Strategic Planning Research Paper

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Strategic Planning

Task 1

1.1. Factors informing the process of strategic planning  

According to Bain (2014), the success of any strategy is determined by the strategic plans put in place. Effective strategy implementation requires a clear understanding of the process of strategic planning (Favoro, 2015). The set strategies should be in line with the firm’s goals and objectives since they represent the financial strength and sustainability of an organization. It is impeccable for strategic managers to show a clear strategic path for resource allocation and decision making to get the best strategies out of the available alternatives.

The vision of a business is the representative of what the organization wants to look like in future. Additionally, a vision statement tends to provide a picture of what the organization wants to achieve in the long run. On the other hand, the mission statement is short-term and aims to provide the purpose of the organization. The mission statement shows the stakeholders the position of the organization and its capability in the near future.

The goals of an organization provide the means with which it aims to achieve its mission statement, while the objectives are the desired returns that an organization would want to achieve (Iowa, 2011). Finally, the core competencies are the main differentiating factors of an organization from its competitors. Resources, skills, and activities that competitors cannot imitate provide for an organization’s core competencies.

All the laid strategic plans must be consistent with the goals, objectives, mission, core competencies, and vision of an organization since they are the determinants of the expectations of an organization’s stakeholders. Since strategic planning involves laying the foundation for achievement of strategies with the available resources, when all the stakeholders are satisfied as per the mission and vision statement, it becomes possible to implement the strategies for realization of positive results.

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There are a number of issues that affect the process of strategic planning. Strategic planning is referred to as a phase-by-phase procedure with the purpose of advancing the an organization. Of the issues that affect the process of strategic planning, there are five major factors that influence the procedure. Confusion of the strategy with the plan, disconnection from the reality, ineffective strategic analysis, lack of consistent ownership, and complicating the innovative process are some of the issues relating to strategic planning.

During the strategic planning process, some plans seem to liaise with already existing policies, making the current approaches seem void and managers may do away with the strategies. In the course of the process, some employees are not involved and still, the process is intellectual and involving making the strategic managers to be detached from the real world and come up with unreal plans (Bain, 2016). When there is great involvement and use of comprehensive analysis, the process ends up with so many details that make it unattainable.

Also, since it’s only a part of employees that are involved in strategizing and planning, it can be said that the process is now owned by all the employees hence making it difficult for them to be accountable and responsible for mistakes resulting from strategy implementation (Long, 2012). New strategies bring about new control measures which eventually reduces flexibility and innovative nature of an organization. All these issues dampen the process of strategic planning and it’s up to the strategic managers to deal with them before commencing the process to avoid loopholes for successful implementation.

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1.3. An evaluation of strategic plans systems

The techniques used for formulation of strategic plans differ in accordance to the strategy. There is a variety of techniques used for strategic planning but the chosen technique should provide the best possible strategic outcome. The main methods used for strategic planning include; directive, command, coordination, emergent and directive strategic techniques (Iowa, 2011).

A directive technique is used in large organizations that have a simple way of doing things. The technique involves a comprehensive study of the internal and external environment for the top management to carry out strategic plans. However, if the organization is large and complex, the suitable technique is coordination where all the departments and resources are integrated together to find the most suitable strategy.

A command technique is used in small and medium enterprises where the owner or owners get involved in the strategic planning process.  The owner is responsible for strategy formulation, planning, assessment, and implementation since there are few stakeholders involved in the process. A combination of internal and external team of experts is used for strategic planning in the case of emergent technique.

 Therefore, the effectiveness of a strategic technique is highly dependent on the type and nature of an organization. It is crucial for strategic managers to be familiar with their organizations in order to apply the best technique. Combining the different techniques provides for application of the internal and external environment, available expertise skills, as well as associating all the stakeholders in the strategic planning for effective results.  

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Task 2

Successful organizations understand the need to update the existing strategies as well as develop new ones to have a sustained growth. Apart from understanding the objectives, mission, core competencies, goals, and mission of an organization; it is important to understand the micro and macro environment before formulating new strategies. SWOT analysis, PESTEL analysis, and Michael Porter’s analysis are some of the main tools that can be used in assessing the environmental factors affecting an organization for the formulation of new strategies (Sun, 2015).

