the total number of people speaking Chinese languages, which, at 20.7%, is much higher.
More and more people are accessing the Internet nowadays, including many companies wanting to conduct e-business. As a consequence, the position of English is beginning to change. Both Europe and Asia are growth areas, with businesses increasing their use of the Internet and people would apparently rather buy things online if they can order in their own language.
It has been predicted that by 2003 only one third of Internet users will be speakers of English. As a result, companies wanting to reach world markets are beginning to realize that they will have to translate their websites for the various customers.
However, creating a multilingual website is not an easy task. Companies wishing to translate their sites for different markets basically face both technical and linguistic problems. They are unable to use automated translation systems, which already exist in the market, simply because the quality is not good enough for professional use. Businesses all over the world are now faced with this huge challenge.
Moreover, translating websites is only the beginning. Customers with questions or problems will need to discuss matters in their own language, for example, while prices will need to be in the local currency. Dates will also need to be in the right format to avoid confusion. Companies will need to adapt their advertising materials so as not to offend different cultures. They may also have to change their way of doing business to suit certain customers-in Japan, for example, as the Japanese do not tend to give their credit card details over the Web. There are also legal issues to take into consideration.
Such vast changes will not happen overnight. It is impossible to say exactly how many texts there are on the Web as the number is changing all the time. One thing which is certain, however, is that a growth in the use of Internet is guaranteed. Companies doing e-business simply need time to translate their sites into the various languages necessary to do business. Meanwhile, more and more material in different languages is being added to the Web at a fast pace.
While all this is happening, local companies, with few employees, doing e-business only in the language of their target market and who are aware of the cultural aspects of that market, will certainly be at an advantage. The problems of language and culture could well limit larger companies from expanding and so offer more opportunities to smaller businesses in poorer areas of the world.
Virginia Evans, Linda Edwards, Upstream Advanced
Unit VII. Text A
Doing the business
Roisin Ingle hears how efficient management structures are vital for success
The need for a solid structure within all business entities is ‘absolutely fundamental’, according to Ms Angela Tripoli, a lecturer in Business Administration at University College Dublin. ‘Organisational structure concerns who reports to whom in the company and how different elements are grouped together. A new company cannot go forward without this and established companies must ensure their structure reflects their target markets, goals and available technology.’
Depending on their size and needs there are several organisational structures companies can choose from. Increasingly though, in the constantly evolving business environment, ‘many firms are opting for a kind of hybrid of all of them’.The most recognizable set up is called the functional structure where a fairly traditional chain of command (incorporating senior management, middle management and junior management) is put in place. The main benefit of this system is clear lines of communication from top to bottom but it is generally accepted that it can also be a bureaucratic set up which does not favour speedy decision-making.
More and more companies are organizing themselves along product lines where companies have separate divisions according to the product that is being worked on. ‘In this case the focus is always on the product and how it can be improved.’The importance for multinational companies of a good geographic structure, said Ms Tripoli, could be seen when one electrical products manufacturer produced an innovative rice cooker which made perfect rice - according to western standards. When they tried to sell it on the Asian market the product flopped because there were no country managers informing them of the changes that would need to be made in order to satisfy this more demanding market.
The matrix structure first evolved during a project developed by NASA when they needed to pool together different skills from a variety of functional areas. Essentially the matrix structure organizes a business into project teams; led by project leaders, to carry out certain objectives Training is vitally important here in order to avoid conflict between the various members of the teams.During the 1980s a wave of restructuring went through industry around the globe. This process, known as delayering, saw a change in the traditional hierarchical structures with layers of middle management being removed. This development was driven by new technology and by the need to reduce costs. The overall result was organizations that were less bureaucratic.
The delayering process has run its course now. Among the trends that currently influence how a
company organizes itself is the move towards centralization and outsourcing. Restructuring has
evolved along with a more ‘customer centric’ approach that can be seen to good effect in the banks. They now categorize their customers and their complex borrowing needs into groups instead of along rigid product lines.
Another development can be seen in larger companies, which are giving their employees more freedom to innovate in order to maintain a competitive edge. Ms Julia MacLauchlan, Director of Microsoft’s European Product Development Centre in Dublin, said the leading software company had a very flat organizational structure. ‘There would not be more than around seven levels no between the average software tester and Bill Gates,’ she said.
Microsoft is a good example of a company that is structured along product lines. In Ireland, where 1,000 employees work on localization of the software for all Microsoft’s markets, the company is split up into seven business units. Each unit controls the localization of their specific products while working closely with the designers in Microsoft’s Seattle Headquarters. It works, said Ms MacLauchlan, because everyone who works in the unit is ‘incredibly empowered’. ‘Without a huge bureaucratic infrastructure people can react a lot more quickly to any challenges and work towards the company’s objectives.’
Profile Intermediate, Oxford Business English
Unit VIII. Text A
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