Literature Review- Block Chain Technologies and Crypto Currency as Financial Assets

Literature Review- Block Chain Technologies and Crypto Currency as Financial Assets

Literature Review- Block Chain Technologies and Crypto Currency as Financial Assets


Block chain technologies and cryptocurrencies have emerged as a new and rapidly evolving field in the world of finance. Cryptocurrencies, in particular, have gained significant attention as a potential new financial asset that could challenge traditional currencies and financial instruments. The performance of cryptocurrencies as an investment, the impact of government cryptocurrency adoption on the economy and financial system, and the effect of blockchain technology on the stock market are the topics that were utilized to collect the data. This literature review will examine three articles that explore various aspects of block chain technologies and cryptocurrencies as financial assets.

The literature review articles were sourced from the Monroe College library’s PROQUEST and EBSCOhost databases. Useful supplementary data was obtained from scholarly books, magazines, newspapers, and articles. They aided in the collection of data pertinent to the study of green cloud computing’s effects on preserving the natural world. Articles from scholarly publications were retrieved online using a variety of search engines as well as by entering the title directly into the website of the respective publication’s publisher.

Review of Literature

The evolving of blockchain technology

Cobert et al. (2018) extensively researched blockchain technology and the essential topics in such markets. The authors come from higher learning institutions like Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin. The authors present the study in 2018 about the major topic since the development of Bitcoin as a financial asset in 2009 up to 2018. The main areas of the research paper include how blockchain technology has evolved, the developments happening in such markets, and unique issues about such demands. The researchers wanted to analyze various literature surrounding the growth of blockchain markets.

The authors also explain that direct transactions and payments between parties could be at risk of pricing bubbles. Cobert et al. (2018) suppose that this currency could endure the problem of price bubbles because of the recent increase in the price of Bitcoin. The new technology in finance will impact financial regulations because it brings forth a new set of currencies that traders will engage in. Companies that diversify to this technology are better positioned to earn returns as their income is also diversified. The authors suggest that Bitcoin technology consumes more energy in the present than before. Other studies indicate that bitcoin technology only consumes a little power since mining costs exceed revenue.

Minimization of risks

Masoomzadeh and Salmani (2022) presume that all other research in the past has been focusing in the risks of stock exchange. They put effort in explaining the relationship between blockchain and the market of stock exchange. Masoomzadeh and Salmani (2022) determine that the technology of blockchain could indeed be used to control several risks that arise in the stock market. The researchers, who are also members of Tabriz University, are qualified for such kind of research. These researchers embarked on research in the year 2021 in Iran.

           The authors used applied research to find and fulfill the purpose of the study. The analytical part of the research explained the analysis of various findings. Masoomzadeh and Salmani (2022) made effort to determine whether those companies in the business of stock trade would benefit from the improvisation of blockchain techniques, especially in Iran. The study period was between April 2011 to August 2021. The authors use documentaries and library means from the stock exchange of Iran to collect statistics for the research. The results show that the market share negatively affects the total risk. The total risk of the market rises by 0.01% when the market share of the stock rises by 1 percent. The study’s finding showed that the profits that companies can get out of transactions are inversely proportional to the risks they face. Most importantly, blockchain technology positively influences risk since it increases risk by 0.0002.

Adoption of cryptocurrency strategies

               Mahdavieh (2019) conducted research to analyze the characteristics of kleptocratic regimes and how these attributes help to adopt cryptocurrency strategies of the government. The paper by Mahdavieh (2020) was impactful in showing that developing countries like Iran have suffered a lot from the restrictions of the first world countries like America. The authors were determining whether the national governments are likely to implement new cryptocurrency policies, especially in kleptocratic regimes.

               The research methodology was a complex analysis of statistics to determine the relationship between dependent and independent variables. The author used Mill’s method of agreement to establish whether attributes lead to the same outcome, thus confirming the correlation. The author also went further to conduct a comparative case study of the three countries. The findings of the study showed that cryptocurrency is initially part of the citizens of Iran, Russia, and Venezuela. The citizens of these countries share the attributes of a depreciating currency because of the sanctions from the West. Sanctions from western nations like the US continue to depreciate the value and progress of the economy.

Analysis of Literature

Cobert et al. (2018) provides a comprehensive overview of cryptocurrencies as a financial asset, with a focus on their performance as an investment. The authors review the literature on cryptocurrency pricing, volatility, and correlation with traditional assets such as stocks and bonds. They also analyze the role of macroeconomic factors such as interest rates, inflation, and economic growth in affecting cryptocurrency prices. On the other hand, Mahdavieh (2019) examines the motivations behind these countries’ decisions to adopt native cryptocurrencies and the potential benefits and risks of government-issued cryptocurrencies. The authors analyze each country’s economic and political context and discuss the legal and regulatory frameworks governing cryptocurrency adoption. Masoomzadeh and Salmani (2022) examined the effect of blockchain technology on the Iranian stock market and its volatility during the COVID-19 crisis. The researchers give an outline of blockchain technology and its possible applications in the financial field, as well as an analysis of the Iranian stock market before and during the crisis.

The articles have different strengths and limitations. Cobert et al. (2018) article’s strengths include its systematic and comprehensive analysis of the literature, which provides a thorough understanding of the topic. The authors use a quantitative approach and provide statistical evidence to support their arguments, which is different from other articles. However, the article’s limitations include its focus solely on cryptocurrencies as an investment, rather than their potential as an intermediary in the exchange. Mahdavieh (2019) article’s strengths include its in-depth analysis of the case studies, which provides insight into the potential motivations and outcomes of government cryptocurrency adoption. However, the article’s limitations include its focus solely on three countries, which may limit its generalizability to other contexts. Masoomzadeh and Salmani (2022) article’s strengths include its focus on the effect of blockchain technology on the stock market, which is a relatively unexplored area of research. The authors also provide an analysis of the Iranian stock market, which may be of interest to scholars and policymakers. However, the article’s limitations include its narrow focus on the Iranian stock market and its reliance on secondary data sources.

Cobert et al. (2018) article is suitable for gaining an understanding of the performance of cryptocurrencies as an investment and the factors that affect their prices. Its systematic approach and statistical evidence make it a reliable source for this topic. Mahdavieh (2019) article is suitable for gaining an understanding of the motivations behind government cryptocurrency adoption and the potential benefits and risks of such adoption. Its in-depth case studies make it a valuable source for this topic. Masoomzadeh and Salmani (2022) article is suitable for gaining an understanding of the potential effect of blockchain technology on the stock market and its volatility during crises. Its focus on a specific country and context may limit its generalizability, but its analysis of the Iranian stock market is still valuable.


Corbet, S., Lucey, B., Urquhart, A., & Yarovaya, L. (2019). Cryptocurrencies as a financial asset: A systematic analysis.  International Review of Financial Analysis,  62, 182-199.

Mahdavieh, R. (2019). Governments’ Adoption of Native Cryptocurrency: A Case Study of Iran, Russia, and Venezuela. Retrieved from

Masoomzadeh, S., & Salmani, B. (2022). The Blockchain Revolution and the Volatility of Stock market in Iran During the COVID-19 Crisis. Retrieved from

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Book Review: The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog

This assignment aims to analyze the text, The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog by Bruce D. Perry and Maia Szalavitz.

By completing this assignment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following competencies and behaviors:

Competency 4: Engage in Practice-Informed Research and Research-Informed Practice.​
C4.GP.B: Apply critical thinking to engage in the analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings.​
Related Assignment Criterion:
2. Integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge.​
Competency 6: Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.​
C6.GP.A: Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies.​
Related Assignment Criterion:
5. Apply theories to social work practice using a case study about an individual or family and using the person-in-environment perspective.
Competency 7: Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.
​C7.GP.B: Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies.
​Related Assignment Criterion:
5. Apply theories to social work practice using a case study about an individual or family and using the person-in-environment perspective.
Competency 8: Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.
​C8.GP.B: Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies.
​Related Assignment Criterion:
5. Apply theories to social work practice using a case study about an individual or family and using the person-in-environment perspective.
Competency 9: Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.
​C9.GP.B: Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to evaluate outcomes.
​Related Assignment Criterion:
5. Apply theories to social work practice using a case study about an individual or family and using the person-in-environment perspective.
Assignment Description
After reading the book, you will answer the questions listed below. Some questions will solicit your personal opinions or experiences, while others require you to cite evidence to support your response. Still others will require you to provide examples to support your work. All questions require you to think critically about what you read. To show comprehensive analysis in response to each question, you will need to do the following:

Integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge.
Use social work databases as appropriate to support responses.
Use scholarly evidence to inform analysis of social work practice.
Use the textbook materials to apply the person-in-environment perspective in social work practice to the individual or family in the case study.
Remember this is a written assignment, and it should follow current APA formatting for written assignment submission.
Assignment Instructions
Answer the following questions using the guidelines provided above:

In the introduction to The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, Perry distinguishes between being human and humane (Perry & Szalavitz, 2017, p. 12).
What are the differences? Provide a personal or historical example to illustrate your point.
What is the author’s main idea? Summarize it in 1–2 sentences. Does he consistently come back to this idea in each case he examines? Explain using examples from the various chapters.
In many sessions Dr. Perry has with the children, he describes doing a coloring activity with them. How does this help his relationship with the children? What are some of his techniques?
Do the children you read about in The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog have an opportunity to experience a normal adult life? Explain your answer; cite the text if possible.
In Chapter 4, “Skin Hunger,” Perry describes and explains the concept of the “failure to thrive” (Perry & Szalavitz, 2017, pp. 89–91). What does this mean? What key points about the ability to thrive were made in the chapter? What are some of the causes and lasting problems associated with the condition?
What is a good environment? Does this vary based on cultural or economic reasons?
According to the text, why was Tina unable to behave normally for a child her age? Is she a “lost cause,” as they say, or does she still have the ability to overcome the difficulties of her youth? Cite the text, and provide evidence to support your opinion.
In Chapter 5, “The Coldest Heart,” Leon is diagnosed as a sociopath (Perry & Szalavitz, 2017, pp. 112–113). In your well-read opinion, who is responsible for his condition? Explain, providing textual support and evidence. What can we learn from his story?
Summarize the story of Chapter 6, “The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog,” in 5–8 sentences. What lessons did Dr. Perry learn from Connor and Justin?
Which is more important, nature, which is biology, or nurture, which is the environment? Provide an example.
Are the roles of socioeconomic class and race important elements in the work that Dr. Perry does? Does he handle these issues well? Explain.
What is RAD (Perry & Szalavitz, 2017, pp. 192–194)? How does a child acquire the disorder, and what are the symptoms?
In his conclusion, Dr. Perry gives a summation of his ideas. What are some of the ways in which Dr. Perry suggests children, and all people, can thrive?
In Chapter 11, “Healing Communities,” Dr. Perry states, “The world we live in now is biologically disrespectful” (Perry & Szalavitz, 2017, p. 262). Explain what he means, and interpret the idea. Do you agree?
Perry, B. D., & Szalavitz, M. (2017). The boy who was raised as a dog: And other stories from a child psychiatrist’s notebook—What traumatized children can teach us about loss, love, and healing (3rd ed.). Basic Books.

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Literature Review: Parental perceptions & green space

First idea: design




Second idea: Time & Habits



Third idea: Parental perceptions & green space



Please you already write about these 7 articles in annotated biography, it’s just now in-text citation and all together in three pages. try to organize them as they are three ideas.

Also in the files, you will find pictures to help organize the 3 ideas from the 7 articles. and your old work about annotated biography that has the same 7 articles.

Please I want you to weave the grouped articles to develop arguments relevant to the research question. ”  

What is social interaction in Porter Ranch park?”

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At Literature Review of industry life cycle

  1. At Literature Review of industry life cycle

The concept of industry life cycle relates to the various stages that an industry moves through right from initial product entry up to its eventual decline. Typically, there are five stages or phases in the industry lifecycle. Gort and Klepper (1982) originally identified these five stages. These five stages include the early stage, innovation phase, shakeout or cost phase, maturity phase and finally decline phase. The work of Klepper (1997) explored the concept of industry life cycles. His work reviewed a series of evidence on the entry, exit, corporate survival, and product innovation and organization structure in new and emerging industries in order to assess if these industries go through the regular business cycles as they progress towards old age.  His work acted as a clear depiction of what happens in the evolution of modern-age industries, and the product life cycle is what is used in elucidating this evidence. Yoo (2000) explored the theory of the Industry Life Cycle by deriving an equilibrium timing of both entries and exits, coupled with the equilibrium output levels spanning the entire industrial life cycle period.  His work also examined the effects of a rise in entry costs. Employing an extended model having three entrants, his work indicated that the very first entry might effectively be delayed with the third firm and that the less efficient company may be used as the first entrant in certain exceptional cases. Maksimovic and Phillips (2008) examined industry life cycle about acquisition and investment. Their main work was however aimed at finding out if really, the firm organization matters in this process.

Volpato and Stocchetti (2008) explored the management of product life cycles in the auto manufacturing industry. They did this by evaluating the effectiveness of the carmakers using the product life-cycle model. Their work discovered certain interesting results about the product life cycle. The first one is that the new product development process must be timed appropriately by planning about several generation of  a product  that is to be developed on a similar platform as opposed to basing it on the next generation model only. Transition management from the marketing point of view must be conducted in order to ensure a successful sale of products. Product policy in the product life cycle process such as differentiation is not as effective as product innovation. Simons (2011) explored the characteristics of product markets and industry life cycle.  Giachetti, Marchi, and Corradini (2012) presented the best work on the concept of industry life cycle within the technology-based arena. Their work explored the evolution of company’s product strategy over the entire life cycle of information technology industries. The most interesting point that can be extracted from their work is that the global mobile phone industry experienced or entered the shake-out/cost phase in the 2000s. Strategy has therefore shifted from product towards process innovation. Innovation is also noted to play a major role in industry maturity.