2.1. McDonalds

McDonalds operates as a food chain and has a presence in 200 nations. Founded in 1955, it has continuously grown in market share and revenue through diversification of products and engagement in online selling to increase customer value for maximum satisfaction.

2.2.     McDonald’s organizational audit

To carry out McDonald’s organizational audit, SWOT analysis is necessary.  SWOT analysis is carried out to determine the strengths and weaknesses of an organization, as well as identify the opportunities and threats that an organization faces for the formulation of a sustainable strategy for an increase in market share.


  1. Ever since it was founded in 1955, the company prides itself in a great market share where it has established itself in 119 countries with more than 40 million customers.
  2. Offers a variety of products and menus for customers. The diversity of products makes the company have a sustained growth and increase in revenues over time.
  3. Utilizes up-to-date knowhow such as online marketing to increase customer value and market share.


Although the company has a sustained organization environment, its main weakness is in the product delivery after the emergence of E-commerce. It is difficult to deliver products to all its consumers due to infrastructural problems and bad weather.


Just like other food chains, the company’s main threats are:

  1. Intense market competition since there is free market entry.
  2. Rapid changes in consumer tastes and preferences.
  3. Penetration of the web


  1. Globalization that has created numerous avenues for expansion of the company.
  2. Technology advancement leading to diversification of trade through e-commerce.

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2.3. McDonald’s environmental audit

The intention of carrying out an organization audit is to understand the market that a firm operates in. Since McDonald has an international manifestation, its environmentally friendly inventory is influenced by technological, political, legal, economic, environmental, and legal factors.  The environmental audit is a global one. Through the of PESTEL model, it is possible to carry out an environmental audit on McDonald’s.

2.4.      PESTEL Analysis

Some governments may encourage the company’s presence in their countries by giving out incentives while some may restrict operations hence influencing the strategies set up by McDonald’s strategic managers. Economic factors that affect the strategies set by the company include inflation, recessions, demand, and the supply of the products. Also, the company’s operations are socially affected in terms of the culture of the different market segments such that McDonald has to formulate strategies are consistent with certain cultural orientation.

There are some governments that impose high tariffs and taxes on foreign companies or reduce the rates to encourage the companies and McDonald is not left out. In addition, the strategy of the company is affected by innovations like information technology as well as electronic-commerce, which have an impact on the manner in which company operations are carried out. All these PESTEL factors influence the company and the way it formulates its strategies.

2.5. Significance of stakeholder analysis in strategy formulation

Stakeholders are the persons who are directly or indirectly affected by the operations of an organization. Like other businesses, McDonald’s stakeholders include: employees, customers, lenders, investors and the government. To effectively formulate a new strategy, it is important for a company to analyze all the stakeholders’ needs and expectations of the company (Duggan, 2014). A stakeholder analysis is a procedure used to assess and determine the effect of the key persons in an organization as well as their influence in the organization.

A company`s appraisal is considered to: decide the individuals that will undesirably or definitely have an influence on organizations operations, comprehend the influence of the shareholders on the business, and come up with approaches that are reinforced by all shareholders as well as reduce the difficulties the institute might go through  when implementing the strategies.

2.6.      Advantages of stakeholder analysis in formulating a new strategy

  1. It is possible to get expertise opinions that assist in shaping of a strategy as well as gaining support for effective strategy implementation.
  2. When stakeholders are involved in strategy formulation, an organization increases its chances of getting extra resources.
  3. It gives a clear understanding of the opinions people have for the company hence providing room for improvement through the new strategies.
    1. New strategy for McDonald’s

With the rapid changes that are taking place in the market, the best strategy that McDonald should adopt is e-commerce so as to increase its market share and increase consumer’s value.

Task 3

It is important that various alternative strategies are looked into before implementation. Each strategy has its advantages and disadvantages and it’s the strategy with the best outcome that should be taken (Duggan, 2013). In line with the vision and mission of Marks and Spencer, substantive growth, market entry, limited growth, and retrenchment are some of the available alternative strategies. This section outlines the four alternative strategies and recommends a strategy for Marks and Spencer

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3.1. Background

Mark and Spencer is a multinational retailer offers a variety of products in clothing and accessories (Mark & Spencer 2016). The company was founded in 1884 and is one of the leading retailers in the world.

