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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
A survey carried out by InfoBasis has indicated that many UK workers feel insecure when bosses fail to inform them how their careers can progress within the company. Of those questioned by the skills management firm, 77 percent said that knowledge about future opportunities was important to them. However, around the same number complained of a lack of clarity about the issue, while seven out of every ten also said that employers neglected to inform them of the skills needed in any future role. Almost half of the employees surveyed admitted that the uncertainty made them unhappy in their jobs. According to a report published by Business Europe (www.businesseurope.com), organizations that address their employees’ career structure can be rewarded with a workforce motivated to produce more.
Boom time ahead for Azerbaijan economy
The Azerbaijan government believes that the new Baku-Tbilisi-Ceylan oil pipeline will provide the catalyst for phenomenal growth in the country’s economy. That the pipeline will strengthen links to Western markets has prompted the government to predict growth of 24.9 percent in 2006 and 30.1 percent the year after. However, a report published by Business Week Online (www.businessweek.com) warns that the opportunity could be squandered without effective legislation against the monopoly and corruption that prevails in the Black Sea country. Many analysts believe that reforms are also necessary to attract the private investment that will help drive down consumer prices and combat poverty. In a country presently reliant on oil, it is hoped that competition will boost other sectors and broaden the economy in anticipation of oil reserves dwindling over the next decade.
The importance of customer relations management
An article published by the Belfast Telegraph (www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk) claims that abundance of choice now makes customers less likely to remain loyal to a single company or brand. Only those firms that put the customer at the center of everything can hope to retain customers over the longer term. According to the report, customer relations management (CRM) is the best way forward. Many organizations already boast a wealth of customer related information and employ multiple systems and communication channels. But without proper integration, the combined outcome is often limited. The role of CRM is to primarily improve the effect by coordinating personnel, functions and technology across a range of business areas that impact on customer relations. Significantly, the report also points out that CRM must become an integral part of organizational culture before any effective strategies can be devised and executed.
On the up and up…
The legacy of Hurricane Katrina and continuing high demand from China will combine to keep oil prices rising over the next few years, a report published by Bloomberg (www.bloomberg.com) has claimed. With demand far outstripping supply, many analysts are upwardly revising their forecasts about the cost of oil during 2006 and 2007. Goldman Sachs now predicts 2006 prices will reach $68, at an average of $55 for the year. Morgan Stanley’s expectation that a barrel may cost $64 in 2006 has also prompted the company to lower its forecast for global economic growth. Some economists even predict that oil prices may rise to as much as $100 by the end of 2007. But the rising cost is failing to stifle the craving of China, responsible for almost half of the increase in global demand. The country’s oil consumption is predicted to increase by another 7.5 percent in 2006. The report also claims that OPEC producers and Russian oilfields will not be able to compensate for damage caused by Katrina to fields in the Gulf of Mexico, where 600,000 barrels a day had been expected by 2007. The figure is now forecast to be nearer to 300,000.