Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Call for Papers: Indian Journal of Research

PRINT ISSN No.: 2250-1991



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Why Defeating ISIS Requires More Coordination

The downing of a Russian warplane is an unfortunately event that takes away from the bigger responsibility to defeat the radical ideology of ISIS. Coordination of teams to achieve some goal means that people and nations should not act outside of that goal or otherwise old rivalries will rear their head and destroy the possibilities of success; something ISIS likely hopes will happen. Greater coordination will help ensure that mistakes and old grudges don't allow an enemy to continue to exploit miscommunication and misdirection.

One of the advantages ISIS has is that they have a unified ideology that is supported by a large network of followers. They were able to build their pseudo nation-state right on the fault lines of ancient grievances. The fights between Sunni and Shia created natural socio-economic barriers that ensure they can count on a lack of coordinated efforts. Their enemies are already split!

That same problem occurs in Cold War schisms that plague the East and West. There is no moral judgement being made here. It is only a discussion on coordination. To win an enemy like ISIS means that old grievance must temporarily be put on the back burner and rules of engagement need to be clearly defined. Confusion, defiance, tit for tat, and grudges can destroy any team.

I look at this from the perspective of a team builder where a lack of purpose and weak rule governance creates problems for the successful completion of any project. Having so many different nations with different agendas, religions, economic, politics and military interests in the same small area is bound to end in a lot of toe stepping and finger pointing. A little patience is needed by all parties. Take the finger off the trigger and put in place temporary rules of engagement.

There is really only one opportunity to defeat ISIS. A mass of ideological radicals in one spot means the world has the chance to show that pure hate has no place in civilized society. Rallying the world to one cause means greater global coordination but also offers a chance to cut off funding, slow access to arms, analyze behaviors, and contain the threat. If they are not defeated precisely here, there is the possibility this will go on for generations playing out on various levels across the globe.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Philosophy and Politics as Guides to Governance

Building a nation is the series of a million words and choices that lead to the power of the collective. Nietzsche once postulated, our instinctual behavior is to "will", or "will to power", in an attempt to reach the highest position in life.  The state is a collection of wills that seek to work together to create power to raise the position of life for all national citizens. Out of this, philosophy and politics are two guiding forces that help nations maintain their strength.

Philosophy is the perpetual search for truth while politics is the art of influence. A nation has the best chances to move together when philosophy is the guide and politics is the push. Problems arise when politics and philosophy take two different paths that move the focus from the will of the people to the will of the individual. It is a question of raising the station of a nation or to seeking the fancy of a few?

When philosophy and politics work together our nation grows the fastest toward higher and more ideal forms of existence. The art of influence should seek to sell a philosophical idea. Individual needs of personal achievement and success balance with, work with and sometimes against the needs of the state. Too much focus on individual power can result in derailing the development of a country.

Those who question reality and seek truth are just as important as those who seek power. Without questioning there can be no growth as new knowledge doesn't surface. As a law of selection, those nations that do not adjust and change to new forms of existence eventually collapse and fail. Philosophers are the grounding anchor and reality checkers of political will to ensure it moves toward collective advancement.

Socrates said before he was put to death for his opinion, "The unexamined life is not worth living".

He wanted his students to question their lives and question the words and comments accepted as fact in society. Few are able to explore routinely accepted beliefs and come to their own conclusions. Research has supported the notion that most beliefs and opinions are socially derived. In essence, the far majority of society simply adopts and accepts them without much thought.

We therefore run into the danger of politics. It is possible for those who seek political power to put forward a conclusion that supports the needs of the power seeker without any real questioning. Alternative explanations are shunned, unexplored, and often treated by disdain by those who who do not question the logic of the conclusion.The answer that is accepted by everyone is sometimes the one that fails to fulfill the question.

Greater governance is created by those who question "truth" and those who have power to make truth reality. Pushing for the ideal in a way that is political practical creates a long chain of development that leads to stronger nations. The democratic process has succeeded as a governmental form precisely because it offers the best chance at open dialogue and therefore better decision making. Through philosophy we can question, while through politics we can create.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Words that Bind-Manager Tips for Communication

Communication and communication styles are easily ignored by new managers who opt for task oriented achievements.Strong and positive communication is about long-term management that binds the workplace together into a cohesive network of people. As a collective of ideas, business is based on sharing of perspective and information that results in profitable outcomes. Managers should know how to communicate and talk in ways that have the best benefits.

To formulate the best business environment where profitable work can occur the need to create trust between the employee and the employer is a must. Creating this trust is based on the quality of internal communications (Gavin & Mayer, 2005). The nature of that communication and its pathways helps to show who is connected and who isn't.

Businesses that succeed over the long run have strong communication networks that utilize both formal and informal networks. People know what their expectations are, can find the answers they need, and know where to turn for support. The efficiency of the organization rests in part on the ability of elements to communicate together.

When elements can't and won't communicate together the entire entity starts to break down. This often happens when companies become too large, fail to integrate their communication networks, and take on different purposes. Without solidity of purpose and communication patterns that reinforce working toward that purpose the entire system will dismantle or die.

It isn't only the amount of communication but its specific paths but also the quality of that communication. It has been found that “the extent to which the trusted person engages in undistorted communication . . . reinforces the trust (in terms of openness) placed in him or her” (Mishra, 1996 p. 276). Communication should be positive, honest, and two ways to have maximum benefits.

Managers are often thrusted and promoted into their specific positions but have no idea how to relate to their employees beyond simply getting the "job done". They sacrifice long-term goals for short-term gains. Communication is a learned skill that can be mastered by anyone but does require some deeper internal thought. The best communicators have come to an understanding of themselves and how their actions and words impact others.

Tips for Communication:
-Be positive.
-Listen and then talk.
-Be confident.
-Be goal directed.
-Respect the integrity of the person and their opinion even if you don't agree.
-Learn to learn from each conversation.
-Develop formal and informal networks that can reach everyone within the organization.
-Be honest with yourself and others.

Gavin, M. B., & Mayer, R. C. (2005). Trust in management and performance: Who minds the
shop while the employees watch the boss? Academy of Management Journal, 48, 874-888.

Mishra, A. K. (1996). Organizational responses to crisis: The centrality of trust. In R. Kramer &
T. Tyler (Eds.), Trust in organizations (pp. 261-287). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Will Higher Education Need to Restructure to Keep Costs Low?

Tuition costs are slowing and will land somewhere around inflation (2-3%) according to a Moody's Survey last year. The reasons why this slowing of tuition rates has many factors that include public awareness and new technology. To keep costs lowering new technology is likely to force many traditional universities to change the way they view themselves and their roles in society.

Consider the cost of buildings, taxes, sports teams, laboratories, and other overhead that large land-grant universities must endure. Elite schools may have large endowments but many state schools must find a way to keep their costs low while ensuring the quality stays high. Public money comes with public scrutiny over its use.

The cost of college is of major concern to legislators and students. It has been rising steadily over the past decade and now increased scrutiny over spending has made its way into the government halls. Officials are looking for ways to retard growth while students are seeking to find alternative methods of getting an education through Moocs and certificates.

Technology is also making its way into the equation and putting pressure on universities to adapt and streamline. Online education has the potential to put downward pressure on costs but creates problems for full-time professors who must have employment incentives for getting Ph.D.s.

The very models of higher education will need to change if it is to overcome public scrutiny, retain quality professors, lower costs, and improve quality. New technologies can be added on top and are a primary strategy of handling costs issues. However, eventually without adjusting the entire platform, it will be on the rise again. The process of funding and the way in which we think about education must change if we hope to improve cost effectiveness.