Please use article provided or pick a journal article of your choice relating to the Human Resources field study and critique. Ensure article is not more than two years old.
The object of your critique is to describe how the study followed or failed to follow the criteria for good research. Speculate on which of the writer's conclusions were warranted and which were not. Please include the following topics in your critique of the selected research article:
-Problem or objective
-Population sampling for study
-Data collection methods and analysis
-Limited and justifiable conclusions
. If possible use Exploring Research (seventh edition) by Neil J. Salkind as a reference
Article for Critique:
(c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company
, Inc. Reproduced with permission of copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.
For a case study in the volatile life cycle of information-based companies
, the news last week of a planned sale of insurance operations in Asia may not sound as compelling as forecasting the next revenue stream from Facebook or divulging the technical specs of the iPad.
But the company
founded in Shanghai in 1919 as American
Asiatic Underwriters was built on the then-rare premise that better information was the key to better business. Over time, it became the biggest insurance company
in Asia and a global powerhouse--until it grew so large and complex that it didn't have enough information to control its own risks.
Asiatic Underwriters is better known by the name of the company
it became, AIG. AIG got the biggest bailout of a private company
after its financial products group got caught in the credit crunch of 2008. AIG's colorful story deserves telling now that it has to sell its original business--and its only apparent growth driver--to pay back taxpayers. Prudential has offered $35.5 billion for AIG's Asian operations.
AIG is a rare large American company
founded and largely grown elsewhere. Founder Cornelius Vander Starr was the first American
to start a company
in China that became a global success. His original inspiration, almost a century ago, was the insight that as people live longer, policyholders outlive actuarial life expectancies, lowering insurance claims. His was the first foreign company
to sell life insurance to the Chinese.
In 1935, Starr was featured in Fortune magazine for having profits estimated to be as large as any U.S.-based insurer. "This money is earned upon a sociological premise, that the standards of living and hygiene of the Chinese middle classes are improving, with a consequent decline in the death rate," Fortune explained. "Indeed, since Chinese statistics are all but nonexistent, the success of Mr. Starr's American
Asiatic Underwriters . . . is perhaps the best available proof that the death-rate decline in China is a reality."
didn't always make the right call. At first, Starr thought that Mao and the communists would leave freewheeling Shanghai alone. Instead, his managers were jailed and company
property was confiscated.
were wrung dry like dishrags until we had lost everything," his country manager, Charles Miner, told Time magazine in 1956 when he managed to escape the country after bribing communist officials.
Still, the company
went on to develop a specialty in risk analysis and was a pioneer in the creation of insurance products to limit political risk. These included policies to protect companies
against expropriation and the risk that their currency could no longer be converted due to changes in government rules.
Former AIG executive Ron Shelp recalls how he created a unit to compete with the U.S. government's Overseas Private Investment Corp. by selling insurance focused on political risk. The company
gathered data "to insure a wide assortment of risks--from a baseball team wanting protection against rainstorms to the cargo of a Czech ship carrying refugees from Vladivostok to Europe," Mr. Shelp writes in his book "Fallen Giant."
Starr's successor, Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, helped reopen China, where he was a frequent visitor in the 1980s as economic reform began. He bought from an art dealer the original carved doors that had been part of the Summer Palace in Beijing, then donated them to China.
AIG was eventually accepted as such an old friend of China that in 1998 it was allowed to return to its pre-Mao headquarters in Shanghai.
Mr. Greenberg had the foresight and diplomatic skills to help return capitalism to China. But when then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer went after Mr. Greenberg on an alleged accounting violation, the AIG board felt obliged to toss him out in 2005. Mr. Spitzer never did file criminal charges against Mr. Greenberg and the charges at the heart of a civil case lodged against the man who led AIG since 1968 were eventually dropped.
Opinions differ on whether or not he could have prevented the later enormous losses in the company
's financial products group. The group badly underestimated the collapse of asset-backed securities in the fall of 2008--a fatal failure to understand risk.
Ironies abound. A company
built on taking prudent risks was upended through imprudent risk taking. A company
that sold policies to protect against expropriation overseas was taken over by Washington. A company
with entrepreneurial roots in prewar Shanghai ends up owned by a risk-averse U.S. government willing to sell prime assets such as the Asian operations.
Meantime, Mr. Greenberg now runs an insurance company
called C.V. Starr & Co., which has been hiring former AIG executives. Its headquarters are in New York, but field offices include Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
Credit: By L. Gordon Crovitz
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