1.1 Phases of industry life cycle

The work of Dinlersoz and MacDonald (2009) identified the following five phases in the development and maturity of an industry.

  1. Early Stage Phase- This is an alternative product design as well as positioning stage. It involves the establishment of range as well as boundaries within  a given industry
  2. Innovation Phase- In this stage, product innovation is noted to decline while process innovation kicks in. It is at this phase that the ‘dominant design’ arrives
  3. Shakeout Phase- At this stage, firms settle on their ‘dominant design’ and they achieve their economies of scale. This forces the smaller industry players to exit or be acquired. Barriers of entry get extremely high and large-scale consolidation is achieved.
  4. Maturity- In this stage, growth is noted to be no longer the focus and both cash flow and market share become the main goal of firms that are left in operation.
  5. Decline – At this stage, industries experience a decline in revenues. A new industry may replace the existing industry as a whole

This literature review indicates that there is a general lack of literature or knowledge on the role of industry life cycle in the development and marketing of information technology-based products and services such as the Android Smartphone technology system. In this paper, we explore this gap in knowledge through a critical analysis of the Smartphone industry. A case in point is how and when the Android OS changed the smartphone life cycle as depicted in Ferreira’s (2011) article.

2.0 Three themes that are present in Ferreira’s (2011) article titled “Android OS changes Smartphone life cycle

A review of Ferreira’s (2011) work indicates three main dominant themes. These are changing nature of customer needs, technological advancement and corporate social responsibility.

2.1 Changing customer need

The global smartphone ecosystem is rapidly changing because of the dynamic nature of consumer needs. For companies to remain competitive, they must be able to identify with the rapidly changing consumer needs and then prioritize their aims and objectives along these lines. The smartphone industry has seen a phenomenal growth in user experience and operating system development. The Android operating system, a derivation of Linux operating system has rapidly shifted consumer demands from the iOS-powered iPhone to Android operating system devices.

Consumers’ need for stylish and highly multi-functional cell phones is what has driven the development of smartphones and their respective operating systems (Lin and Ye, 2008, p.617). Manufacturers and other players within the smartphone ecosystem need to monitor the dynamism of consumer needs in order help them in gaining a competitive advantage. Advancements within the smartphone ecosystem are continuously increasing and surpassing one another as new versions are constantly hitting the market at great speeds.  According to Kano’s theory of customer satisfaction, customer satisfaction is directly proportional to the degree to which a given product or service is adequately functional. The changing nature of customer needs has led to constant operating system upgrades.

2.2 Technological advancement

Advances in technology have created several innovations within the smartphone ecosystem. The advent of the Android operating system has resulted in the creation of better and more efficient smartphone systems. The Android technology offers a perfect example of how technology can be can be leveraged to enhance user experience (Ho & Chen, 2011)

2.3 Corporate Social Responsibility

Kotler and Lee (2005) defined the concept of corporate social responsibility as “a commitment to improve community well-being through discretionary business practices and contributions of corporate resources” (p.3).  This means that a given business entity must have objectives that surpass financial gains.  Within the smartphone ecosystem, players must ensure that all hardware and software applications are built while having the benefits to the community and environment in mind. In the past, the global smartphone industry was heavily criticized for building their hardware from minerals sourced through illegitimate and conflict-ridden sources. Titanium, Gold, Tungsten and Tin, the base materials for smartphones’ electronics were for long sourced from the eastern Democratic Republic. These minerals were being sourced in places where countless number lives were lost due to blood money generated from the illegal mining and smuggling activities in those areas. In other words, the money from minerals bought by the manufacturers of smartphones was being used to fund armed militias. This calls for some sort of accountability and social responsibility.  In is also important for smartphone application developers to ensure that their products consume less electricity or energy. This was they would be advancing the global sustainability agenda.

  • Industry background of smartphone industry life cycle  diagram and it’s industry analysis (use graphs) 

A review of extant literature suggests that the smartphone industry is approaching its maturity phase. The global smartphone industry is currently at an advanced growth phase. It is actually towards the end of the growth phase and is fact-approaching maturity. Innovation is noted to be the key driver of this industry towards maturity (West & Mace, 2007).


Fig.1 Smartphone industry life cycle

Industry analysis

Introduction phase

The smartphone industry came into being in 1993 with the introduction of IBM Simon. This phone had PDA capabilities and was, arguably, the very first smartphone (Reed, 2010). This phase ended sometime in 1999.

Growth phase

The Smartphone industry entered its growth phase in 2002 with the multiple releases of smartphones such as Palm One, Pocket PC and BlackBerry. This stage has had a steady rise but was recently forecasted to headed for a slump in growth rates (Kuittinen, 2013)

3.1 Apple industry life cycle and its analysis 

A review of Apple Inc operations reveals that its industry life cycle is a unique one. This is due to the nature of product life cycles that it maintains for virtually all of its products. According to Yadegari (2012), apple has a way of ensuring that its products are always in the introduction and growth phases. In this company, the introduction stage includes the release of the original iPad, iPhone as well as iPod. When it comes to the growth stage, the company has a way of maintaining its products in this stage and to them “backwards”


Fig.2 Apple’s industry life cycle

Within the product life cycle, instead of allowing its products to reach maturity phase, it releases new and improved features. The company does this by improving its product quality, styles and well as improving its technology. This is best seen in the way it handles its products such as iPad Mini and iMac product ranges.

Smartphones 3

Fig. 3 iPhone product life cycle (Euromonitor, 2011)

Apple’s makes minor upgrades to its hardware as well as features with every version. A perfect example is the use of product extension in its product ranges.  This is aimed at taking care of the needs of various consumer segments.  At a time when iPhone was approaching its maturity stage, it released a low-cost model of its iPhone 4 that has no front-facing camera as well as retina display. Euromonitor (2011) reiterated this to have been an excellent offer to the late notes this adopted in the emerging economies such as India and China.

3.2 Samsung industry life cycle and its analysis 

Samsung is an undisputed leader in the realm product life cycle design.  The continuing rise in demand for smartphones coupled with competition that gets worse everyday makes indicates that the smartphone industry is at growth phase. This means that Samsung Mobile is at its growth phase as a company. The product life cycle of Samsung products is less than a year.

  • Critique of existing industry life cycle models and a review if they are valuable in today’s industry and what is it that it is missing. 

The concept of industry life cycle is, in a profound one. This is because companies can use it in setting out their short and long-term objectives. A company that knows that it operates in an industry at an advanced or mature stage must consider venturing into other industries with growth potential while those that operate within a growing industry must formulate strategies for gaining a competitive advantage and accumulating as must profit as possible. 

      Despite its noble potential, the concept of industry life cycle as conceptual frameworks fails to consider the importance of services to every industry. The work of Cusano, Suarez and Kahl (2007) noted that existing models of industry life cycle main focuses on the changes in both products and services but with a conspicuous failure to explore the role of services in the cycle. There is therefore a need for the role of services at various stages in industry evolution to be incorporated into the existing industry life cycle models.



Cussamano, M., Suarez, F. S., & Steve, K. (2007). Product,Process,Service:A New Industry Lifecycle Model. Massachussets: Massachussets Institute of Technology.

Dinlersoz, E., & MacDonald, G. (2009). The industry life cycle of the size distribution of firms. Review of Economic Dynamics , 648–667.

Eurominitor. (2011, August 2). Smartphones Strategy: Case Studies . Retrieved 5 24, 2013, from Euromonitor:

Ferreira, A. (2011). Android OS changes smartphone life cycle.

Giachetti, C., Marchi, G., & Corradini, R. (2012). Users’ Ability to Anticipate Incremental and Radical Innovation in Online Communities: The Role of Product Knowledge and Willingness to Participate in the Community Life. Working Paper No. 15/2012. Department of Management, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia.

Gort, M., & Klepper, S. (1982). Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations. 630-53.

Ho, T., & Chen, R. (2011). Leveraging NFC and LBS Technologies to Improve User Experiences. International Joint Conference on Service Science (pp. 17-21). Taipei, Taiwan: IEEE.

Klepper, S. (1997). Industry Life Cycles. Vol 6 (1) (pp. 145-81). Oxford University Press.

Kotler, P., & Lee, N. (2005). Corporate Social esponsibility: Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Kuittinen, T. (2013, April 4). How Dangerous is the Current Smartphone Slowdown? Retrieved May 24, 2013, from

Lin, F., & Ye, W. (2009). Operating System Battle in the Ecosystem of Smartphone Industry. 2009 International Symposium on Information Engineering and Electronic Commerce (pp. 617-621). IEEE.

Maksimovic, V., & Phillips, G. (2008). The Industry Life Cycle, Acquisitions and Investment: Does Firm Organization Matter? Journal of Finance , 673-709.

Reed, B. (2010, June 18). A Brief History of Smartphones. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from

Simons, K. L. (2011). Product Market Characteristics and the Industry Life Cycle. New York: Economics Department, Rensselae.

Volpato, G., & Stocchetti, A. (2008). Managing product life-cycle in the auto industry: evaluating carmakers effectiveness. MPRA Paper 29381. Germany: University Library of Munich.

West, J., & Mace, M. ( 2007). ENTERING A MATURE INDUSTRY THROUGH INNOVATION: APPLE S IPHONE. Paper presented at the DRUID Summer Conference 2007,, June 18 – 2. Copenhagen, CBS, Denmark.

Yadegari, S. (2012, October 24). Apple Inc. and the product life cycle. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from WordPress:

Yoo, J. (2000). A Theory of Industry Life Cycle. JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT,Vol 25 (1) .

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Compile a strategic plan for the executive committee to review

Barbara was recently hired as a regional manager for the Urgent Care Clinic Organization (UCCO). One of her first tasks is to compile a strategic plan for the executive committee to review. The overall goal of the strategic plan is to identify specific actionable items that can better position the clinic organization.

For this assignment on UCCO, complete a minimum 2-page summary to explain why the organization should devote time to planning and why a strategic plan is needed.

Visit the Rasmussen online Library and search for a minimum of 4 articles covering the topics of strategic planning and healthcare management. Conduct academic research using the library’s databases, like:

  • Discovery
  • Business Source Complete via EBSCO
  • Business via ProQuest
  • What can a healthcare organization accomplish with the strategic planning process?
  • What would you recommend as areas of focus for Barbara’s strategic plan?
  • Discuss how Barbara can achieve a balance between historical and current topics in healthcare?
  • How should she apply them for her strategic plan?
  • What type(s) of primary and secondary research would you recommend Barbara conduct? What are the benefits? Explain.

Remember to integrate citations accurately and appropriately for all resource types; use attribution (credit) as a method to avoid plagiarism. Use NoodleTools to document your sources and to complete your APA formatted reference page and in-text citations.

Transferable Skills for this Project Stage:

  • Information Literacy

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Literature Review: Acute Coronary Syndrome

Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is caused by lack of adequate blood in the heart. In particular, the condition occurs when the coronary arteries are blocked hence limiting their ability to supply oxygenated blood to the heart muscles. Unstable angina refers to the chest discomfort that is caused by the lack of enough blood flow. Unstable angina is more severe compared to stable angina but less severe than myocardial infarction. Unstable angina which is also known as the angina pectoris is characterized by pain in the chest. When the left anterior descending artery is occluded, the walls of the left ventricle, the interventricular septum and other parts are affected. When the right coronary artery is affected the right atrium and the left ventricle become ischemic. On the other hand, when the circumflex artery is occluded the left ventricle, atrium, fasciculus, and the bundle branches become ischemic.

Acute coronary syndrome

The etiology of this condition focuses on the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. The process starts with endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial dysfunction refers to a condition whereby the inner linings of the endothelium fail to function properly. Remember, the endothelium plays an important role in regulating blood clotting but this function is likely to be affected by several conditions including metabolic syndrome, hypertension, smoking and inactivity.  According to Balasubramaniam, Viswanathan, Marshall and Zaman (2012) endothelial dysfunction is characterized by an imbalance between vasodilating and vasoconstricting substances, and an increase in leucocyte adhesion, hence leading to vascular reactivity. Ultimately, endothelial dysfunction leads to atherosclerosis. 

According to the American Heart Association, more than a million people are affected by this condition every year. In 2006 alone, more than 1.4 million patients were discharged with a primary or secondary diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome. Currently, more than 7 million people are living with this condition. Beside death, coronary heart disease can lead to premature, chronic disability to the affected patients. Following a discharge, patients suffering from acute coronary syndrome require re-hospitalization within the first six months. One in every five patients diagnosed with non-ST elevation myocardial infarction and ST-segment elevation, dies after hospitalizations. In total, acute coronary syndrome accounts for half of all mortality related to cardiovascular diseases. The cost of rehabilitating patients with acute coronary syndrome is enormous. The direct costs of treatment are estimated to be $75 billion while the indirect costs of treating patients with acute coronary syndrome are more than $142 billion.

