I would like to share with you my Graduate Research paper. Still can’t believe I did a great job on it :)
Managing Cultural Change within a Global Industry: Using Creativity to Bridge a Community within the Process Industry
KCI Publishing Corporation –Stainless Steel World Americas
Mount Saint Vincent University
Graduate Communications Department: Master of Public Relations
Graduate Research Seminar Project
By Samantha Stevens
Professor: Dr. Alla Kushniryk
Organizational leaders are interested in identifying the cultural representation and creativity patterns within print media. When a publishing firm measures the success of the brand, editors attempt to measure the quality of content, cultural quality and the level of professionalism in a global publication based on readership circulation numbers and price. However these values of measurement are not clear indicators to identifying a strong publication. The purpose of this study is to examine a global industrial publication like Stainless Steel World, to illustrate what impacts a publications success on a local and global scale. Literature reveals there is no clear procedure to assess the quality of content in newspapers; however the concept of creativity can embrace multiculturalism in news production and elevate brand identity. The research question is posed: how can publishers use creativity as a tool to analyze the quality of production? Developing a basic assessment using studied literature and case studies to measure the quality of news and the impact of creativity identifies the strengths and weakness of a publication marketed within different geographical markets. In a case study approach we examine KCI’s Publishing Corporation, a technology driven, independent Media and information Group. Data collected four Stainless Steel World magazines published in four different languages to examine content quality, visual design, promotion and the relationship with its consumers. Results showed as a multinational organization, fierce competition is driven by geography, content, design and the promotion of the brand. Also KCI uses their own publications to monopolize against each other causes friction between authors and diminish creativity in the publication.
Organizational leaders are interested in identifying the cultural representation and creativity patterns within their news publications. The image of brand can express the internal and external success of the organization (Schulz and Hatch, 2002). The name of a brand can represent or associate with a particular cultural group, market or community, for example, Stainless Steel World Asia or Stainless World Americas Journal. On the other hand, publishing firms may find it challenging to measure the publication for content quality, cultural quality and production quality due to different procedures. KCI (Knowledge, Communication and Information), a technology-driven information and media group wants to expand the stainless steel market into Brazil but before they can do that they want to know how effectively are they reaching readers through their current stainless steel publications. The purpose of this study will investigate a global industrial publication, Stainless Steel World, on a local and global scale.
As an independent company, KCI Publishing focuses on the process industries like chemical, offshore, onshore (nuclear) power generation, food and beverage, petrochemical, pulp and paper applications. It has established widely recognized brands, such as Valve World, Stainless Steel World, Nuclear Exchange, Pump Engineer, Edelstahl Aktuell, Armaturen Welt, Pumpen Aktuell, Stainless Steel World Asia Journal and Valve World Americas Journal. These publications are published and distributed through their offices located in Germany, the Netherlands, China and Canada with over 80 employees of 28 different nationalities.
In 1989 KCI was found in Zutpehn, The Netherlands the market has grown rapidly with new technologies, and companies emerging across the globe. Incorporating a multi-cultural business approach to format it across multiple cultural cities and locations to make it marketable and competitive. KCI’s vision is to “connect business to business professionals by building and sustaining global communities, solving their information needs and helping them to develop their professional life and friendships” (KCI Publishing Corp 2013). There are seven essential business values that contribute to the organizational culture found in the products and services available which are: creativity, solidarity, communicable, authenticity, perseverance, targeted and fair play (KCI Publishing Corp,2013). As part of the initiative for the continual growth of the global industry, KCI has established a multi-media portfolio to disseminate through four media channels: print media, online media, live media and research media. As a representative working in the communications department, I want to be able to promote the diversity of our publications to service both multi-cultural and multinational organizations in the industrial sector.
As an independent media group, KCI has experienced fast growth, producing several industrial publications across the globe encountering challenges to maintain economic stability and innovation with ( word here) publications such as The Stainless Steel World journals/magazines (not counting buyers guides) transcribed and published in Chinese, European, French and American markets. Hence the publication targets specific cultural market, to reach a larger audience to communicate reliable, readable and update information.