3.2. Evaluation of the alternative strategies by Marks and Spencer

Substantive growth strategy is formulated through mergers and acquisition. Suppose a business if sturdy in terms of finances, then this implies that it is able to consider a strategy. Marks and Spencer has a big market share but it can merge with another firm to increase the share for sustained growth. Also, an expansion strategy exists by acquiring another business as it will be at a reduced cost and procedures.

An inadequate development approach is integrated using a joint venture thus leading to a diminished competitive edge, thus Marks and Spencer do not consider it. Reduction of cost and assets as well as revenue generation is some of the retrenchment strategies available for Marks and Spencer. The company can reduce its operation cost in Middle East. Moreover, the company should strategize on taking up extra market segments in the world to increase its market share.

3.3. Recommended strategy for Marks and Spencer

The company best alternative strategy is sustained growth through mergers and acquisition. The firm is already financially stable and strong hence is in a position to acquire or merge with other businesses in the same line. The strategy is the best of the other alternatives since it will lead to cost reduction with increased market share and sales.

Also, the microeconomic challenges faced in some of the countries can be phased out through mergers with firms that are already stable in those economies. The competitive nature of the clothing industry requires uniqueness of strategies which can only be achieved by liaising with firms that already understand the culture of the people in the various market segments.

Task 4

A strategy is void unless it is implemented. After successful strategic planning it is crucial to identify proper methods for implementation. Implementation is the final stage and the way it’s carried out determines if the strategy will be successful (Sage, 2014).

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4.1. Honda’s Background information

The company is multinational and operates in the automobile industry. It is the second largest automobile and was founded since 1959. The company operates globally and has sells a variety of products.

4.2. Responsibilities and roles of personnel in strategy implementation

The formulated strategy has to be communicated to the different stakeholders either formally or informally. The functions of each organization are influenced by the novel approach and needs the application of an informed communication to reach out regardless if it is horizontal or vertical.

The personnel equipped with the implementation process are responsible for mapping the strategy, integrating the organization for delivering the strategy, and carrying out the change process as impacted by the new strategy.

The personnel have the role of mapping the new strategy to the internal and external users to make them have an idea of the prospects of the new strategy to the operations and image of the organization. By mapping the strategy, the personnel will also be involved in positioning the strategy to the existing culture of the organization so that it fits with the firm’s expectations. Finally, the personnel are tasked with the change process that results from the new strategy.

The middle management and outside parties are the ones that take the responsibility of strategy implementation. The middle managers implement the strategic plan that has been set up by top managers through making sense of the strategy to other stakeholders, interpretation and re-adjustment of the stakeholders view on the strategies, and advising the senior management on the implications of the new strategy (Lewis & McKone, 2015). Shareholders are convoluted in the modification procedure and compelled to make the policy flexible as envisioned by the organization.

 4.3. Resource requirements for implementing a new strategy for Honda

Resource allocation is a strategic process aimed at aligning all of organizations resources to its goals and objectives. Resources are in form of finance, human labor, and infrastructure. All these resources must be used in such a way that they lead to the achievement of the strategies.

Honda required resources are finance and human resources since it is already in possession of the materials and tools required for strategy implementation. To achieve its innovative process of generating unique products, the company needs expertise skills as well as finance to undertake the process of research and development as well as start-up capital for the new venture.

4.4. SMART targets

For achievement of strategy implementation in Honda, SMART goals must be set. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-oriented. A strategy should be specific and clear to avoid complications during its implementation. A realistic target is achievable and falls within a specific time frame that is also measurable and is agreeable by all stakeholders. When a target is SMART it is easily implemented and is successful in the long run (Haughey, 2014).

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Strategic management is one of the crucial functions of a business. If all stakeholders are involved in the strategy formulation process, it becomes easier to implement and the required resources are made available. A strategy is said to be successful if it’s SMART has been analyzed using SWOT and PESTEL tools. After formulation, it requires different parties to take up the process of communicating the strategy in order to integrate all the functions of the organization for successful implementation of the strategies.