A number of studies have been conducted to examine the threat of ACS among the American population. One such study was conducted by Doyle, Simon, and Stenzel-Poore (2008) using a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance. Using self-reported data, the researchers found out that the Southern Eastern states are the ones that are heavily affected by the ACS menace. The study analyzed the risk factors that are responsible for the high prevalence rates in the South Eastern states. One of the risk factor that was examined is the ethnic background and socioeconomic status. The southern eastern part is mainly occupied by minority communities including the blacks and the socioeconomic status of the occupants there is much lower compared to the rest of the nation. The high prevalence rate can also be explained by the lifestyle factors such smoking. The southeasterners also suffer from contributing diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart diseases and hypertension. Due to the high prevalence rates, death rates as a result of ACS are also significantly higher, in the southeastern regions, compared to the other parts around the nation.

ACS has affected other developed countries. In the UK, ACS is a leading cause of disability, and a leading cause of death. Currently, there are around 1 million ACS survivors while an estimated 150,000 people are diagnosed with ACS every year. The majority of those affected by ACS in the UK are the elderly and the leading risk factor is obesity. In England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, 25% of the whole population is considered obese. The levels of activity among the residents in these four countries are also very low and this explains why ACS is responsible for a significant percentage of deaths that are reported in the country. Overall, £ 8 billion is spent in ACS-related costs.

Developing countries have not also been spared either. In India the prevalence of ACS has been on the rise and this occurrence has been attributed to an increase in the aged population. In Cuba, the crude mortality from ACS is 84 per 100,000 population while in the neighboring countries it is the second leading cause of death (Bonita & Beaglehole, 2871). Just like in India, a significant percentage of the total population in Cuba is made up of elderly people. Incidences of ACS in the developing countries are attributed to several factors. Firstly, low and medium income earning countries account for almost 80% of all chronic noncommunicable diseases that are reported in the world. At the same time, the local population in the developing countries continues to engage in lifestyle choices such as eating high-fat diets, smoking and living a sedentary lifestyle. As the residents continue to adopt the western lifestyle it is expected that the prevalence of ACS will continue to rise. These statistics illustrate to us that ACS is a serious condition which takes huge resources to rehabilitate patients. In addition, the disease has an adverse effect due to the loss in productivity. It is on this basis that it becomes important to evaluate the events surrounding the disease and how it can be prevented and managed.

Literature review

Acute cardiovascular syndrome is a form of cardiovascular disease and is a leading cause of death in the America. Death results when the atherosclerotic plaque breaks up hence stimulating platelet aggregation and thrombus formation. The thrombus formed then prevents myocardial perfusion.  Remember, the myocardial cells require oxygen to function properly but the formation of the thrombus restricts the supply of the oxygen hence increasing the myocardial demand for the oxygen. As a result, the ischemic tissues become necrotic leading to decreased renal perfusion. Ultimately, decreased renal perfusion stimulates the release of renin, angiotensin, aldeosterone, antidiuretic hormone hence increasing workload of myocardium.

Balasubramaniam, Viswanathan, Marshall and Zaman (2012) evaluated the role of the endothelial cells in the atherosclerosis process. In the article Balasubramaniam, Viswanathan, Marshall and Zaman Balasubramaniam (2012) argues that endothelial dysfunction plays a pivotal role in the expression of atherosclerosis.  When the endothelium becomes impaired it fails to maintain vascular homeostasis. As a result, a number of abnormalities are experienced and they include loss of nitric oxide, over-production of vasoconstrictors, and reduction of the ability to control inflammation, thrombosis and cell growth.  The endothelium also plays the role of producing vasodilators such as nitric oxide, and prostacyclin while regulating the effect of vasoconstrictors such as endothelin-1 and angiotensin. The loss of vasodilators and over-production of vasoconstrictors affects the integrity of the arteries. One such vasoconstrictor is angiotensin. Angiotensin not only plays an important role in the loss of normal arterial compliance and patency, but it also mediates the plaque weakening process in a number of ways. Firstly, it leads to the up-regulation of the IL6 gene which is produced by the plaque microphages. Secondly, it leads to the up-regulation of the MMP genes which then lead to the degradation of the plaque fibrous cap. Thirdly, it leads to the activation of the nitrogen-activated protein kinase cascades and tyrosine kinases. Finally, it mediates the stimulation of neo-vascularisation.

In the article, Balasubramaniam, Viswanathan, Marshall and Zaman (2012) further look at the impact of the risk factors such as diabetes in the progression of atherosclerosis. In their view, diabetes mellitus is a strong predictor, and the studies that have been conducted indicate that patients suffering from diabetes have very a little opportunity of recovering from ACS. Mortality rates for diabetes mellitus patients with acute myocardial infarction are also high. In this article, they also look at the role of endothelial NO synthase in the inflammation process. As a vasodilator, eNOS plays an important plays an important role in preventing leukocyte (Balasubramaniam, Viswanathan, Marshall & Zaman, 2012) adhesion while maintaining the antiflammatory state of the endothelium. However, the ACS leads to the low production of eNOS and the endothelial cells are activated to produce vascular cell adhesion molecules such as the VCAM-1 and ICAM-1. These vascular cell-adhesion cells promote the adhesion of the leukocytes to the endothelial surface. 

In this article, Balasubramaniam, Viswanathan, Marshall and Zaman (2012) further argue that diabetes increases the platelet aggregation and adhesion process in several ways. Firstly, the condition leads to reduced platelet membrane fluidity. Secondly, the condition leads to increased production of thromboxane, hence increasing platelet sensitivity. Thirdly, it increases the expression of platelet adhesion molecules and the number of platelets. These two actors play an important role in the pro-coagulant activity. Fourthly, diabetes increases the expression of platelet surface receptors and generation thrombin. Fifthly, diabetes mellitus reduces the sensitivity of the platelets to the effects of the vasodilators. Sixthly, platelets of patients with diabetes mellitus are rich in cytokines and chemokines which contribute to inflammation of the endothelium. These findings are supported by Al Thani et. al. (2012) who concluded that diabetes is an independent predictor for presence of polyvascular diseases and ACS.

Another study that was conducted by Zhong, Tang, Zeng, Wang, Yi, Meng, Mao, and Mao (2012) investigated the role of cholesterol content in atherosclerotic plaque progression. Zhong et al. (2012) used a sample of 136 participants. The researchers assessed the cholesterol content of erythrocyte membranes. It is well acknowledged that cholesterol plays an important role in plaque formation. The key feature of the plaque formation is the erythrocyte membrane. Erythrocyte membrane is a key source of cholesterol in plaques. Their findings are supported by () who found out that CEM in ACS patients is significantly higher that in patients with stable angina pectoris. In the study, Zhong, Tang, Zeng, Wang, Yi, Meng, Mao, and Mao (2012 also (2012) investigated some of the factors that determine the size of the plaque in the artery. Obviously, the amount of the cholesterol determines the size of the lipid core. The researchers concluded that erythrocytes played a major role in plaque expansion by increasing the lipid content. In addition, they argued that cholesterol encouraged apoptosis of macrophages and formation of foam cells.

The role of the low-density lipoproteins as a cause of ACS was investigated by Meisinger, Baumert, Khuseyinova, Loewel, and Koenig (2005). Very Low-density lipoproteins are secreted from the liver, and are then converted to low-density lipoproteins (LDLs).  LDLs may accumulate in the artery wall if their rate of removal is low (Meisinger, Baumert, Khuseyinova, Loewel, & Koenig, 2005). The LDLs stimulate the endothelial cells to express the monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (Meisinger, Baumert, Khuseyinova, Loewel, & Koenig, 2005). MCP-1 then attracts monocytes from the blood. In addition, LDLs encourages differentiation of monocytes into macrophages. Macrophages promote the formation lipid-cell foam cells, which are the hallmark of the atherosclerosis process. Following this narration it is rather apparent that low-density proteins mark the start of atherosclerosis process, and its subsequent progression.

Plaque rupture

According to Kumar and Cannon (2009) the molecules in the endothelium mediate the adhesion of leukocytes on the endothelial surface. The monocytes penetrate the endothelial wall, where they interact with oxidized LDL, transforming into foam cells. The foam cells produce cytokines and other substances that maintain atherosclerosis progression. The plaque usually has a thin fibrous cap which is destabilized by the inflammation cells such as the monocytes, macrophages and T-cells. In the article titled, Coronary events, Armin, Masataka, Renu and Valentin (2012) revisit how the plaque forms and how it later erupts. An atherosclerotic plaque normally has a large necrotic core but a small layer of the fibrous cap. The expansion of the atherosclerotic plaque is facilitated by the accumulation of free cholesterol, and macrophage infiltration. The fibrous cap only has a few smooth muscle tissues and is often inhabited by macrophages and T lymphocytes. Once the fibrous cap erupts, it exposes the thrombogenic materials to the blood stream.  Following the rupture of the plaque, thrombi are formed. It is the rupture of the fibrous cap that leads to the development of unstable angina and myocardial infarction.

A lot of research has focused on how the plaque ruptures. One likely cause is the accumulation of T-lamphocytes and microphages-derived foam cells which secrete cytokines and proteolytic enzymes leading to the depletion of smooth muscle cells. The apoptosis of smooth muscle cells is promoted by the mast cells which are abundant in the plaque. The reduction of the smooth muscle cells impairs the repair process. Remember, smooth muscle cells produce the cap-stabilizing collagen and so a significant reduction of the cells is likely to have deleterious effects. Plaque rupture is also facilitated by the blood flow-induced shear stress. It is assumed that as the plaque grows, the tensile stress on the plaque shoulders increases hence leading to fissuring and subsequent rupturing. Armin, Masataka, Renu and Valentin (2012) found out that areas of low shear stress had advanced plaques than areas with high stress. Armin, Masataka, Renu and Valentin (2012) further notes that not all plaque ruptures lead to coronary events.

Armin, Masataka, Renu and Valentin (2012) examined the atherosclerotic process and the effect it has on the size of the artery. During the initial stage, the size of the artery is usually normal. In the second stage, as the plaque formation progresses, the artery remodels itself to avoid lumen encroachment. In the third stage, the plaque ruptures and hemorrhages leading to formation of intramural thrombi. Armin, Masataka, Renu and Valentin (2012 notes that mostly the plaque heals and continues to grow. Alternatively, the thrombogenic materials may be embolized distally leading to coronary arterial insufficiency or asymptomatic micro-infarctions. In the fourth stage, if the right conditions exist, the rupture of the plaque leads to the occlusion of the affected arteries.

In the article, Armin and his colleagues also looked at the interplay of factors that contribute to acute coronary event risk (2012). One factor is plaque burden which is determined by the blood viscosity, platelet function, stress and smoking (Armin, Masataka, Renu & Valentin, 2012). The other coronary plaque characteristic is lumen encroachment which depends on shear stress, circadian variation, obesity, catecholamine surge and pollution (Armin, Masataka, Renu & Valentin, 2012). Other coronary plaque characteristics include lesion locations, plaque composition, plaque biology, plaque configuration, endothelial dysfunction and plaque remodeling ((Armin, Masataka, Renu & Valentin, 2012).

On their part, David and Valentin (1999) looked at the activities surrounding the atheromatous plaques. The formation of plaques according to can be traced to the early lesions. Early lesions then grow bigger as the extracellular lipid and cholesterol content increase and fibrous cap grow thin. This development according to David and Valentin (1999) occurs in 5 phases. During phase 1 the development of lesion types I-III occurs while in the phase 2, lesion types IV and Va develops (David & Valentin, 1999). Plaque disruption starts from phase 3, eventually leading to the growth of more complicated plaques. The acute coronary syndrome occurs in phase IV, when plaques are more complicated (David &Valentin, 1999). However, plaques may fail to rupture and occlude the affected arteries. Such plaques characterize the last stage of the plaque development.

Clinical sequellae and symptoms

The eruption of the fibrous cap exposes the content of the plaque to the blood elements. In addition, an alteration of the blood flow is experienced around the ruptured plaque and the blood flow supporting myocardial distal is reduced (David &Valentin, 1999). Vasoconstriction at the site of the ruptured plaque makes coronary events to become much more severe. (David &Valentin, 1999) If the ruptured plaque does not significantly disrupt the flow of the blood, only an asymptomatic progression of the lesion is experienced (David &Valentin, 1999). On the other hand, if the rupture leads to complete vessel occlusion, acute myocardial infarction results (David &Valentin, 1999). The common symptoms of ACS include chest pain, arrhythmia, shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, heart palpitations, nausea, numbness, confusion, slurred speech, vertigo and headache.


Detection of atherosclerosis is one of the main objectives of the diagnostic tools. One such advancement is the use of plasma markers. One of the markers that have been used widely is the C-reactive protein and the lipoprotein associated phospholipase A2. Such markers are used to predict coronary events. Using peripheral blood has become popular due to the low cost that is associated with this process. An alternative method that is used in diagnosing coronary patients is the non-invasive imaging. Some of the imaging tools that can be used for identifying vulnerable carotid plaques include: ultrasound, MRI, nuclear imaging and X-Ray multi-detector. A CT angiogram and a nuclear scan could also be used to check the site of rupture and identify whether the arteries are constricted or blocked. Other diagnostic tests include an electrocardiogram, blood tests, chest X-ray, and coronary angiogram.


Reperfusion therapy

In the article titled, Acute coronary syndromes: diagnosis and management, Cannon and Kumar (2009) looks at the interventions for the acute coronary syndrome. Reperfusion therapy has been found to improve patient outcomes. The efficacy of reperfusion therapy in acute coronary syndrome was tested in a study that was conducted by Desai (2008). The 80 participants in this study were all ACS patients. The two researchers also compared the efficacy of the percutaneous balloon angioplasty and systematic thrombolysis. The two interventions were found to increase systolic and left ventricle functions.