As an organization with a customer base each media channel offers global brand awareness to give consumers the best exposure and opportunity to connect with other end-users and manufacturers within the valve, pump, and stainless steel industry. Their print media side of the business contains global publications in English, German, and Chinese. Stainless Steel World Americas Journal, for example, is handled by the Toronto office, and distributed to global consumers in the stainless steel and corrosion industry.
Stainless Steel World Americas Journal is an innovative newspaper distributed throughout North Americas, reaching industries such as petrochemicals, stainless steel, duplex steel, chemicals, and oil & gas. Launched in December of 2009, the journal contains latest information on technical and market management regarding stainless steel end-users, manufacturers, distributors and equipment suppliers. There are also versions in German, Stainless World News, and Chinese, Stainless World Asia.
Since the launch of the Stainless Steel News brand, there has been new direction in the quality of design and type of content to appeal for American readership. In Lowery (2008) research in his research the roles of newspaper news room within the design department as papers with lower circulation (known as a trailing paper) suggests trailing papers are more willing to experiment with design innovation” (p.394).Overtime decisions influence from editorial staff can predict a different tone in the quality of writing and incorporation of visual illustrations. Organizations in the publishing industry need to be aware of the upcoming changes in print publishing. There are two important changes in the environment of newspaper organization that have contributed to loss of status on part of the publishing industry: technology and the diversity of communities (Sullivan,2006). As well design variability “has been linked to changes in the organization of newspaper production” (Lowery,2008,p.350).
In comparison, the sister publication Stainless Steel World Asia has a different approach to the design quality of the publication. Marketed to attract consumers by adapting cultural native language, Stainless Steel World Asia’s news has a strong focus to the Asian and Chinese stainless steel community. As Fitzsimmons, et al. (2011) show in their studies on multicultural organization, using local culture and business practices to strengthen the communication between markets, such as Stainless Steel World Asia demonstrates have the ability to promote international services provided by another cultural market and promote the transaction to building a cultural community around the Chinese market. Stainless Steel World Asia aims to establish a more statistical and historical approach to gaining new readership and business.
This research paper demonstrates how geography and creative input can impact the technological, economical and more significantly the cultural factors associated with publishing a magazine in a global market. Regardless measuring quality of content in a specific publication that is produced on a global industry scale and having the ability to innovate the brand across multiple readerships can be a challenge. Although the purpose of the publication is to meet the needs of the same type of consumers and industry professionals, creativity acts as a dependent variable.
The literature reviews the ideas and arguments on the concept of creativity that theorist incorporated in their studies to examine cultural diversity and use creativity as an assessment to measure cultural quality. The following arguments are proposed:
1) The theory of creativity consists of a multi-step approach to assess how culture (I.e., languages, ethnicity and breaking news) influence the trending of global news and local coverage that bonds relationship with local readers through an imagined community. Creativity considers the technological, economical and cultural factors to help understand the development of the creative process and how journalists use creativity to handle change in diverse environments.
2) Measuring creativity can demonstrate a form of creativity through an applied model assessment to examine organizational creativity to understand the decisions made by employees in the creative process.
3) Finally, how to measure the content of quality, researcher must consider the criteria that professional editors use to measure the success on what is considered to be an excellent news paper amongst readers. Circulations rating and awards for example, are numerical indicators on the strength of the publication, meanwhile visuals and design illustrating strong cultural influence. Yet, research indicated newspapers relationship with its readers that depict nationalism and an belonging to a community.
Theory of Creativity
The theory of creativity, according to Bassett-Jones, (2005) and Reiterpalmon et al.(2004), consists of multiple approaches that can be identified as an assessment tool for technological, sociological and cultural purposes to understand the development of the creative process and how journalists use creativity to handle change in diverse environments. For example, it can be used as a cultural perspective in evaluating how cultural quality is reflected in news to reach a local market, and how the design visibility of local images or national news is incorporated to measure the quality of audience perception in a competitive market. Based on Bassett-Jones’s (2005) and Reiterpalmon et al.’s(2004) concepts of creativity, researchers have the ability to identify how publishers are building relationships with those who follow or intend to gain interest in the publication.
Media groups can collect raw data from past publications to assess the production process and begin to identify what works for their audiences and more importantly improve the quality of the publication. Still the concept of creativity can question: what does it mean to be creative?