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Duggan, T 2013. Strategic management and how to allocate resources [online] available at:

Duggan, T 2014. What are the roles and responsibilities of strategic project manager? [online] available at:

Favoro, K 2015. Defining strategy, implementation and execution [online] available at:

Haughey, D 2014. SMART goals: [online] available at:

Honda 2016. Honda[online] available at:

Iowa 2011. Basics of strategic planning. Retrieved from:

Lewis A & McKone D., 2016.  Strategic planning[online] available at:

Long, N 2012. What is the role of an employee in the implementation process? [online]  available at:

Mark & Spencer 2016. Mark and Spencer Online. [online] available at:!2750!3!76493220287!e!!g!!mark%20and%20spencer&device=c&ef_id=VqCuxgAAAWf@2QeZ:20160323111459:s

McDonalds 2016. Strategies. [online] available at :

Sun, L 2011. Environmental factors in strategic planning. Retrieved from:

Sage, S 2015. Strategic implementation[online] available at.:

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Back Pain: Research Study in Australia

Back Pain
Back Pain

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Back Pain


Back pain is a common and costly disorder in Australia. Hoy et al., (2014) report that about 25% of Australians suffer from back pain and approximately half of them seek medical attention. The direct costs for treatment of this condition in Australia have been estimated to be approximately $ 1 billion with an addition of $ 8 used in indirect costs (Buchbinder et al., 2013).

The condition is also prevalent within the healthcare professionals where nurses have a higher likelihood of developing back pains unlike individuals from other professions. In South Australia alone, back injury accounts for over $2 million in every financial year (Lorig et al., 2013). Surveys of patient self-managing their back pain as well as those managed in primary care have indicated that usual care is not often evidence based hence hindering provision of best outcomes to patients.

Consequently, there has been a growing demand to address the ramifications of back pain through changes in health policies, investments, and service delivery. Healthcare providers, are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that patients receive effective prevention and treatment strategies to curb this menace.

In my visit to John’s home, there are a number of activities that I will conduct to examine John’s condition and the proper intervention that he needs for effective management of his condition. Some of these activities that I will examine include;

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Patient Education

In my initial visit, the first is educating John on chronic back pain. I will highlight clearly that the condition may arise due to an injury or diseases on different body structures such as the muscles, joints, ligaments, or nerves. According to Traeger et al., (2014), the type of pain varies and can be felt as muscle pain, bone pain, or nerve pain. I will also emphasize that it is important for patients to seek medical attention the moment they have back pains and not wait until the disorder worsens to promote effective management of the condition.

At this point, it will be of great significance for me to let John know that he is not the only one suffering from back pain. He should understand that back pain is a massive problem in Australia that sends more people to seek medical attention more than any other condition except common cold (Driscoll et al., 2014).

Nutrition and Weight loss

Normally, patients who are overweight and suffer from back pain, such as John, may not be aware their excess weight aggravates their condition (Brady et al., 2016). It is well known that obese patients are at a greater risk for back pain, muscle strain, and joint pain unlike those that are not overweight. Moreover, obese patients also complain of fatigue and shortness of breath which makes them refrain from exercises worsening their back pain (Heuch et al., 2013).

When patients do not get enough exercise for quite some time, the back’s supporting structures become weak, stiff, and deconditioned which further increases pain (Silisteanu & Covasa, 2015, November). It is for this reasons that I will encourage John to have a weight loss program which may involve gentle low-impact activities such as walking, jogging, or water therapy. I will also advise John to avoid eating foods with high fat content. He should also stick to a rational nutrition plan which involves changes in eating habits as a step toward effective management of his back pain.

During the visit, I will observe John’s posture and position. Reviewing of John’s curvature of the spine, shoulder symmetry, and the iliac crest will also be of great importance. I will conduct a physical examination through palpation of John’s paraspinal muscle to identify any form of tenderness and then initiate proper interventions as per the findings.

Pain Alleviation

For pain reduction, I will encourage John to take timed bed rests and adjust his position to improve flexion of the lumbar region. I will teach him to regulate and adjust the pains that traverse through the respiratory diaphragm. Relaxation can also help in reducing muscle tension that contributes to back pain. John should also adjust his sitting position regularly or even engage in other activities such as reading books, watching a movie or take part in yoga.

I will advise John to request his wife, Donna, to gently massage his back. It has been proven by Kumar, Beaton & Hughes, 2013; Schulz et al., 2014) that massage aids in reduction of muscle spasms, reducing damming, and improve blood circulation.