Antithrombotic therapy

According to Kumar and Cannon (2009) the aim of this intervention is to maintain the patency of the infarct-related artery. Antithrombotic therapies are augmented by anti-platelet strategies such as aspirin and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonists. Antianginal therapy could also be used and use of nitrates to reverse the vasospasm, reduce the coronary blood flow at the site of rupture and the myocardial oxygen demand.

Coronary surgery and angioplasty

It is apparent that administration of anti-platelet and anti-thrombotic drugs improves the chances of survival to the patients. These drugs are often used before percutaneous coronary or surgery revascularization is performed. The coronary surgery is performed to bypass the affected portion of the coronary artery. The grafted artery goes around the area with the plaque, a process that creates a new path for oxygen-rich blood. The efficacy of coronary artery bypass surgery is supported by a study that was conducted Kumar and Cannon (2009). All the participants in this study had ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. The result of the study indicates that high-risk patients who undergo surgery intervention have very high chances of survival. An alternative to the bypass surgery is the percutaneous coronary surgery otherwise known as coronary angioplasty or balloon angioplasty. The process entails using a catheter with a balloon at the tip. Once in place, the balloon inflated to compress the plaque against the artery wall. This process targets unstable plaques which have thin fibrous caps, lipid full macrophages, and deficient smooth muscle cells. During balloon angioplasty, a stent is used to maintain the patency of the occluded arteries.


Al Thani, H., El-Menyar, A., Alhabib, K., Al-Motarreb, A., Hersi, A., Alfaleh, H., Asaad, N., Saif, S.A., Almahmeed, W., Sulaiman, K., Amin, H., Alsheikh-A., Alnemer, K. & Suwaidi, J. (2012). Polyvascular disease in patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome: its predictors and outcomes. Scientific World Journal, 2012, 284851

Armin, A., Masataka, N., Renu, V., & Valentin, F. (2012). Acute coronary events. Circulation, 10(1), 1147-1156

Balasubramaniam K, Viswanathan G, Marshall S, & Zaman A. (2012). Increased Atherothrombotic Burden in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus and Acute Coronary Syndrome: A Review of Antiplatelet Therapy. Cardiology Research and Practice, 2012, 1-18

Bonita, R., & Beaglehole, R. (2007). ACS prevention in poor countries: Time for action. Stroke, 38(11), 2871–2

David, E. G. & Valentin, F. (1999). Pathophysiology and clinical significance of atherosclerotic plaque rupture Cardiovascular Research, 41(2), 323-333

Desai, N.D. (2008). Pitfalls assessing the role of drug-eluting stents in multivessel coronary disease. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 85 (1), 25–7.

Doyle, K. P., Simon, R. P., & Stenzel-Poore, M. P. (2008).  Mechanisms of ischemic brain damage. Neuropharmacology, 55, 310.

Kumar, M.D. & Cannon, C. (2009). Acute coronary syndromes: Diagnosis and Management. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 84(10), 917-938

Meisinger, C., Baumert, J., Khuseyinova, N., Loewel, H. & Koenig, H. (2005). Plasma oxidized low-density lipoprotein, a strong predictor for acute coronary heart disease events in apparently healthy, middle-aged men from the general population. Circulation, 2; 112(5):651-7.

Zhong, Y., Tang, H., Zeng, Q., Wang, X., Yi, G., Meng, K., Mao, Y., & Mao, X. (2012). Total cholesterol content of erythrocyte membrane is associated with the severity of coronary artery disease and the therapeutic effect of rosuvastatin. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, 117(4): 390–398

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Literature Review: Learner Analytics and Visualization Techniques


Literature Review: Learner Analytics and Visualization Techniques

2.1 The Concept of learner analytics and Visualization Techniques

The concepts of learner analytics and visualization techniques have gained increased importance within the academic sphere. This segment of the paper reviews the two main concepts and underscores their importance in learner analytics. In recent year, study has begun to grow on the need for better measurement, tracking, and visualizations of information about learners. Research on learning analytics in many areas has developed so that it has been able to describe the number of activities to assist in the understanding and optimization of learning and the environments where learning occurs. It is necessary to organize information categorically so as to facilitate the human in directing information (Calude & Maurer, 2011). Visualizations that use different organizational views entailing the same information can be a remarkably effective aid.

Literature Review: Learner Analytics and Visualization Techniques

When it comes to co-located learning in a learning environment like the classroom, the learners find it way easier to cooperate with their teachers effectively. This is not the case in a digital environment or in an online classroom whereby both learners and teachers are separated by a substantial space but joined through technology. Thus, it is harder for teachers to assess the progress of learners and also be aware of what the learners require. Teachers would also find it harder to develop effective communication with their learners since such a plan does not support physical feedback from the learners. The learners also have difficulties in ensuring that what they are assigned to do meet the requirements of the teachers. However, there has been progress when it comes to learner analytics. This has evolved and has been able to describe various elements for instance tracking, visualization and analysis of data that has been obtained from learners. This data has been effective in analysis the behaviour of students.

With the increase in availability and also access to information, developments of a wide variety of visualization and data retrieval tools have been developed. This growth has been beneficial in learner analytics, especially to learners. Such tools are operated by users to identify data and knowledge that is relevant to the task at hand. This has helped users in the process of assessing, analyzing and visualizing information presented to them. Furthermore, it enables the users to internally consider the possible relationships among various diverse groups of data mentally (Leung 2011, p. 51).Sense-making activities in many cases usually result to accumulation of large amount of data, knowledge and information. This information is represented in form of external visual representations such as diagrams, graphs, documents and sketches. (Lytras, 2010).

The concepts of visual analytics and data visualizations have not been clearly distinguished previously. This is as a result of varied information that details how visualization tests have a relationship with visual analytics. Main objectives of information visualization involved creating effective interaction techniques for a given class of data and method of producing view.  Visual analytics is more than visualization. It is a fundamental way to integrate visualization, human factor and data analysis (Green, 2009). The problem arises when coming up with a solution is hard to achieve if the goal is to combine best –fit automated analysis algorithms and visual and interaction techniques. Visual analytics aims to give higher priority to data analytics from the start and through all interactions.

The learning from users’ behaviour and effective use of visualizations should play a pivotal role in the analytical process. Learning analytics in many cases seeks to advance brilliant combination of analytical approaches and advanced visualization techniques, which may play a crucial role when it comes to semantic analysis. In cases that the information is semantically rich, there is an increased chance that the information could be visualized in a variety of ways or levels. This is usually the choice of the visualization developer who decided upon how they would need the information to be presented (Olej, Obrsalova, & Krupka, 2011).

2.2       Learner Analytics Tools and Resources

At this point, learner analytics tools certainly play instrumental roles in relative procedures. This section reviews the various learner analytics tools and resources that are currently in the market. Studies conducted have been able to show that visualizations enable understanding and realization of patterns. There are several tools relevant to learner analytics. One such tool is SAM (Student Activity Meter) (Lytras, 2010). This tool is used to visualize the time spent on learning activities and material utilized in online learning environments.  Under SAM, several visualizations exist that promote collaboration and understanding among learners. An example of such visualizations includes systems that are utilized in order to increase the awareness of resources that are used. These can be through a timeline that provides a chronological account on the use of resource (Lytras, 2010). There is also second level that functions to classify data into indicators of a higher level. An example words counts are used to detail participation rates and are also related to a model.

SAM is tasked with the role of visualizing and analysis of activities that go on and resource are utilized.  SAM utilizes the first as it shows the activities that learners attempt in a given period of time. It applies the second characteristics by use of basic statistics resulting from time utilization. There also other systems which visualize learner analytics that are used by SAM.  CAMera is another such example used in visualizing the activities of a user and shows clear metric events. It utilizes the CAMera schema that entails capturing the interactions of a user through the use of tools and resources. SAM also uses computer based data even though in this case it focuses on higher-level indicators (Zimmermann & Cunningham, 2001). SAM as a tool is used not only by the teachers but by the learners in their individual learning environments. Teacher objectives are usually contained under SAM. Under SAM, the following objectives for teachers are supported.

Knowledge and understanding of the learning progress is one of the teacher’s objectives. This is a situation whereby the teachers are aware of what and how learners are doing so as to assess their progress. SAM provides visual overviews for the time that learner spend and the resources that these learners use .Comprehensive analysis of virtual learning cannot be achieved due to lack of face-to-face communication (Shrum & Glisan, 2009).Thus, relative visualizations provide reliable indicators for awareness. Teachers can also apply the visualizations to find patterns and be able to identify potential problems. Information on learner time tracking is also used which allows teachers to assess their initial stage estimates. This allows them to determine how time is spent by students who take part in various activities. Such information is also used in statistical researches regarding the process of learning. From this, popular learning materials are determined which lead to resource discovery.

Learner goals are also targeted under SAM objectives. This involves self-monitoring whereby self-reflection and understanding is realized. Furthermore, time tracking can help the learner understand his/her time allocation in comparison to their peers and support occasionally to reveal how much time is spent to the teacher. One of the objectives of SAM is to visualize when, on which resources and for what period of time students have been working when compared to their peers. Thus, when it comes to such goals, particular emphasis is placed on resource proposal that provides resourceful learning material used by peers. This is advantageous in self-regulated learning (Pozzi & Persico, 2010).

Back office software is also used in learner analytics. The creation of this tool shows that different interfaces and clients could be created in the process. It is used in collaboration with Moodle. Clients can interact with Moodle, increasing markedly in capacities, from being a monolithic platform to an interoperable application. Moodle is a web services layer that consists of a set of contracts that make use of certain functions defined in Moodle external libraries (Ewall, 2007). It is able to provide data on how learners are progressing which is quite helpful to teachers. The data is presented in a table for clarity in addition to use of bars for comparisons. One main characteristics of Moodle is that it is more advanced when compared to other tools.

Since the wide usage of the web and other technologies, the manner of teaching and learning has been changing. This development is no longer just due to technological changes that support new models of learning but also to new motivations, trends and learning models. Thus, constant development must be considered when talking about learning analytics tools and resources. The idea for the basis of learner analytic tools use is that they can interact with various systems in the same instance, performing the same actions in several places (Shrun & Glisan, 2009).

There are various changes that take place in learning process. As a result, technology is tasked with the responsibility of providing solutions to these changes, for instance coming up with new tools used for learner analytics. Thus, application of external tools is easier to implement which interact with the LMS. It becomes easier to improve the functions of tools such as back office which lead to flexibility. Allowing opportunity of learning to the use of technology is encourage since it is advantageous in developing new ways of learning (O’Neil, 2008).

Single management systems can include course administration. This part provides the main features associated with courses such as creating, modifying, deleting and viewing important course details. The aim is to facilitate the users’ administration without accessing the platform. (Khosrowpou, 2006).  User administration is also a control system within the back office tool. The client permits total control of Moodle users through an easy and intuitive interface. Client management is the part of the tool. It allows the choosing of protocols that will be used to connect with the platform within the tool. There is also the log administration that controls the activity in the Moodle, so that they view the logs happening in a course, a date or made by a user. This way, both teachers and students can be able to track their progress as the course continues. In addition to this, roles can be created, modified or deleted during the process (MacArthur, Graham, & Fitzgerald, 2008).

            Jigsaw has also been identified as a learner analytical tool. It utilizes analytical systems that are visual to as to support investigative research. Jigsaw main objective is to maximize pixel use to take advantage of both the user’s high acuity central primary point and extensive peripheral field. Its two main goals are to move quickly through large document collections, permit investigators to operate efficiently and support hypothesis formation together with collection of information. This enhances credible decision making especially based on the defined hypotheses. In many case, it works with large collections of text documents or other reports and with the entities, which have been obtained from them. Jigsaw utilizes several windows effectively with representations carefully designed for investigative problems that are complicated.

The user is thought to be in an ‘information cockpit’ with multiple monitors located in front of and above the user. However, although Jigsaw has some linking and brushing to integrate the windows, it does not have the stable interaction Wire Vis employs (Richards & Lassonde, 2011). Human Capital Management rules put expectation Jigsaw users in a way that they would be less in motion but rather in need of cognitive effort. This is not the case in WireVis whereby cognitive effort would not be required for instance in window management connection. This is certainly an issue worthy of additional review and evaluation. Jigsaw is operational and straightforward in nature. The model provides a point of view for investigating these goals in that light. The interface of this tool permits direction integration with involves representations of reports and entities, changing details and focus. As with Wire Vis and other tools that have been described, simplicity and intuitiveness also seek to attain cognitive goals.

            Finally, when it comes to making comparisons, Jigsaw uses a unique approach, employing an increasing, question-based planning to present in various aspects of information that are used for investigation and possible relationships, as compared with Wire Vis top-down visualization of the entire data set and its context. Undoubtedly, both approaches are reasonable and could be present in a general tool for complex problem solving, and will be subject to future study. Nonetheless, the Jigsaw tool would be an effective tool for learner analytics in diverse situations (Ewall, 2007).

2.3 Effectiveness of Learner Analytics

Learner analytics has been instrumental in assessing the learning process in different ways. Findings have provided a basement upon which objective decisions regarding viable improvements have been made. Successful assessment can be attributed to relative tools and resources. This section of the paper details the effectiveness of learner analytics as well as the tools that are used in this process. SAM was applied in an extensive online free course learning analytics so as to get feedback on the effectiveness of the method. A multi-method strategy is usually followed using a structured questionnaire, review of documents, case studies and semi-structured focus group discussions (Rogers, 2002).