For example, Organizational creativity is important to management as it plays a role in the decision-making process and during the production process of the publication. As well, we are trying to understand the final decisions made by management; whether it influences the outcomes in the creative design and presentation of the brand.
Subsequently, past research theorizes that creativity can imply direct change to the culture or the brand image of an organization. Creativity can help connect changes to the organization on a transformative scale normally involves changes in organizational identity. Teamwork, commitment, synergy, creativity and communication values (Kulvisachana et al.(2004) encourage employees to collaborate within a dynamic workplace environment to form a sense of identity of a brand. Kulvisachana et al.(2004) alsonoted values and knowledge are central, distinctive and enduring and such “moves will affect organizational member’s sense of identification with the organization and how they define it” (p.2). Leaders can apply the fundamentals of organizational creativity to enhance brand identity. KCI Publishing does not compete with any other publications which makes it difficult to bring forth new marketing objectives to prospective consumers. Organizational creativity can help management assess an organization’s culture and implement new creative production strategies to help rebuild or enhance the quality of the publication in a competitive market other than their own.
Similarly Reiterpalmon et al. (2004) demonstrated an applied model theory within organizational creativity for leaders and managers. Reiterpalmon et al. mentions three key characteristics to assess the organizational cultures to rationalize brand development: sense making, motivation, and knowledge (2004). In contrast, organizational development scholarship indicates that changing an organization’s culture, its values, beliefs, form and function of work that supports them, is not easily accomplished (Gade, 2004); understanding the need for change is not often enough to convince employees and members of management to accept change. This also can affect the lack of communication between departments or between offices, making it difficult to encourage creativity amongst employees and into the products they market.
Bassett-Jones (2005) argues that diversity is a recognizable source of creativity and innovation that can provide a basis for competitive advantage. His research considers the relationship between diversity, creativity, innovation and competitive advantages in firms that operate within a high commitment context.
Based on the literature, creativity can be defined as an instrument to assess the creative production of perception from one product to another to establish a relationship or differences in different levels of creative control Creativity can be driven by social, economical, environmental and technological factors, acting as a resource to how people share and communicate information. In professional journalism, for example, creativity is influenced by shared languages, design and the topic of expertise. Bassett-Jones (2005), Reiterpalmon et al. (2004) Lowery (2003) and Zhensheng., H (2008) views are summarized into three points on how creativity can be used to measure news production.
Creativity has the potential to bring organic value, changing the way journalist’s process information using technology and different mediums of communication, for example, print media versus digital media. The format of information and the presentation of text can alter how a reader will respond or understand the journalists’ message Lowery (2003). Even using a foreign language to reach a local community can have significant meaning and ties to cultural identity Zhensheng., H (2008). Secondly, creativity is driven by the imagination of the creator. Journalists are visual storytellers as try to connect a market and local communities Bassett-Jones., N. (2005). Thirdly, creativity is an intuitive motivator for journalists and management to make decisions and creative risks to rebrand using non-traditional packaging and designs Reiterpalmon et al. (2004).
Measuring Quality of News Content
Measuring the quality of content is not simple. The quality of a product or service can be judged by its creator or producer (Bogart 2004).Bogart questions can content quality of a newspaper be measured? He states that product quality is different from value; individual judgment of the benefit relative to the cost and value is always a matter of subjective judgment (Bogart 2004). Identifying an appropriate measuring scale for newspapers can lead to better results in the delivery of news content but we can eliminate other conflicting arguments tied to measuring the performance of a newspaper such as job performances, job complexity and team diversity(Bogart 2004).
Arguably,Gade (2004),Klvisaechana et al. (2004), Joo (2009) and Ciborra (1996)point out there are cultural factors that do affect the promotion of job commitment, diversity, employee motivation and organizational values to contribute to the creative vision.Job performance is often reflected in the delivery and overall success of products and services but doesn’t measure the quality. Yet Sullivan (2006) supports Bogart’s claim (2004) to develop a solution to measuring newspapers appropriately and accurately.
Evidently Bogart (2004) identifies ways of measuring the quality of news, but cautions that there is no clear answer:
“When experienced news people are asked what makes for quality, a number of and phrases inevitably surface: integrity, fairness, balance, accuracy, comprehensiveness, diligence in discovery, authority, breadth of coverage, variety of content, reflection of the entire home community, vivid writing, attractive makeup, packaging or appearance and easy navigability”(pg.40).