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Depression is the most common emotion linked to chronic back pain. Patients with chronic back pain have major depression which is said to be four times greater in such patients than in the general public in Australia. John is not an exception from this statistics since he reports that he is depressed because he can no longer take part in activities such as hiking and cycling that he has always loved.

Research has revealed that depression can trigger back pain (Steffens et al., 2012). It affects the intensity, frequency and the rate of healing of back pain. Consequently, I will advise John to communicate about the depression. Mostly, many patients do not talk to their physicians about their depression, anxiety, or stress (Center, 2012). Individuals that are stressed tend to tense their back muscles which in turn trigger the onset of low back pain or make it even worse.

They believe that the emotions will go away once the initial pain problem is solved. Therefore, John should regularly keep me updated about his feelings so that I may provide desirable care to him. I will also recommend John to interact with other people, for instance, he can occasionally visiting his daughter or son or play with his grandchild to avoid being lonely and stressed up.

The two activities that I will give priority in my subsequent visits are;

  1. Adherence to Medication

Generally, healthcare providers are aware of the considerable increase in rates of opioid prescribing. Opioids have long been used as pain management agents. However, they are associated with adverse reactions such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, respiratory depression, addiction, and even death. The side effects usually limit their use by patients. Therefore, in my first visit and subsequent visits, this is an issue I will be reviewing.

In these visits, I will assess the effectiveness of the prescribed analgesics and inquire from John on whether what he feels after taking the drug. I will then initiate appropriate adjustments according to the patient’s condition for effective pain management. Besides, other pain management therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic care, and herbal medicines such as ginger, capsaicin and feverfew can be used (Ferreira et al., 2014).

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ii)  Exercise

According to Searle et al., (2015)exercise should be the first treatment choice for a patient with back problems such as John. This is because exercise matches the fact that individuals with chronic back pain should be physically active and involve themselves in their management. Moreover, treatments such as massage, acupuncture, and manipulative therapy are passive hence the patient is not involved in the therapy.

Falla et al., (2014) further highlight that exercise provides other health benefits beyond back pain management, for instance, in terms of bone and cardiovascular health. Therefore, I will encourage John to take part in usually low grade oscillatory exercises such as knees side to side rotation, knee to chest stretches, pelvic tilts, and press ups. I will also help John to come up with an exercise program which I will be supervising to ensure he follows it.

 There are several forms of exercise and there is no genuine reason of expecting that one approach would be better than the other (O’Sullivan, 2012; Elden et al, 2013).  As a result, I will give John a list of beneficial exercises he can engage in and enquire from him which type he would prefer so that it is included in the exercise program. The best form of exercise for any patient is the one they are enthusiastic about and willing to continue with.

For instance, John says he likes cycling; an activity that has been recorded to have desirable outcomes in patients with back pains. This can be included in his program. I will advise John not to take part in heavy physical activities, circular motions, and sways which often worsen the condition. I will encourage John to switch activities while sitting, lying or walking for a long time.

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Back pain is a common health problem in Australia (Cramer et al., 2013). However, its prevalence can be reduced significantly if patients and clinicians work together. Patients, for instance, should seek early medical attention and adhere to the prescribed medications and the recommended activities. On the other hand, physicians should keep a close surveillance on these patients and ensure that desirable patient outcomes are realized.


Brady, S. R., Hussain, S., Brown, W. J., Heritier, S., Billah, B., Wang, Y., & Cicuttini, F. M. (2016). Relationships between weight, physical activity and back pain in young adult women. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage24, S10-S11.

Buchbinder, R., Blyth, F. M., March, L. M., Brooks, P., Woolf, A. D., & Hoy, D. G. (2013). Placing the global burden of low back pain in context. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology27(5), 575-589.

Center, C., Relief, P., Covington, L. A., & Parr, A. T. (2012). Caudal epidural injections in the management of chronic low back pain: a systematic appraisal of the literature. Pain Physician15, E159-E198.

Cramer, H., Lauche, R., Haller, H., & Dobos, G. (2013). A systematic review and meta-analysis of yoga for low back pain. The Clinical journal of pain, 29(5), 450-460.