In organizational and academic research, SAM should be introduced in a manner appropriate to the skill level and professional knowledge base. There should be a concern with learner satisfaction, learning outcomes and experiences by the learner for instance, the nature of interactions. These strategies would allow determining the effectiveness of the design, growth and establishment of learner analytics. Attention should also be placed on the importance of collection of information that may be utilized by the teacher or instructor (O’Neil, 2008). Any obstacles or barriers are also realized during this stage. From this, adjustments and correction can be made to ensure success in the end. Formative assessment is also done as to gather information during the early stages so as to determine if the efforts produce the intended outcome.

The learning and knowledge analytics (LAK) online course was organized in order to evaluate setups and demographics involved. Moodle was used extensively for communication and collaboration in academic and organizational learning. Evaluating this tool in this varied viewing elicited dynamic discussions. These discussions arose as a result of the outcomes that were expected and the methods to be used. The client activities of the Moodle system were visualized in SAM.  Registered participants were up to 270 for the course and were primary researchers engaged in the learning analytic field and teachers who are concerned in learning analytics.

An online survey was also used and it was composed of two paths. The main objective of the case study was to get more details on the SAM in a comprehensive course and the perceived usefulness of SAM by learning analytics experts. Two dozen individuals, between the ages of 27 and 62 years old took part in the survey. A dozen of them are teaching courses, and the rest have been involved in teaching courses for more than 10 years. This was a complete test that would be able to inform the research being conducted and provide conclusive results.

Learning and Knowledge Analytics (LAK) teachers recognize the teaching subject as slightly different. Provision of providing feedback to students becomes the main concern. The LAK teachers are majorly interested in finding students who are doing as expected of them. The idea of locating the best student becomes less importance when weighted against Agricultural researchers. Usage of the documents is a perquisite by LAK and other Agricultural researchers. Knowing how and when online tools have been utilized and knowing if sources that are independent are used is rated a bit lower. Therefore, they are also concerned with document application within Moode (Smith & Sadler-Smith, 2006). Student application is also rated high. Collaboration and communication is also more important for LAK teachers. The time tracking issue is almost rated equal in both circumstances. Comparing with the goals set by the teachers the recognition and the support is also the most vital within this tool.

As far as the LAK teachers are concerned it is the duty of SAM to deal with provision of teacher feedback during learning to students. This is related to the capability of visual analytics. The time spending issue in many instances is less prioritized. The open questions, which detailed how to implement each of the visualization, provided practical insights on the use of SAM. For instance, one teacher would use the line chart in order to identify the likelihood and intensity of participation. Furthermore, another teacher can learn about sequential time that a course takes place. The classroom activity status in this case is verified by the line chart. Thus, the teacher would expect it to be amended if few students take part and few share little, while a large number is at the centre. Determining the effectiveness of SAM would be able to underscore the variables that impact on the learning program (Zimmermann & Cunningham, 2001).

When it comes to most of the other issues pertaining to the process of learning, the teachers cannot come up with a decision that they agree on as a whole. The second part of the survey was based upon both the teachers and the learners. When queried to assess the contributions of each visualization, inconclusive answers were produced. There is no statistical evidence that shows that both learners and the teachers would rate the visualizations differently (Cress, Dimirova, & Specht, 2009).

The learner analytics is used by the student for comparisons with peers. Three learners use the corresponding coordinates for comparison with the rest of the class for self-reflection so as to measure progress and growth motivation. In this scenario, a single person did not understand how the corresponding coordinate worked. This individual preferred the bar graph that showed the group he fitted in most. The bar graph indicated the rate of growth motivation and progress.  It was based on the individual liking, which was not the intention of the study. The bar chart was perceived as redundant by one teacher, which arises as a result of the addition of the histograms within the parallel coordinates.

The recommendations to improve learner analytics in both academic and organizational learning have certainly proven to be useful. Eight of those participating wanted to continue using SAM in the field while four were not sure of their final decision. An open debate about how each individual liked SAM was asked. From the results, three mentioned the simplicity and the quantity they can see using the tool. Two of them enjoyed the rapid application at which the tool could be used. Two participants also liked the precise, accurate information based on circumstances that the tool provided. Furthermore, they also enjoyed the insightful outcomes of the tool.

Technology, as opposed to individual user simulation should be utilized when it comes to automation of the measurement process. This would lead to the reduction of the time to be used during the learning analytics process. The best practices in such cases is to establish a common set of  relevant key performance indicators that are monitored and also measured on a regular basis for the learning organization. Current technology and also establish methods of data collection instruments should be utilized in order to produce results that are more detailed. For instance, it may involve collection of data from learners and teachers two to three months post-training. In the end, the data collected will be more effective


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Literature Review 2: Collagen

Literature Review 2: Collagen

1. Introduction

Collagen is the main protein of connective tissue in animals and fish, where it is the most abundant protein in mammals, constituting up to 25-30% of the total protein content of the body. On the other hand, collagen constitutes 1-2% of muscle tissue
besides contributing to the tune of 6% of the weight of strong and tendinous muscles. Even the people of early civilization discovered collagen’s multiple utility value, such as waterproofing, adhesive, and decoration.

Literature Review 2: Collagen

In the modern era collagen has become an inseparable instrument in both bio

medical and nonbio medical industries, with an extended range of usage. For example, it provides structure additive to food besides providing food supplements of collagen;
enables the pharmaceutical industry to produce hard and soft capsules, artificial skins, injections of regeneration of cells, provides the cosmetic industry for the beautification and elimination of age-related skin wrinkles, acts as a source of glue in its hydroslated form, helps in films in the photographic industry

The main sources of collagen are pig and bovine skins due to their easy

availability, though fish collagen is also making its mark and the researchers are

contemplating with the potential of chicken skin. The major advantages of marine collage
sources are that they are free from the risk of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy),
culturally more acceptable across the world, more suitable to the human skin than its
counterparts, and are available in abundance, since fish skin is a major by-product of the
fish-processing industry.

2. Background

In the period between 1920-1935 Nageotte (1927a, b, 1928, 1930, 1933),

Nageotte & Guyon (1933), Leplat (1933), and Faure-Fremiet (1933) had studied and

observed the partial dissolution of collagen in dilute solutions of weak acids such as

formic and acetic acid. Renewed interest in this soluble protein was generated in the

period between 1940-1955 with the works of Orekhovich and his colleagues in the

U.S.S.R., who reported the extraction of a soluble collagenous-type protein from the skin
of various animals using dilute citrate buffers, which they suggested as a soluble
precursor of collagen (Plotnikova, 1947; Tustanovskii, 1947; Orekhovich et al. 1948;
Chernikov, 1949; Orekhovich, 1950, 1952). Such findings on soluble collagens were
further reviewed by Harkness et al. (1954), who also reported the presence of a small
amount of a protein of collagen type which was extracted from skin by dilute phosphate,
pH 9-0 (alkali-soluble collagen).

Later Harkness et al. (1954) experimented on the feeding of labeled glycine to

rabbits to arrive at a conclusion that this is a true precursor of collagen, whereas the

metabolic role of the acid-soluble collagen described by Orekhovich is less certain, and it
is not necessarily an intermediate in the formation of all insoluble collagens of the skin.
Harkness et al. (1954) determined the hydroxyproline and tyrosine content of the alkali-
soluble and acid-soluble collagen, and also of the gelatin obtained from the remaining
insoluble collagen.

Both soluble collagens contained less tyrosine and more hydroxyproline than the
insoluble collagen, and the acid-soluble had a higher hydroxyproline and tyrosine content
than the alkali-soluble collagen. Bowes et al. (1953) also observed similar differences


between the hydroxyproline and tyrosine content of the acid soluble collagen of calf skin and the adult collagen of ox hide and between the acetic acid-soluble and insoluble
fractions of tendon collagen.

3. Methods

It requires solvents like salt, dilute acid, alcohol, detergents and H2O2 for

removing non-collagenous proteins, as well as for removing fat and odors. Alongside it
requires chemicals (EDTA) for deashing. It is after that the solvents like acetic acid,
lactic acid, pepsin enzyme, Bacillus bacteria, and yeast are used to extract collagen under
the temperature range of 0-40C. Altogether three steps are involved in the extraction of
collagen, such as pre-treatment steps, extraction of acid-soluble collagen, and purification
of collagen. Apart from the above, there is also super-critical extraction method where
CO2 is used as solvent, which has some advantages like ease of controlling the dissolving
power of supercritical fluid (SCF) by controlling temperature and pressure. It is also easy
to recover SCF by decompressing pressure, and it is impossible to separate the precipitate
from extracts by centrifugation. SCF is a non-toxic solvent and is applicable to extract the
thermally decomposed compounds. However, this method is costly and requires expertise
to handle the proceedings under high pressure.

3.1. A Typical Process

In a typical extraction process, at least eight steps are taken (Mingyan et al. 2009). For example, in process of squid (Ommastrephes bartrami) collagen extraction, the steps could be like below.

1, Fish skin preparation: After collecting the squid skins they are manually

descaled and are made free from the residual meat, before placing them at -200 C till the
time of use. Alongside, all the reagents are checked to ensure that they are of analytical

2. Histological observation: At this stage the squid skins are cut into pieces (0.5 cm x 0.5 cm) and fixed in 4% buffered formalin for 24 hours. After that the specimen is dehydrated in a series of graded ethanol solutions (70%, 80%, 90%, and 100%), clarified in xylene and is finally embedded in paraffin. Eight-mocron sections are then cut
perpendicular to the skin surface and the slides with the sections are cleared off paraffin with xylene, rehydrated to water through graded alcohols, now in reverse order (100%, 90%, 80%, and 70%), and then are stained with hematoxylin and eosin and again with the Van Gieson stain (collagen – red color; muscle – yellow color). The stained sections are then observed through light microscopy and using color video camera at an original
magnification of 20x the digital images are then collected.

3. Extraction of collagen: Generally it takes 40C to conduct the extraction process
(Nagai and Suzuki, 2000), where the skin is extracted with 0.1 mol L-1 NaOH to remove
non-collagenous materials and to eliminate the effect of endogenous proteases on
collagen (Sato et al., 1987). After that it is rinsed thoroughly with distilled water to
neutralize the pH of the wash water. Then the samples are defatted with 10% butyl
alcohol at a solid to solvent ratio of 1:10 for 24 hours, after which they are washed with
plenty of distilled water. The further minced skins are gently stirred in 0.5 mol L-1 acetic
acid solution for 48 hours, and the extract is centrifuged at 10 000×g for 30 minutes.
Then the acid-solubilized collagen (ASC) in the supernatant is salted out by adding NaCl


to a final concentration of 0.9 mol L-1. Then after leaving the solution overnight, the
resultant precipitate is collected by centrifugation at 8000×g for 20 minutes, before
dissolving the same in 0.5 mol L-1 acetic acid. Then it is dialyzed against 0.1 mol L-1
acetic acid for 24 hours and distilled in water for 48 hours, and then it is lyophilized.

After acid extraction, the insoluble fraction is kept suspended in 10 times of 0.5
mol L-1 acetic acid (by volume) and is digested with porcine pepsin (EC 3. 4. 23. 1;
powderized; 750 U mg-1 dry matter) at an enzyme/ substrate ratio of 1:100 for 48 hours
at 40C with gentle stirring. The extract is then centrifuged at 10 000×g for 30 min. Then
the pepsin-solubilized collagen (PSC) in the supernatant is salted out by adding NaCl to a
final concentration of 0.9 mol L-1 and after leaving it the solution overnight, the resultant
precipitate is then collected by centrifugation (8000×g for 20 min) was dissolved in 0.5
mol L-1 acetic acid, dialyzed against 0.02 mol L-1 Na2HPO4 for 1 d to inactivate pepsin.
The precipitate was collected at low speed centrifugation and the same is then dissolved
in 0.5 mol L-1 acetic acid. After that the solution is dialyzed with 0.1 mol L-1 acetic acid
and distilled through water, before putting to lyophilize.

4. Amino acid analysis: At this stage, ASC and PSC samples are hydrolyzed under reduced pressure with 6 mol L-1 HCl at 1100C for 24 hours before analyzing the hydrolysates on an amino acid analyzer (e.g. Hitachi 835-50).

5. Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate Polyacylamide Gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE): It
can be performed by following the method of Laemmli (1970), using the discontinuous
Tris-HCl/ glycine buffer system with 7.5% resolving gel and 5% stacking gel. After
electrophoresis, the gel is kept stained for 20 minutes with 0.1% Coomassie Brilliant
Blue R-250 dissolved in distilled water, methanol and acetic acid (9:9:2), and then the
same is destained using a solution of distilled water, methanol and acetic acid (8:1:1).

6. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR): FTIR spectra is obtained
from samples placed on discs containing a mixture of 0.2 mg lyophilized collagen and
about 10 mg potassium bromide (KBr) ground under drying conditions. The spectra are
recorded using infrared spectrophotometer (e.g., Nicolet 200SXV) from 4000 to 500 cm-1
at a data acquisition rate of 2 cm-1 per point. The resulting spectra are analyzed using the
software (e.g. Omnic 6.0).

7. Determination of Denaturation Temperature: The denaturation temperature is
measured from changes in viscosity, where Ubbelohde viscometer can be used (Zhang et
al. 2007). Usually ten milliliters of 0.03% collagen solution in 0.1 mol L-1 acetic acid
with 0.2 mol L-1 sodium acetate buffer (pH 5.0) are used for viscosity measurements.
Thermal determination curve is obtained by measuring the solution viscosity at seven
stepwise-raised temperatures from 16 to 420C, each temperature being maintained for 30
min. Fractional viscosity at a given temperature is calculated by the following equation:
Fractional viscosity=(ηsp(T)−ηsp(420C))/(ηsp(160C)−ηsp(420C)), where ηsp is the specific viscosity.
These fractional viscosities are plotted against the temperature and the denaturation
temperature is determined as the temperature where the fractional viscosity is predicted to
be 0.5.

8. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC): DSC is performed on a calorimeter
(e.g., Netzsch DSC 200PC) fitted with an air-cooling compressor and a liquid nitrogen
cooler at ambient temperature (Cui al., 2007). The temperature is calibrated using indium
as standard. Collagen fiber is weighed (3.00 mg) and sealed in aluminum pans (BO

6.239.2−64.502). Triplicate samples are heated from 20 to 1000C at a scanning rate of 2


K min-1, with an empty sealed pan as a reference. The shrinkage temperature is taken at the peak of the plotted thermal transition curve (Minyang et al. 2009: 191-196)

4. Extraction of Collagen

4.1. Acid Solubilized Collagen (ASC) Extraction

4.1.1. Typical Process of Extraction at Earlier Times

For the preparation of proteins from ox-hide collagen, the middle layer of a hide
taken from a 2-year-old bullock immediately after flaying the skin is shaved, cut into
pieces about 1 cm.2 and disintegrated in a Wiley mill. However it is necessary to stop the
mill at intervals to remove the macerate by hand since it would not go through even the
coarsest sieve. The macerated material (1800 g.) is then placed in a cotton bag and
extracted, first with 0 l m-Na2HPO4, pH 8-6, and then with 0-12M sodium citrate buffer,
pH 3-62. After the last phosphate extraction the macerate is suspended for a short period
in two 3-1portions of the citrate buffer in order to remove the phosphate buffer before
going on to the citrate extractions proper. Each extraction takes a period of 24 hr., during
which the contents of the bag are agitated intermittently. All extractions are carried out
between 20 and 4°.

The macerated skin swells considerably during the extractions; as much liquid as
possible is to be squeezed out after each extraction, but relatively large amount remains
behind. After the last extraction special efforts required to squeeze out liquid, and the
relatively high protein content of this extract suggests that some liquid remaining from
the earlier extractions is removed from the interstices of the protein. A small amount of
the macerate (5 g.) was further extracted with successive 200-ml. portions of the citrate
buffer. Samples are taken at various stages, dehydrated with acetone, and total nitrogen
and hexosamine determinations are carried out. (Bowes & Kenten, 1948a, b)

The protein in the citrate extracts is precipitated by the addition of sufficient 30% (w/v) sodium chloride solution to bring the final concentration to 5% (w/v). The next morning the lower clear layer of liquid is withdrawn, and the top layer, containing the protein in a gelatinous form, is centrifuged. The precipitate is then washed with a small mount of water and dehydrated with acetone after ascertaining that there is no alteration in the solubility of the extracted protein. Redissolving in citrate buffer and dialysing against tap water then further purifies the precipitated protein.

The citrate-soluble collagen is converted into gelatin by heating a 2% (w/v)

suspension in slightly acidified water to 400 for 5 min. The protein went into solution during the heating and on cooling the solution set to a gel.

4.1.2. Example of Modern Times

In another instance of extraction and characterization of collagen from chicken
skin, the skins are first ground and then are heated to 40 or 60°C to extract the fat. After
the mechanical separation, the collagen content remaining in the resulting solid phase are
extracted with pepsin or ethylene diamine. Type I and type III collagen are then isolated
and characterized by SDS PAGE, antigen labeling, determination of tyrosine residues,
and transmission electron microscopy. The total collagen content of the skin is recovered
from the solid phase following heat treatment at 40°C. Extraction yields vary with the

solubilization process; for example 38.9% of the collagen content in the solid phase could


be extracted with pepsin and 25.1% with ethylene diamine (Cliche et al. 2003). The
collagen obtained is characterized by its electrophoretic migration pattern and is then confirmed by antigen labeling. The presence of telopeptides is determined by measuring tyrosine content. Transmission electron micrographs are also obtained. For example, 1% phosphotungstic acid is applied to the collagen samples as a negative stain, and then they are mounted on Formvar grids before being viewed at 105,000× (Piez, 1984), using an EM 420 transmission electron microscope. The results are then compared to those
obtained from analysis of Atelohelogen avian collagen.

4.2. Pepsin Solubilized Collagen (PSC) Extraction

Fujimoto (1968) found that collagen could be solubilized by pepsin treatment as a preliminary to purification from the muscle layer of Ascaris lumbricoides and pig kidney, which prompted other researchers to apply the same technique. For example, Bannister and Burns (1972) applied the same technique to solubilization of avian intramuscular
collagen, where they found that tropocollagen from intramuscular sources was more
highly cross-linked than the material from skin treated in similar fashion. Although
solubilization results from digestion of non-collagenous protein, it is also the result of
cleavage of telopeptides containing covalent cross-links, and precise comparison between collagens from different sources is difficult to make.

4.2.1. Solubilization and Purification of Collagen

In an instance of pepsin treatment of avian skin collagen, Bannister and Burns
(1972: 677-681) selected the skin of a strain of domestic fowl derived from commercial
broilers as their source of material. The birds were all female and belonged to 12-18 week
age group. The plucked skins from freshly killed birds were cleaned of adhering fat and
muscle before mincing with ice in a hand-operated mincer. Next, the material was
defatted by two extractions with chloroform-methanol (2:1, v/v), before thoroughly
washing with tap water and distilled water and extracting twice with 0.2M-Na2HPO4 at
room temperature. However, all subsequent operations were performed at 0-40C, where
the researchers obtained acid-soluble collagen by extracting the defatted minced skin
three times (for 2-3 days in each case) with 3% (v/v) acetic acid. The remaining material
was then resuspended in 3% (v/v) acetic acid and digested for 2-3 days with approx. 5mg
of pepsin/ml.

The collagens solubilized by both procedures were then purified, where the

extracts were clarified by centrifugation for one hour at approx. 33000g and the

supernatant was dialyzed against aq. NaCl so that the final concentration turns 7% (w/v). The precipitated collagen was then collected by centrifugation and was redissolved in 3% (v/v) acetic acid and centrifuged for another hour at approx. 77000g. Entire of the above procedure was then repeated and the protein was precipitated a third time by dialysis against 0.02M-Na2HPO4. After dissolving in, and dialysis against, 3% (v/v) acetic acid the collagen was centrifuged for 1.5 hrs. at 109000g. The supernatant containing the
purified protein was then freeze-dried and stored in a desiccator.

4.2.2. Pepsin Treatment of Soluble Collagens

The researchers adjusted the portions of acid-soluble and pepsin-solubilized

collagens to 1.Omg/mI in 3% (v/v) acetic acid and treated with crystalline pepsin (concn.


0.1 mg/ml) for a period between 3 and 14 days at 4°C. After digestion, pepsin was

removed by one salt precipitation and one Na2HPO4 precipitation. Thus four types of
collagen were available for study, such as acidsoluble (A), acid-soluble pepsin-digested

(Ap), pepsin-solubilized (P), and pepsin-solubilized pepsindigested (Pp) collagen, out of which collagen Pp was mostly treated for 14 days.

4.2.3. Hexosamine and Aldehyde Contents of Collagen Preparations

The amount of hexosamine present is considered to be a measure of

contamination of collagen preparations by the mucopolysaccharide constituents of

connective tissue. Therefore the researchers took measurements by the Elson-Morgan

procedure as described by Davidson (1966), with glucosamine as standard. The aldehyde
content was assayed by the method of Paz et al. (1965), with acetaldehyde as standard.

4.2.4. Determination of Subunit Composition

The percentage of α-, β-, and γ-chains in denatured collagen solutions was determined by polyacrylamidegel electrophoresis and densitometry.

4.2.5. Rate of Fibril Formation

Since the rate at which native-type fibrils can be formed from collagen solutions may be used as a measure of the aggregation properties of the tropocollagen molecule, the researchers dissolved collagen dissolved in 3% (v/v) acetic acid at 0°C and carefully raised the pH to 7.2 by adding 2M- and 0.01 MnaOH using a Pye model 291 pH-meter. When the required pH was achieved, they adjusted the volume with water to give a
collagen concentration of 0.1 %. Fibrillogenesis was monitored continuously at 400nm in a spectrophotometer (e.g. Unicam SP.800). The process was initiated by transferring
solution from an ice bath to a cuvette maintained at 38°C.

4.2.6. Effects of Pepsin Treatment on Hexosamine Andaldehyde Content

Hexosamine: Contamination by hexosamine was low and similar in all

preparations, which meant pepsin treatment is probably without effect in the further purification of already highly purified collagen.

Aldehyde: Here the findings appeared somewhat different from those of

Deshmukh & Nimni (1971), where chick skin acid-soluble collagen contained about one-
third as much aldehyde as did neutral-salt-soluble collagen from rat skin. However, that
was not surprising in view of the biologically older nature of acid-soluble collagen and
the differing methods employed in purification. Pepsin-solubilized collagen contained
about one-half as much as the acid-soluble material, which the researchers presumed as a
reflection of greater biological maturity and also some loss of telopeptides due to action
of the enzyme. When they treated with pepsin, both preparations (Ap and Pp) sustained
further decreases in aldehyde content, in conformity with the location of this group in the
telopeptide region.

4.2.7. Pepsin Treatment

The subunit composition was expressed as the percentage of α-chains

(monomers), β-chains (dimers) and γ-chains (trimers), although this last group probably
contained higher-molecular-weight subunits as well. The compositions of collagens A


and P showed that, although there is no great difference in the content of α-chains,

collagen P is very much richer (about four times) in γ- chains. Sampling at 24h intervals
and examining the ureadenatured material by gel electrophoresis enabled the study of the
pepsin-digestion of these two collagens. In this experiment the researchers did not
remove pepsin by repurification because it did not interfere with separation of the subunit
classes. The results of treatment over a 4-day period showed that Collagen A was almost
completely converted into α-chains with little β- and no detectable γ-chains remaining. In
contrast, collagen P gave rise to fewer α-subunits than did collagen A, and significant
quantities of β- and γ-chains survived pepsin treatment. This observation suggested that
there are covalent cross-links present in collagen P that resist pepsin attack, and confirms
a similar conclusion reached by Steven (1966) with bovine and human collagens.

4.2.8. Rate of Fibril Formation

Researchers of 1950s and 1960s (Gross and Kirk,1958; Bensusan, 1960;

Bensusan and Scanu, 1960) studied the effects of a variety of substances on the rate at
which solutions of collagen can form rigid gels containing native-type fibrils.
Subsequently, other researchers (Rubin et al., 1963; Connel & Wood, 1964) also
investigated the results of limited proteolysis on the rate of fibril formation. This
prompted Bannister and Burns (1972) to use a similar turbidimetric technique to test
whether further pepsin treatment of collagens A and P results in a decrease of fibril-
forming capacity. Resultantly they found that collagen A was markedly inhibited whereas
pepsin treatment of collagen P was virtually without effect. The finding with collagen A
was much as expected, but the failure to produce significant retardation of fibrillogenesis
with collagen P was not expected, which in turn suggested that sufficient quantity of a
‘nucleus-forming’ collagen remained despite removal of a large percentage of the covalent
cross-links by pepsin. In spite of the absence of a direct evidence, the researchers found it
tempting to suggest that this is related to the previously demonstrated pepsin-resistant

5. Isolation and Characterization

5.1. Western Blot

Western Blot method is used to detect functional proteins after the cell produces
them. Both procollagen and collagen can be detected using this method. Proteins in the
mixture are separated using electrophoresis based on their electrical charge, which
corresponds to the molecules weight or size, and then transferred to a membrane to which
the proteins become affixed. Antibodies that are specific to react or bind with the protein
of interest are applied to the membrane and these complexes are then detected by
chemilumenescence and film development (Cao et al. 1997; Ikenou et al. 2003; Lim et al.

In an instance of Western Blot analysis (antigen labeling) Cliche et al. (2003: 504)
adopted the method suggested by Timmons and Dunbar (1990), where the collagen was
transferred (10 V for 50 in) with the Trans-Blot Semi-Dry Transfer Cell to an
Immun-Blot polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) membrane (0.2 μm). They used rabbit
anti-chicken collagen type I as primary antibody, and alkaline phosphatase rabbit IgG as
the secondary antibody. The primary and secondary antibodies were diluted in the
blocking solution (3% BSA) at 1:3,000. Alongside, they developed the color associated


with antigen labeling by using alkaline phosphatase provided with the kit.


Sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamine gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) is one
of the methods to determinate the forms of collagen (alpha chain, beta chain); SDS-
PAGE to determine peptide mapping. Determination of hydroxyproline content is
required besides the determination of denaturation temperature, viscosity of collagen
solution, effect pH and NaCl on collagen solubility, FT-IR and SEM to determine
structure of collagen. In an instance of extracting collagen from chicken skin (Cliche et
al. 2003: 504) the SDS PAGE was performed using the procedure of Laemmli (1970)
with a Mini-Protean II electrophoresis unit, where the stacking gels contained 3%
polyacrylamide, and the separation gels contained 6.5% polyacrylamide. Ten micrograms
of collagen deposited in the wells, and the migration was induced at 80 V for 5 min, until
the collagen subunits had passed through the stacking gel, and then at 150 V for 55 min,
or until the migration reached the end of the resolving gel. The researchers stained the
gels with Coomassie blue R-2507 for 30 min and destained with a solution of 10% glacial
acetic acid, 40% methanol, and 50% water.