Clearly the term quality ranges in meaning; leaving readers and researchers to determine what quality actually measures is indefinite.
Evidently the research found on how to measure content quality continues to get broader and more complicated, but Bogart (2004) and Sullivan (2006) both offer guidance that can be essential to analyses the data collected for this research project. We first identify what questions come to examine content quality, listing attributes and resources that may be essential to the results of the current research study.
The process of production questions the attributes of a newspaper’s content or appearance. Even if the value are assigned by consumers or by advertisers, does it provide any indicator to the profitability or marketing success as objective measures of editorial performance? Bogarts (2004) suggests that most newspapers are constrained by the size and the prosperity of their home markets. They cannot be evaluated on a national scale not like other media outlets such as television and film; print media affected by economical and social changes in different parts of the country may have no relation to their content (Zhensheng., H (2008) Yet when we consider creative value in the quality content we can judge it by “its capacity to touch, arouse, inspire and endure” (Bogart 2004.p.45). Bogart argues to judge journalistic quality entails the same exercise of subjective judgment that one brings to any other creative effort. Even though journalism’s accomplishments are intangible. It operates in the realm of ideas; its potential for exerting influence and power resides in its ability to arouse passion and empathy.(Boo, B., & Lim, T. (2009), Gade, P.J., (2004) &Lewis,.S (2008).
Accordingly, Sullivan (2006) &Dension.R.D., Mishra (1995) have a similar perception in connecting the news to local communities that acts as an investment to the community and in return shares commitment to quality journalism. He adds that historically based on the question whether or not people agreed or disagreed with the statement, “The newspaper is a resource that belongs to the community?” (Sullivan 2006 p.67), remarkably, two-thirds of the respondents strongly agreed with this statement.
Secondly, competitive advantage in local markets indicated a publications performance of excellence (Joo, B et al.(2009). Price, effective distribution and promotion, past product history and the attraction of competitors influenced the purchasers decision when more than one newspaper provided the same essential service but ultimately provided unique information and relationship base for the divided communities (Bogart 2004).
In particular, KCI’s Stainless Steels editorial content strongly focuses on end user experience and practical applications. In addition to technical articles, every issue contains reports from major end users and features projects in a variety on industries such as oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical.Another feature that KCI offers its clients is extra distribution at conferences and events that editors travel to interview and meet with industry professionals. In 2013, Stainless Steel World brand is to be published 3 more times and distributed at conferences such as Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, TX, Stainless Steel World Conference and Expo in Maastricht, NL and many more listed in the editorial program (Appendixes). The editorial program outlines each month story focus and spotlight features on company involved in stainless steel but are located in different parts of the world.
Advertising in the Stainless Steel World brand offers a variety of possibilities stating the following:
“Ranging from a glossy full-colour spread to a matchbox advertisement. The Cover Story in Stainless Steel World Americas is a unique marketing communication mix of a full-page colour editorial feature and advertising which generates enormous selling power” (KCI 2013).
Clients have the choice of selecting from a variety of print sizes from front cover front boxes (most commonly found on the front page), ¼ page advertisements, and 1/8 page advertisements in the Stainless World Americas journal. However the Stainless Steel World, Stainless World Asia and Edelstahl Akuell offer additional advertising sizes much larger and at a cheaper price.
Likewise Bogart (2004) and Kulvisaechana,S., and Stiles, P. (2003) suggests a newspaper to be in a market driven by competition to enhance creativity in brand identity and knowledge of information. Competitive advantages eliminate the possibility of taken into consideration circulation or readership levels as sign of quality since readers have a variety and variations of content and style.
These assessments in determining the quality of content in newspapers only scratches the surface of what readers can see visually in order to make a fair judgment on professional journalism. However, the disadvantage of this assessment is that does not measure the creative input or the innovation of a publication that competes with its own publication brand that is translated and marketed in different languages. KCI Toronto location competes with their global offices in sales revenue and as a result this may have cause lack of creativity in the products instead of focusing on the customers needs.