Depression Goesling, J., Clauw, D. J., & Hassett, A. L. (2013). Pain and depression: an integrative review of neurobiological and psychological factors. Current psychiatry reports15(12), 1-8.

Driscoll, T., Jacklyn, G., Orchard, J., Passmore, E., Vos, T., Freedman, G., & Punnett, L. (2014). The global burden of occupationally related low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study. Annals of the rheumatic diseases, annrheumdis-2013.

Elden, H., Gutke, A., Kjellby-Wendt, G., Fagevik Olsén, M., Stankovic, N., & Östgaard, H. C. (2013). Back pain in relation to pregnancy: A longitudinal 10-year follow-up of 369 women diagnosed with pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. In Advances in multidisciplinary research for better spinal/pelvic care. The 8th Interdiciplinary World Congress on Low Back & Pelvic Pain, Oct, 2013. Dubai.

Falla, D., Gizzi, L., Tschapek, M., Erlenwein, J., & Petzke, F. (2014). Reduced task-induced variations in the distribution of activity across back muscle regions in individuals with low back pain. PAIN®155(5), 944-953.

Ferreira, P. H., Ferreira, M. L., Maher, C. G., Refshauge, K. M., Latimer, J., & Adams, R. D. (2013). The therapeutic alliance between clinicians and patients predicts outcome in chronic low back pain. Physical therapy93(4), 470-478.

Heuch, I., Heuch, I., Hagen, K., & Zwart, J. A. (2013). Body mass index as a risk factor for developing chronic low back pain: a follow-up in the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study. Spine38(2), 133-139.

Hoy, D., March, L., Brooks, P., Blyth, F., Woolf, A., Bain, C., & Murray, C. (2014). The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study. Annals of the rheumatic diseases, annrheumdis-2013.

 Kumar, S., Beaton, K., & Hughes, T. (2013). The effectiveness of massage therapy for the treatment of nonspecific low back pain: a systematic review of systematic reviews. Int J Gen Med6, 733-741.

Lorig, K., Ritter, P. L., Plant, K., Laurent, D. D., Kelly, P., & Rowe, S. (2013). The South Australia health chronic disease self-management Internet trial. Health Education & Behavior40(1), 67-77.

O’Sullivan, P. (2012). It’s time for change with the management of non-specific chronic low back pain. British journal of sports medicine46(4), 224-227.

Schulz, C., Leininger, B., Evans, R., Vavrek, D., Peterson, D., Haas, M., & Bronfort, G. (2014). Spinal manipulation and exercise for low back pain in adolescents: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Chiropractic & manual therapies22(1), 1.

Searle, A., Spink, M., Ho, A., & Chuter, V. (2015). Exercise interventions for the treatment of chronic low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trialsClinical rehabilitation29(12), 1155-1167.

Silisteanu, S. C., & Covasa, M. (2015, November). Reduction of body weight through nutrition intervention reduces chronic low back pain. In E-Health and Bioengineering Conference (EHB), 2015 (pp. 1-3). IEEE.

Steffens, D., Ferreira, M. L., Maher, C. G., Latimer, J., Koes, B. W., Blyth, F. M., & Ferreira, P. H. (2012). Triggers for an episode of sudden onset low back pain: study protocol. BMC musculoskeletal disorders13(1), 7.

Tekur, P., Nagarathna, R., Chametcha, S., Hankey, A., & Nagendra, H. R. (2012). A comprehensive yoga programs improves pain, anxiety and depression in chronic low back pain patients more than exercise: an RCT.Complementary therapies in medicine20(3), 107-118.

Traeger, A. C., Moseley, G. L., Hübscher, M., Lee, H., Skinner, I. W., Nicholas, M. K., & Hush, J. M. (2014). Pain education to prevent chronic low back pain: a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMJ open,4(6), e005505.

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What is Child Development?

Child Development
Child Development

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What is Child Development?

Child development basically is any transition in human beings between birth and the end of maturity. It is progressive and is bound to affect the next change or preceding development of a child. Child development may be as a result of many factors including; getting educated, environmental factors and the completion of adolescence. They are many development times in a child before being an adolescent. (Feldman, 2012, pg 67) A child is referred to as a new born between the first 4 weeks of childhood, an infant between 4 weeks and 1 year, a toddler up to 3 years, a preschooler 4-6 years, school aged child 6-13 and an adolescent as from 13 years up to 19 years.

