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Engage: Innovating Student Engagement

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Arizona State University has prided itself on the mission to become a global leader in innovation, sustainability, and inclusion for students of all backgrounds. To provide the most meaningful experiences and promote student growth both personally and professionally, the university

Arizona State University has prided itself on the mission to become a global leader in innovation, sustainability, and inclusion for students of all backgrounds. To provide the most meaningful experiences and promote student growth both personally and professionally, the university offers over 800 students organizations for involvement and leadership on campus. With a heavy reliance on paper and print materials, large-scale engagement events such as Passport to ASU and Panhellenic Formal Recruitment have become wasteful and inefficient, straying from the goals established by university president, Michael M. Crow. The processes involved within these two events are outdated and limit accessibility for many students, minimizing the opportunity to get involved and connect with their peers. Engage is a company founded by an Arizona State University student, hoping to find feasible solutions to meet the needs and improve the overall student engagement experience. By designing two separate mobile applications for Passport to ASU and Panhellenic Formal Recruitment, Engage has eliminated the need for paper and print materials while simplifying the event processes for incoming students and the organizations. These apps will similarly improve accessibility for all students, allowing users to get involved and connect with peers without limitations such as transportation or time. Innovation is a key focus of Arizona State University, and to stay competitive they must find new ways to improve the student experience and modernize current offerings. Getting involved is often considered one of the defining parts of collegiate life, and the university must work to maximize opportunities and make the transition as effortless and enjoyable as possible. By implementing these two mobile apps, student engagement will reach new heights and realign with the missions Arizona State University was founded upon.

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Date Created
2018-05

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The Final Chapter: How Independent Booksellers Can Adapt to a Changing Industry

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing market. This examination is highly relevant given recent concerns that, with the rise of e-retailers like Amazon and the closure of bookstore chain Borders, brick-and-mortar bookstores may be superseded by new digital vendors. Independent bookstores are thought to be at a particular disadvantage to these retailers, given their limited size and resources, as well as the lack of capital or consumer base that a larger chain like Barnes and Noble can draw upon to invest in emerging technology. With these more limited financial opportunities, independent bookstores must find different ways to not only keep abreast of the technology that consumers are coming to expect from modern businesses, but attract customers.
To gain insight into the state of the industry and current position of independent bookstores, I will first examine the past fifty years of the brick-and-mortar bookstore, followed by a Porter’s Five Forces analysis of the industry threats and a SWOT analysis to compare the strengths and weaknesses of independent bookstores. Next, the patrons of independent bookstores will be discussed with a focus on the two largest consumer groups of Millennials and Baby Boomers, their characteristics, and the opportunities they provide to bookstores. After this there will be an exploration of the competitors to brick-and-mortar bookstores, focusing on Amazon and then touching on some of the other rivals to bookstores’ consumer base. The next section will be an in-depth analysis of a variety of bookstores across the United States, with attention to their successful practices, goals, concerns, and failures. First, there will be a comparison of industry success and failure through case studies of Borders and Powell’s bookstores. Next, there will be a comparison of five beloved independent bookstores across the country to share their varied competitive advantages that are the secret to their success. Finally, there are primary source interviews with the employees of three major Phoenix bookstores, which provide insight into the goals, current projects, attitudes, and inner strengths of these businesses. Finally, the thesis will conclude with a section offering solutions and suggestions for independent bookstores to pursue based on the primary and secondary research discussed above. These recommendations are focused on five key areas:
• Community
• Consumers
• Store Design
• Technology
• Diversification
Ultimately, the information provided by this research and these interviews indicates that while vital business changes are being pursued by independent and chain bookstores across the United States, the independent bookstore shows no signs of disappearing in favor of online vendors or e-readers.

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Date Created
2017-05

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Are Sales Contests An Effective Tool to Motivate A Diverse Workforce?

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Companies are constantly looking for a way to increase sales and productivity from their workforce. A popular way to spark motivation and competition is through employee sales contests or incentive-based plans. In theory, these contests are geared to include every

Companies are constantly looking for a way to increase sales and productivity from their workforce. A popular way to spark motivation and competition is through employee sales contests or incentive-based plans. In theory, these contests are geared to include every employee at the sales level in the organization and are thought to boost motivation across the board. But, sales contests receive substantial attention regarding their effectiveness from the academic and professional press due to some unethical incidents happening at large corporations. There have been many studies regarding the effectiveness of contests, but many have inconclusive results and do not produce a definite answer. Because of this, further research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of such contests used in the professional world. Further research would require a study that is much longer in length, as there are many variables that are behind the psychological factors associated to sales contests.

I conducted a study on the effective design, implementation, motivational factors, and takeaways upon completion of such contests. The purpose of this study is to find out whether or not sales contests are an effective way of motivating a diverse workforce. The results suggest that sales contests are a hyper-efficient tool to increase employee motivation but must be prepared for and implemented correctly in order to achieve efficient results. I recommend that sales managers use contests as a tool to gauge the motivational and behavioral changes in their employees resulting from such contests, instead of just trying to gain more revenue. Also, to combat the growing threat of unethical behaviors as a result of running sales contests, leaders need to implement appropriate measures, like unethical behavior diversion courses.

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Date Created
2019-05