In another instance of SDS-PAGE Mingyan et al. (2009) examined collagen from
squid skins by using a 7.5% resolving gel, where both ASC and PSC had the similar
electrophoretic pattern of typical type I collagen, consisting of α chains with two distinct
types like α1 and α2, varying in their mobility. The electrophoretic positions of α chains
of squid skin collagen were different from those of the walleye polylock (Yan et al.
2008), grass carp, bovine (Zhang et al. 2007), and porcine,  (115 kDa for α1 chain and 66
kDa for α2 chain) which suggested the distinctiveness of the squid skin collagen at its
primary structure. Alongside, the inter and intra molecular crosslinked components such
as β (dimers) and γ (trimers) were also found in squid collagen, which resembled with
bigeye snaper (Kittiphattanabawon et al. 2005) and ocellate puffer fish skin (Nagai et al.
2002). The electrophoretic results eventually underpinned type I collagen as the major
collagen in squid skin.

6. Other Important Factors

6.1. Tyrosine Measurement

Tyrosine content requires to be measured in collagen samples, usually hydrolyzed at 1050C in 6 N hydrochloric acid for 24 hours under a nitrogen atmosphere. Amino acids are quantified by liquid phase ion-exchange chromatography using an analyzer (e.g.
Biochrom 20) (Cliche et al. 2003: 504).

6.2. Hydroxyproline Determination.

A colorimetric assay is used to determine the hydroxyproline content following
hydrolysis of collagen at 1050C in 7 N sulfuric acid for 16 hours. Colorimetric reaction is
done with chloramine-T and 4-dimethylbenzaldehyde using the Kolar (1990) method.
Hydroxyproline content is converted to total collagen using a factor of 7.57 (Bonifer and
Froning, 1996).

7. Problems with Extraction and Identification

A major difficulty in the identification of intact tissue antigens is the need to
preserve antigenicity, i.e., the conformational integrity of the epitopes and to achieve
adequate ultrastructural preservation. The methods like aqueous fixation, dehydration,


and resin embedding for electron microscopy give rise to considerable changes in tissue
structure, including extraction, precipitation, and collapse of labile molecular constituents
(Hunziker, 1993). Furthermore, conventional chemical fixation in aldehyde solutions can
lead to complete loss of antigenicity owing to the formation of intermolecular cross-links.
Collagen epitopes appear to be particularly sensitive to aldehyde fixation. To overcome
the problems associated with structural artifacts induced by conventional aqueous

fixation and dehydration procedures, alterative methods of tissue preparation adopt

employing low temperature. These methods have been applied to cartilage, with

considerable improvements in the ultrastructural preservation of chondrocytes and matrix (Hunziker, 1993; Keene and McDonald, 1993; Hunziker and Schenk, 1984; Hunziker et al., 1984; Akisaka and Shigenaga, 1983) and superior immunolocalization of matrix
proteoglycan epitopes (Hunziker and Herrmann, 1987). Till 1995, it was not possible to successfully localize specific collagens by those methods, which prompted the
researchers to assume that a particular stage in the cryotechnical process may give rise to conformational changes in collagen epitopes (Hunziker, 1993).

8. Conclusion

The review depicts a promising evolution of the extraction process, where several
researchers have enriched the methods, besides providing valuable insights regarding the
nature of collagens in different sources, where a growing trend of exploiting nonbovine
sources of collagen such as fish or chicken-skin is observed. Such trend is justified since
the usage of collagen has been ramified over the years and the disease and cultural factors
associated with bovine or porcine collagen have become points of concern in

commercially exploiting them.



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Literature Review on CRM Strategies for Ryanair

1.0 Introduction

Customer relationship has been a remarkable move towards creating a mechanism that can enhance means for maintaining personal reliability. To be aware of customer relationship management (CRM), one has to value the constantly shifting nature of the customer (Greenberg 2010).  There are a huge number of companies paying outing a great amount of their finances on CRM making it imperative for service firms to identify the aims of their CRM proposals and the type of payback accrued by these companies. According to Shanmugasundaram (2008) CRM is a business plan to attain, raise and maintain profitable customer relationships with the aim of building a sustainable competitive edge. CRM is a critical strategy as relationships are coming to the front position of the competitive arena. There should be a mutual win for customers and all the firms’ stakeholders including employees and business partners for instance suppliers, debtors and creditors.

Literature Review on CRM Strategies for Ryanair

CRM enables firms to modify particular manufactured goods and services according to every consumer’s requirements. It is possible to produce a personalised customised, face to face practice that will make the customer believe that he/she is being valued by the company enhancing creation of new markets chances that are found on tastes, earlier purchasing behaviour and past buying characteristics of the consumer. A customer is placed at the middle of a firm, consumer service is one of the important components of CRM but CRM also deals with managing customer relations within all company functions, places of contact and meetings (Almotairi 2009).

1.1 Company Background

Ryanair Ltd. is one of the pioneer airlines to offer cheap scheduled passenger services. From 1985, Ryanair followed the footsteps of southwest airlines by consequently saving costs and offering low cost flights. The airline firm headquarters are located at Dublin, Ireland and has an employee capacity of about 4,200 employees. The airline operates with a fleet size of 120 Boeing 737-800 (Ryanair 2007). They have a Mission statement that they want to be one of the Europe’s most yielding and cheapest airlines. The company has an objective of establishing itself as Europe’s an airline that offers low-fares through improving and expanding services at low-fare (Ryanair 2007).

Ryanair uses the internet to communicate with their customers. They are well positioned with big plans for expansion, analysing their macro environment (Ryanair 2010).  Tickets are sold online direct to the customers. Ryanair has been able to differentiate itself in the air industry by satisfying its customers since customers want flights to be affordable and quick. Customers not only pay less but also receive better services than Ryanair’s close competitors. Thus Ryanair has gone a mile ahead to improve both the positives that customers want when flying. Through their website Ryanair is able to reach its customers.

Figure 1 Market Positioning on the European Airline Market

Description: F:\4\Ryanair and its low cost flights in Europe_files\9deb8c5a2dd51090c48a8dfc5cd89355_SMALL.png

Source:  Ryanair (2007)

2.0 CRM Strategy

The main aim of CRM strategy is to come up with means of providing best value to consumers in more competent ways that employees identify as pleasing. The approach should be perfect for the consumer, the staff and the company. If the approach is not perfect for the customer Ryanair suffers sales and loyalty loss. The brand also has no future, it has to be good for the employee since if not they won’t be motivated to deliver the best damaging both the firm and the customers (Band et al. 2008). How good it is determines how motivated employees and customers are in continued investment. Due to competitive global market improved services are vital and the aim of the CRM strategy benefits the firm, clients and staffs equally.

3.0 Dimensions of Customer Relationship Management 

CRM helps Ryanair to successfully allot available possessions to the segment of customers that is yielding most by identifying customer. CRM begins with potential consumer identification also referred to as customer acquisition. The stage aims at winning prospect consumers that could be most yielding. At this phase the lost customers due to competition can be analysed and how to win they trust again (Charalampos & Chang 2008). Consumer drawing; the step follows consumer recognition, the firms goes ahead to straight endeavour and possessions into pulling towards the intended subdivision. A component of client appealing could be express selling which is an encouragement procedure which encourages clients to place orders through various outlets (Richards & Jones 2008). Consumer maintenance; it is the essential apprehension of CRM. Exceeding consumer’s expectations is an essential condition of retaining customers (Charalampos & Chang 2008). The essentials of client maintenance are face-to-face marketing, reliability systems and grievances supervision. Face-to-face selling refers to personalised selling movements that are enhanced by sensing and foreseeing transformations in client’s conduct (Ngai et al. 2009). Client enlargement; this engages a reliable extension of business deal, concentration and client’s productivity. The element of purchaser duration worth examination is clear as the forecast of the entire net earnings a firm may look forward to achieve from a client (Kostojohn et al.2011).

4.0 Objectives of Customer Relationship Management

 According to Dyche (2010) organisations pay for CRM products and services following the goals, consumer yielding and significance reproducing; Rynair is able to identify their  important consumers and worth maintaining. A firm could also gauge the consumers whom are responsive   to prices and those who bring small yields and low volume purchasers. Customer retention; it is vital to identify and appreciate that a portion of customers have left and specifically who they are. Identifying the reason behind their departure is a hard task. If a company loses more customers that means more revenues are lost by the firm. It is also a hard task to retain the existing one but it is much cheaper to retain them than acquiring new one (Frow 2011). Cross-selling and up-selling; this is concerned with identifying kind of products and services will add to customers total yielding. Extended-selling is trading a commodity or the service to a consumer that he/she had previously bought, the aim being to have repeated sales. Selling- more, encouraging a faithful consumer to purchase more yielding products and services. Extended-selling helps a firm trade the appropriate commodity and services to the appropriate consumers within the appropriate time frame. Behaviour prediction; firms are able to consider the most probable action of the consumer. According Ranjan & Bhatnagar (2008) data mining techniques are used to predict customer’s behaviour and foretell consumer’s prospect conduct. The important thing is a Rynair can actually identify who potential consumers could be. Personalisation is the capability of the company to tailor communication, commodity and services on foundation of the facts and tastes of the customers. This eliminates the guesswork and improving appreciative of consumers and their tastes over that client’s dealings with the firm (Tuzhilin 2012).     

5.0 Developing CRM Strategies

The development entails a double focal point to the organisation’s company plan and its client policy. How effectively the two interconnect essentially influences the achievement of its CRM plan.

5.1 Company strategy 

It’s important to first consider business strategy before one determines the way the client policy could be expanded and the way it could change in future. The company plan procedure could start by means of an assessment of the firm’s vision, particularly as it relates to CRM (Ko et al. 2008). The industry competitive environment should as well be assessed.

5.2 Consumer Strategy  

 Firm objectives are under the control of chief executive officer, the board of governors and a plan manager, whereas client policy is normally the duty of the selling subdivision. CRM needs a team approach but it is regularly vested in individual based responsibilities, together with information and technology and selling (Lambert 2009). Consumer policy entails investigating present and prospect consumer foundation and coming up with types of partitioning that can be appropriate. Majority of the writers advocates in shift from a group market to that one of personalised or face to face marketing setting. Ryanair can exploit internet selling chances and essential cost-effective type of the internet to allow a great extent get into the market of partitioning. The plan expansion procedure includes a comprehensive evaluation of company plan and advancement of suitable consumer policy (Frow 2011). With this a firm is in a position to build up and put into practice its CRM actions.

5.3 The Value Formation Procedure

The value formation procedure converts the yields of a plan progress route interested in systems that together pull out and bring significance (Ata & Toker 2012). It has three elements which includes, influencing the worthiness Ryanair could offer the consumers, focussing which worthiness Rynair airline could receive from the clients and effectively overseeing worthiness trade that engages maximisation of long-term worthiness of attractive consumer subdivision.

5.3.1 The Value the Consumer Enjoys

Worthiness obtained as of Rynair draws on the concept of the gains that improves the customer offer. Firm to firm and services selling perceives the client as a co inventor and co maker (Kim & Kim 2009). The gains might be integrated in the structure of a worth plan so as to describe connection along with the well doing of the commodity, the satisfaction of client’s requirements and the entire expenditure  to the consumer (Richards & Jones2008). To conclude whether the value of plan is probable to an outcome of a better purchaser satisfaction Rynair should perform a value appraisal to measure the virtual significance that clientele set on the a variety of qualities of a commodity. Analytical tools may be used to determine customers with similar favourites considering commodity qualities. Such a tool could as well disclose considerable sell subdivisions through provision requirements which are not entirely addressed through qualities of the real offers (Frow & Payne 2009).

5.3.2 The Value the Company Obtains and Life Span Value  

As of this viewpoint Rynair consumer worthiness is a result of co creation of worthiness, the utilisation of enhanced attainment and preservation plans and the utilisation of successful means supervision. Basic to this notion of customer worthiness is further research to conclude how the present and prospect consumer’s yielding differs transversely in various consumers and consumers subdivisions (Kevork &Vrechopoulos 2009). It is also vital to determine the financial side of customer attainment and consumers preservation and chances for selling between clients, inducing clients to purchase more and generating clients support should be appreciated (Nguyen & Papadopoulos 2011). These basics add to increase client’s duration. Client’s preservation corresponds to a significant piece of explore on worthiness generation. When a firm calculates the customer lifetime of various segments it is able to concentrate with the most yielding clients and client subdivisions. Worthiness generation procedure is one of the critical components of CRM since it interprets firm and consumer long term plans into particular worth offer declarations which expresses which worthiness is to be given to the client.        

5.4 Information Management Procedure

This procedure is interested in compilation and application of client’s facts and in order in all Rynair’s client’s interaction areas to come up with consumers near and suitable selling reactions (Ngai et al. 2009).  The main components of the information supervision procedure are the facts storeroom that gives a business recollection of consumers, IT system which comprise of the firm’s computer hardware, systems and network, examination implements and workplace face and backside office functions that supports most of the performance concerned in bordering straight with clients and supervising in-house process, running and provider dealings (Greenberg 2010). 

5.5 Performance Evaluation Procedure

The performance evaluation procedure covers important duty of making certain that Ryanair’s planned objectives in conditions of CRM are brought towards a suitable as well as satisfactory benchmark and fundamental for prospect enhancement is set up (Elmuti et al. 2009).  The main components of this process are shareholder results; in order for a firm to attain the crucial purpose of CRM they opt to believe how to put up staff worthiness, client value and investor value and how to cut costs. Performance supervising; for a firm to become customer oriented they need to monitor and measure their CRM performance.      