There are many factors that lead to proper child development; parents being one of the many factors, the parents hence play a key role. They help the child to blend socially, academically and reach development wholly. A child is also supposed to receive good care for any chance of proper development which should be the case in order to reach full development. There are so many theories that define child development, such a theory is the ecological systems theory brought up by Urie Branfenbreener who based his postulates on four systems .These were Microsystems, Ecosystem, Macrosystem and Mesosystem .The systems clearly give directives on development. (Feldman, 2012, pg 87)

Jean Piaget a Swiss scholar also developed a theory solely on animals. He came up with stages which include the sensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, concrete stage, formal operations stage which is the last stage. During the sensorimotor stage the child is able to perceive the unseen .At the preoperational stage children explicate their surrounding using symbols of the mind such as words and images.

With this the child is able to apply them in their childish endeavors assuming that they know better and very well as compared to other people. They tend to display ego mostly and knowing more than most people .The concrete stage shows how children begin to think differently and bear a sense of mind. They are able to make it out of situations just by putting their mind to it.

The formal operations is the  final stage which  depicts children as beings able to relate very well and have the clear indication of things that happen or are to happen. This however also means that the child creates a sought of feeling of superiority to most people at times thinking that maybe he/she is at the peak and above the rest which  is not the case. Vygotsky based his theory on the society’s role in developing the child. The child first grows then is able to relate with other people at large. With the help of an adult the child is able to grow and learn for example using rhymes or by certain movements such as tapping.   

John Bowlby came with the attachment theory but Mary Ainsworth improved it. It clearly depicts that the strong ties or bonds between a child and a guardian, a child and a parent, a child and the one looking after the child helps with the growth of the child.  Eric Erickson developed a theory to the aspect of child development too. (Demick & Andreoletti, pg 82, 2014) This include trust vs. mistrust (infant),Autonomy vs. shame (toddlerhood),Initiative vs. guilt (preschooler),Industry vs. inferiority (young adolescent),Identity vs. role confusion (adolescent),Intimacy vs. isolation (young adulthood), Generativity vs. stagnation (middle adulthood),Ego integrity vs. despair (old age).

Other theories include behavioral theory as well as the psychosexual theory .The stages needed to be fully complete for the preceding one to take course basing it also on the libido in a particular place or different places. (Demick & Andreoletti, pg 85, 2014)  The theory has similarities with Bowlby’s theory of attachment and the study of motor development .It helps to relate developments together and to create assertiveness and perception to things.

A different theory known as the “core knowledge perspective” is based on certain domains very important to development which include; physical ,linguistic, numerical, psychological and biological. The main cause of growth is mainly genetic or as a result of the immediate environment. Genetic factors have a great influence on the cell, the diet required, development of the brain too and its growth basically. Certain experiments show that organisms are able to survive with a small change in the environment too or when exposed to environments of slight variation.

However the environment still serves as a factor of development, sometimes both genetic and environmental factors both cause developmental changes .When the rate of genetic factors on the child is high this means that the rate of environmental factors is very low.(Crowley, 2014, pg 114). Physical growth is mainly change in stature over time and this includes the size, weight and physique or stature. This is accompanied with the change in structure such as of the limbs, as a child one has small limbs but as one matures into an adult the limbs become even bigger.

The child shows growth from the head up to the toe with development of vital organs too in the body. The child at first grows fast then progressively and much slower later on. Nutrition ,dieting ,diseases, injuries and exposition to certain things play an important role in the general development. .(Crowley, 2014, pg 114) Variations created later could be as a result of the environment or the genes of the parents and sometimes differences created as a result of different reproductive maturation.

Movement too is a factor of development with the child developing from single steps to continuous and progressive much more conducive steps. This also has an effect on the final posture what is known as motor development. Continuous and vigorous exercise also determines the posture and the ability to move oneself. Children with developed complications may find it very hard to develop and may develop complications. .(Crowley, 2014, pg 115)

This includes sitting, talking or even walking. Development may also vary due to individual differences such as a boy and a girl or even of the left foot and hand as well as the right hand and foot. A child should also be able to develop intellectually and grow certain cognitive abilities .However this depends on certain factors including nutrition, exercise and the parents’ response to the child.