Bogart suggests, as opposed to allowing editors and their peers to judge the quality of news, allowing the public and their peers to critique each others content. Bogart adds as outsiders we can evaluate quality of design and ease of the reading through open-ended questions. Depending on the size of the newspaper, larger papers such as Toronto Star or New York Times should look at professional standards, number of editorial staff and circulations numbers. As opposed to smaller publications, whose assessment should consider: the emphasis on community leadership, local news coverage and community press standards (Bogart 2004 and Lowery (2003)). The assessment also included characteristics that determined to be inherent in all newspapers; visual, community and ordinary people are good predictors of an attractive paper (Bogart 2004 and Gade, P.J., (2004). Similarly, Sullivan (2006) agrees that community news and national identity should play a role in the integrity of the news as well as the visual graphics connecting people to new resources and information, i.e., advertisements.
Finally, both authors suggest a few elements to assess a newspapers editorial quality such as circulation growth, effective promotion (distribution function, research and printing production), good advertising-attracting readers and accounts for revenue, and the social and geographic composition of the readership which comes into play when advertising is allocated (Bogart 2004).
Identity of Nationalism
Lewis (2008) states “the relationship between news and nationhood has long been fertile ground for communications research” (p.411). Yet nationalism impacted a new space-time due to today’s processes of changes such as global homogenization and the parallel emergence of local and group -specific identities (Fitzsimmons, et al 2011). For example, global businesses, such as KCI Publishing Corporation, urge to connect with third world countries where oil and gas companies are highly profitable but also target the end-users side of the publication for global news. Lewis suggests the conception of an “imagined community” (2008, p.141) that exists in the mind of their members, and that newspapers play a central role in creating that imagined community among a specific assemblage of fellow readers. Organizations function on a global platform often work alongside cultural influences to address a global consumer base. Similarly, Lewis (2008) argues that culture will determine their [meaning the organizations] values and behavior, and that given fundamental differences in work and management styles among different countries.
Organizations with creative teams such as KCI are culturally diverse addressing the global consumer base. Those connections and relations to the global business compliment the business platform to help service and meet today’s demands of consumers in a specific market.
Methodology Based on the literature review, several gaps were identified when exploring the concept of culture found within elevating creativity. Gaps in the research dealt with identifying appropriate themes and contents to show any new breakthrough in this area of research.
The literature review revealed different uses of assessments and methods to conduct the research. Several studies include multiple qualitative and quantitative methods and strategies. Research designs from other studies included a survey-based approach with employees, interviews with managers and CEOs working inside the company. However, Bogarts (2004) and Sullivans (2006) procedure observes on the measurement on newspaper quality indicating observation on visual illustration, news directed toward community building, and the influence of cultural business practices .
This study conducts a case study on a publishing firm named KCI Publishing that is currently practicing in a global climate that has invested their delivery in information for the process industry. Using a case study approach, a observational analysis of the quality of newspapers design will be conducted in the Issues of Stainless Steel World Magazine, Stainless Steel World Asia Magazine, Stainless Steel World Americas Journal and Edelsthal Aktuell.
This case study will help bridge two important elements found in a publishing firm: how to produce an informative publication using innovative design and the how to measure quality news that markets to a specific cultural group or consumer market. It also takes into consideration cultural awareness, identification and dynamics of cultures and dealing with cultural differences in business operations.
As a result, the following research question is posed:
How can publishers use creativity as a tool to analyze the quality of production?
I have selected to use a postpositivism view as my philosophical worldview for it to observe cultural awareness in the creative design in newspapers. The postpositivism worldview described by Creswell (2009) holds a deterministic philosophy in which causes probably determine effect and outcomes. More importantly, knowledge develop through a postpositivism lens is based on careful observation and measurement of the objective reality that exists out there in the world. In collecting data, evidence and rational considerations shape knowledge. Practically, the researcher collects information based on measures completed by the participations or by observation recorded by the researcher.
Qualitative Research Strategy
In the research project I use a case study strategy to explore a research and data publishing firm that has four locations: Germany, the Netherlands, Shanghai and Toronto, Canada. The studies that utilized the case study approach creates a discussion about emerging themes and information found in the collect data, such as documents, images, annual reports, press releases, business histories (Dension, 1995). In this study, an inductive data analysis will be used to build patterns, categories and themes from the bottom up, by organizing the data into increasingly more abstract units of information to make connections and relationships between past research to discover what contributes to the quality in news production. .