6.0 Conclusion

Ryanair has exhibited being successful in the past and not known to be second to anyone. Just like any other company Ryanair spends quite amount of their budget on CRM to win new customers and retain the existing customers. Ryanair creates an internet platform to foster their communication with their customers. They sell their tickets online minimising time wastage and they are not only cheap but deliver best airline services. For one to understand the objectives and strategies of CRM one must study the customers’ point of view and firm’s perspective. For instance for a company to win customers loyalty and profitability it has to be dedicated  to the client but not vice versa for it to remain competitive. The concept of CRM provides firms with opportunities to modify specific products and services according to conformance of each and every customers need. They are able to personalise customise, one-to-one experience that gives the individual customer sense of being cared for thus creating new marketing opportunities based on preferences, previous behaviour and history of the customer. CRM dimensions help an organisation to come up with the best strategy of identifying, attracting, retaining and developing customers of lifetime.  There should be a mutual win- win between a firm and its customers, that is there should a value creation in the process of CRM.

7.0 References

Almotairi, M 2009, ‘A framework for successful CRM implementation’, In European and Mediterranean conference on information systems, 1-12.

Ata, U. Z., & Toker, A 2012, ‘The effect of customer relationship management adoption in business-to-business markets’,  Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 497-507.

Band, W, Sharyn L, & Andrew, M 2008, Trends 2009: Customer Relationship Management. Forrester Research.

Charalampos, M., & Chang, Y. S, 2008, Beyond CRM: a system to bridge the gap between the customer and the global manufacturing supply chain. In Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Proceedings of the 41st  Annual  278-278.

Dyche, J 2010, The CRM handbook: A business guide to customer relationship management. London 1st Ed-Wesley Educational publisher Inc.   

Frow, P. E., & Payne, A. F 2009, ‘Customer relationship management: a strategic perspective’, Journal of Business Market Management, Vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 7-27.

Elmuti, D., Jia, H., & Gray, D 2009, ‘Customer relationship management strategic application and organizational effectiveness: an empirical investigation’, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Vol. 17, no.1, pp. 75-96.

Frow, P., Payne, A., Wilkinson, I. F., & Young, L 2011, Customer management and CRM: addressing the dark side. Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 79-89.

Greenberg, P. (2010). CRM at the speed of light. Berkeley, CA: Osborne/McGraw-Hill.

Kostojohn, S., Paulen, B., & Johnson, M 2011, CRM fundamentals. Springer

Ko, E., Kim, S. H., Kim, M., & Woo, J. Y 2008, ‘Organizational characteristics and the CRM adoption process’, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 65-74.

Kim, H. S., & Kim, Y. G 2009, A CRM performance measurement framework: Its development process and application. Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 477-489.

Kevork, E. K., & Vrechopoulos, A. P 2009, ‘CRM literature: conceptual and functional insights by keyword analysis’, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 48-85.

Lambert, D. M 2009, ‘Customer relationship management as a business process’, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 4-17.

Ngai, E. W., Xiu, L., & Chau, D. C 2009, ‘Application of data mining techniques in customer relationship management: A literature review and classification’, Expert Systems with Applications, Vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 2592-2602.

Nguyen, A. H., & Papadopoulos, T 2011, Exploring the potential benefits of CRM systems in customer-centric age: A case study of a telecom company in Vietnam.

Ranjan, J., & Bhatnagar, V 2008, ‘Data mining tools: a CRM perspective’, International Journal of Electronic Customer Relationship Management, Vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 315-331

Richards, K. A., & Jones, E 2008, ‘Customer relationship management: Finding value drivers’, Industrial marketing management, Vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 120-130.

Ryanair’s strategy 2007, Viewed July 11th 2013 from

Shanmugasundaram, S 2008, Customer relationship management: Modern trends and perspectives. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.

Tuzhilin, A 2012, ‘Customer relationship management and Web mining: the next frontier’, Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, Vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 584-612.

CRM Ryanair 2010,, Viewed 11 July 2013, from

Sascha, M 2007, Ryanair and its low cost flights in Europe, Munich, GRIN Publishing GmbH,

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Literature Review on Stress faced by Secondary School Teachers in Singapore

Literature Review on Stress faced by Secondary School Teachers in Singapore

Table of Contents

Learning Objective. 3

Timetable for the two hour training session. 4

Navigation Key. 5

Icebreaker exercise. 6

What is stress?. 6

Stress managing techniques. 7

Improving well being. 7

Conclusion. 8

References. 9

Literature Review on Stress faced by Secondary School Teachers in Singapore

Learning Objective

In the contemporary settings, stress has become a common element in peoples’ daily lives. Issues such as financial crisis, autocratic employers, and work overload pose as examples of stress that one faces daily. The contemporary society is characterized by high reliance on industrialization and technology thus giving teachers a stressful period in their line of work. It is universally accepted that the modern society has placed a critical obligation on the teachers’ shoulders. The aforementioned statement is attributed to the fact that the society considers teachers as the entity responsible for molding students or preparing them for the challenges presented by the world. Consequently, with all these responsibilities placed on teachers they are usually susceptible to suffer from stress. From the above statements, one determines that teachers’ stress can be correlated to the negative exposure of emotions like anger and frustration while undertaking their daily tasks (Lambert & McCarthy, 2006). In accordance with the views highlighted by Menlo (2009) in his work, it is suggested that the commencement of multiple innovations in the school setting act as a stressor in the teachers’ lives. Factors incorporated into the school setting such as more administration and time-consuming systems of assessment act as the leading causes of tension in teaching (Kyriacou, 2009). This review will highlight several domains of stress in relation to secondary school teachers in Singapore and provide an efficient way of tackling the stress. Emphasis will be placed on one workshop and expound on it to reveal its beneficence to handling stress.

All over Singapore, teachers are subjected to long working hours and to top it up, there is no guaranteed job security. It is also evident that the nature of the job is transforming and the requirements of the employers and education ministry is also changing thus leading to a highly competitive work domain. Due to the aforementioned facts, the job is becoming more complex and creating overwhelming stress to the teachers. When a teacher strives to attain the required results while enduring such an unfavorable working environment, the individual is susceptible to suffer from stress. In turn, this sort of stress adversely affects the teacher by causing physical and health issues to the individual (Price, 1970). In the psychological context, the key to coping is not found in the stressor but in the coping mechanism (Kyriacou, 2000). The aforementioned author has the belief that it is the actual stress assessment and managing model that has an impact on the magnitude of the reaction of the stressful impetuses. The SMART workshop accommodates cognitive restructuring practices to aid individuals to manage the stress through altering their stress evaluation and perception of stress-induced acts (Palmer & Cooper, 2010). The process of cognitive restructuring involves the attainment of cognizance of any form of cognitive distortions and negative thought practices, challenging the detrimental thoughts, and replacing them with other beneficial habits (Varvogli, & Darviri, 2011).

                                       Timetable for the Two Hour Training Session

            Primarily, an exercise termed as the ‘icebreaker’ has to be conducted for the effective highlighting and execution of the critical problem; namely, stress in secondary school teachers. This review supports the establishment of the training manual for the ‘Stress Management and Relief for Teachers workshop’. This training manual shall be implemented in Singapore for the mainstream secondary schools. The workshop will be executed as a 4-hour program during the regular break in school terms. The Stress Management and Relief for Teachers workshop plays a more critical role than the mere issuance of techniques for relieving stress in the workplace. The adoption of the aforementioned training manual reveals a new framework for managing stress other than merely treating the symptoms related to the stress (Townsend & Avalos, 2007). The underpinning of the SMART workshop is emotional intelligence. Once an individual is able to manage the stress in the workplace, it acts as an advantage to the workers since they increase their output (Menlo, 2009).

Navigation Key

            Generally, stress is discussed in a negative context and yet it can also possess positive values. Stress can be considered as a potential opportunity when it offers several potential achievements. Emmett (2008) expounds on a term referred to as ‘Eustress’. This term simply refers to any form of stress, which bears positive outcomes. Other authors argue that stressors may manifest themselves in environmental form. Under this domain, the stressors that are environmental factors are responsible for accruing stress in an individual’s workplace. Generally, these are prerequisites to a teacher or any other worker experiencing stress reaction (Li & Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research, 2008). The stressors further subdivide into four distinct categories namely organizational level stressors, group level stressors, individual level stressors, and extra organizational stressors (cite). The impact of the stressors on individuals vary, with some having positive effects (self-motivation) while others having the negative or counterproductive effects.

Icebreaker Exercise

Primarily, an exercise has to be conducted for the effective highlighting and execution of the critical problem; namely, stress in secondary school teachers. This review supports the establishment of the training manual for the ‘Stress Management and Relief for Teachers workshop’. This training manual shall be implemented in Singapore for the mainstream secondary schools. The workshop will be executed as a 4-hour program during the regular break in school terms. The Stress Management and Relief for Teachers workshop plays a more important role than the mere issuance of techniques for relieving stress in the workplace. The adoption of the aforementioned training manual reveals a new framework for managing stress other than merely treating the symptoms related to the stress (Townsend & Avalos, 2007). The underpinning of the SMART workshop is emotional intelligence. Once an individual is able to manage the stress in the workplace, it acts as an advantage to the worker since they increase their output (Menlo, 2009).

What is stress?

The first act in the complex process of better management of stress involves the effective identification of stress in the workplace (Keeves & Watanabe, 2003). The term stress is derived from the Latin language (strictus) to depict strictness. Stress has managed to become part of every individual’s daily communication and conversation. According to Emmett (2008), stress is correlated to the pace of an individual’s life. With regard to the aforementioned statement, anything horrible or interesting that is responsible for enhancing intensity in one’s life can affirmatively be responsible for stress. According to Keeves, three models of stress exists that one is to consider when highlighting the issues on stress. The first consideration is the environmental model also referred to as the stimulus event. Secondly, is the individual’s response and the final aspect is the boundary between the environs and the individual.

Stress Managing Techniques

            After the actual implementation of the SMART workshop, its generic core shifts from managing stress to improving an individual’s well-being (Emmett, 2008). Individuals who advocate for the well-being practice claim that the existence of positive evaluation and emotional states of employees tend to improve their quality of life and overall performance. Under such circumstances, employees tend to have ‘optimal states’ which translate to happier and productive workers (Blömeke, 2013). In the same respect, Warr (1987) asserts that five fundamental components subsist, which contribute to an individual’s mental well-being. These include independence, aptitude, integrated operations, affective well-being, and ambition. 

Improving Well Being

It is universally accepted that stress experienced at the workplace acts as a source of multiple problems in a human’s circulatory system. This can lead to serious heart problems, for example, heart attacks (Boey, 2010). Ultimately, when an individual is subjected to stress his/her body experiences adverse effects of the stress. The SMART workshop adopts both the overt and covert tendencies of individuals in the process of eliminating stress in the workplace. This strategy is developed to tackle the specific stressful situations that the teachers have mentioned. The workshop’s focal points are two conventional tactics to stress management namely; a psychological practice intended to highlight the negative perceptions attributed to stress and another psychological practice, which reduces the physical level of stress thus aiming to eradicate stress mentally and physically.


In order to promote the successful advancement of the quality of the education in Singapore, the state has to place its education system at the pinnacle of its priorities. The society considers teachers as the builders of the nation, thus the authorities should improve the working surroundings in the school settings. All the areas tackled above highlight how the education sector can be improved. Focus needs to be placed on the wellbeing of the teachers and clear objectives should be set to ensure efficacy in the system’s operations. The navigation key, stress management techniques, timetable and icebreaker exercise are important parameters for establishing and addressing the issue of stress faced by secondary school teachers.


Blömeke, S. (2013). Modeling and measuring competencies in higher education: Tasks and          challenges. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Boey, E. K. (2010). Teacher empowerment in secondary schools: A case study in Malaysia.          München: Utz.

Emmett, R. (2008). Manage your time to reduce your stress: A handbook for the overworked,            overscheduled, and overwhelmed. Macmillan Audio.

Keeves, J. P., & Watanabe, R. (2003). International handbook of educational research in the         Asia-Pacific region. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.

Kyriacou, C. (2000). Stress-busting for teachers. Cheltenham: Thornes.

Kyriacou, C. (2009). Effective teaching in schools: Theory and practice. Cheltenham: Nelson       Thornes.

Lambert, R. G., & McCarthy, C. J. (2006). Understanding teacher stress in an age of         accountability. Greenwich, Conn: IAP.

Li, Z., Shiu, L., & Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research. (2008). Developing teachers      and developing schools in changing contexts. Hong Kong: China University Press.

Menlo, A. (2009). Meanings of teaching. S.l.: Information Age Pub Inc.

Palmer, S., & Cooper, C. L. (2010). How to deal with stress. London: Kogan Page Ltd.

Price, L. W. (1970). Organizational stress and job satisfaction of public high school teachers.

Townsend, T., & Avalos, B. (2007). International handbook of school effectiveness and   improvement. Dordrecht: Springer.

Tsai, S. L., & Crockett, M. S. (January 01, 1993). Effects of relaxation training, combining           imagery, and meditation on the stress level of Chinese nurses working in modern hospitals in Taiwan. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 14, 1.

Varvogli, L., & Darviri, C. (April 01, 2011). Stress management techniques: Evidence-based                   procedures that reduce stress and promote health. Health Science Journal, 5, 2, 74-89.

Warr, P. B. (1987). Work, unemployment, and mental health. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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