A child first develops response to time and sequence and these increases with the continuing years. This ability was built on successive years checking keenly on their speed and pattern. This is however affected by an individual being left behind or choosing to, this happens in the case of boys and girls. Newborns also tend to create a liking which later changes and they later become weak and scared of people and certain things.

As the child grows he/she becomes friendly and is able to pick out her friends as well as developing feelings attached to people warding off anger or resentment. The more the child tends to relate with the parents certain aspects of social and emotional development are also seen to grow and build. Boys acquire certain behaviors while girls also acquire certain behaviors with differences in their character. (Charlesworth, 2016, pg 20)

Language serves a very important role in development .The components of early childhood development are phonology which leans more on the sounds of language, lexicon, morphology which entails looking deeply into the forms and pragmatics .Infants usually at first have soft vowels and develop cooing and then babbling comes in next ushering repetition of sounds.

(Charlesworth, 2016, pg 22) At 6 months the child is able to understand other’s speech and build on it up to age six as well as acquire mastery of speech and pronunciation .This ensures full participation of the child and exchange based on language .Theories of language development include the bootstrapping theory which bases it theory on the child’s ability to pick out meaning .

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The multi-route model believes in the parent’s ability to influence strongly the speech of the child. Children’s language depends on the attachment of words also known as semantics. .However speech is an important form of development. Delays may lead to serious consequences on the child’s side and the parent therefore should keenly monitor the child’s speech .

There are many causes to this and could be either environmental such as the concentration on other development milestones and stages whereby a child focuses on standing or even walking and neglects even talking. Dire causes could be as a result of neurological causes, for example, deafness, dyslexia and autism. (Brainerd & Pressley, 2012, pg 115) Factors that may pose a risk to the child’s development are either environmental or hereditary.

Environmental factors include those of the prenatal and post natal environment. Prenatal factors are those factors during pregnancy they include nutritional deficiencies, use of drugs, state of the uterus, exposure to radiation, infections, placental implantation. The post natal factors include the external environment, hormones influence, family, nutrition of the child. However malnutrition, maternal depression and substance abuse remain the common factors.

Other factors include post natal depression, socioeconomic status, parasites and poisoning. Abuse of substance also has a great effect, for example, cocaine which leads to poor development of the child especially the mental development altering with the brain functioning. (Feldman, 2012, pg 56) Children who face malnutrition weigh lesser in terms of kilograms and are most times shorter in length .It is also believed that malnutrition poses a danger to one’s  intelligence quotient.

Certain ions also serve as important functions to the body and it is therefore important that one observes proper nutrition of a child. The socioeconomic status is based on income, academic or educational achievements and work. Poverty is seen   to affect so many children in the case of malnutrition and development also due to nutrition. The parents academic achievement may have an effect on the child’s too ,that is how he/she is to perform. This children are affected in class and perceived by many as daft and left behind by teachers.

Some parasites also result into greater effects preventing the development of most children .Obesity still remains a common problem to all with most children not following a proper diet as a result of exposure and sometimes the parents or themselves. Some factors also popular include abuse which could be physical .A child may also not reach his proper state of development due to non proper state of development due to no proper observance of the common factors as a  result of not receiving care. (In Edelman, In Mandle & In Kudzma, 2014, pg 418)

A child who has been neglected is identifiable even by practitioners .The developmental delay may be as a result of many factors and can never easily be ruled out on nurturing .It could be as a result of genetic disorder, disease, physical, sexual or emotional abuse or even a mixture of them at times.

In conclusion, child development is a very important stage in the human cycle therefore it is necessary for all relevant parties involved in this process to take all due duty of care to ensure that  the process is attained in the optimum possible favorable factors. 


Brainerd, C. J., & Pressley, M. (2012). Verbal Processes in Children: Progress in Cognitive Development Research. New York, NY: Springer New York.

Charlesworth, R. (2016). Understanding child development. Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning.

Crowley, K. (2014). Child Development: A Practical Introduction

Demick, J., & Andreoletti, C. (2014). Handbook of adult development. New York: Springer

Feldman, R. S. (2012). Child development. Boston: Pearson

In Edelman, C., In Mandle, C. L., & In Kudzma, E. C. (2014). Health promotion throughout the life span.

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