Reiterpalmon and Illies(2004) applied a qualitative approach using the case study strategy to conceptualize the integrated role of communication strategies in change processes, and to explore the lacuna between the success and failure of the corporate communication strategies in redefining organizational identity (p. Their research employed an inductive data analysis using three key factors: sense making, motivation, and knowledge and ability to categorize information and build up on the information gathered during the study.
Role of the researcher
In this study the role of the researcher will be an inductive approach. The inductive approach is driven by observation allows the researcher to collect the data and apply it to a theory or theories to help offer a logical explanation of the data.
This research involves studying the researcher’s own organization. To avoid bias, incomplete, or compromised data, my collection of data ranges from multiple sources which include documents, images, electronic and print resources publicly available. Also no interviews or questionnaires were conducted during the time-frame of the study that all information was supported by the literature and by observation.
Data Collection Procedure
The researcher is the key instrument for the data collection procedure. The data procedure does not require data collection from any human subjects. In addition, the research material collected on the organization is information that is publicly available online on the official websites owned by the company. I choose to collect data on the Stainless Steel World brand because it has been identified with the most constructive feedback from within the marketing department. This was an opportunity to report on these findings by approaching this report in a case study format. This research paper collected data from the December Issue of 2011 and December of 2012 of Stainless Steel World Americas. I also obtained the November Issue of 2012 of Stainless World Asia Journal and the Stainless Steel World News Magazine published November 2012 Volume 24 to see how a company illustrates cultural diversity that elevates creativity within a bilingual publication.
I used a content analysis chart to observe my findings in this report based on the procedures used by Bogart (2006) to illustrate how content quality can be effectively measured accurately through a compare and contrast approach. The content analysis will help apply Gade, P.J., (2004), Lowery (2003) and Sullivan (2004) practical research on cultural quality and design variability in newspaper production to asses the Stainless Steel World Americas Journals and brand as well. As a result to observe the data using visual illustrations and the content analysis, the approach will bring aware cultural implications studied from Lewis.S(2008) and Fitzsimmons et al (2011)
Data analysis and Interpretation
The data collected during the research is a descriptive analysis to allow for emerging themes and patterns to appear. This paper also takes into consideration theories and ideas analyzed in the literature review to provide context and support for my research study.To successfully measure the quality of news content onselected publications for this study, the researcher applies Bogart (2004) and Sullivan (2004) recommendations to measure the quality of content in news, cultural quality presence in news and visual design to understand the relationship between news and communities.
I collected four non-random publications from the Stainless Steel brand published in the last two years. Two from Stainless Steel World Americas, one Stainless Steel World Asia, and Edestahl Aktuell, the German version of Stainless Steel World. I recorded data in a chart (see in appendixes) organized by each of the following publications. There will also be a discussion about Stainless Steel World Asia, and Edestahl Aktuell to discuss the cultural and visual quality.
Two Stainless Steel World Americas Journals published between 2011-2013 are observed in the following areas :content quality, visual layout & design and promotion.
Stainless Steel World Americas is a informative publication informing innovative leaders in the stainless steel and corrosion industry with the latest news and hottest current topics being discussed in the industry. It offers its readers reliable content about new technological advancements for companies that are investing in the line of stainless steel and to ensure a customer and cultural oriented publication.
Story headlines tagged by the reference of geography were collected from the December Issue of 2011 and December of 2012 of Stainless Steel World Americas. Both of the publications illustrated a substantial selection of both international and local news that shaped the theme of the publication at that particular time. The journalists that were responsible to putting the publication together each set out their own agenda and focus in creating the issue for this publication. As a result, there were differences in amount of news content published, the sizes and number of images placed throughout the publication and significantly the final design of the finished product.
In the December 2011 Issue of Stainless Steel World Americas, the editor at the time was a female and in 2012 was a male editor.. Gade, P.J., (2004) and Joo, B., & Lim, T. (2009) suggests that management identified a threat to the organization’s brand, therefore replacing the staff based on sales of the publication, unable to innovate and motivate other staff members to achieve higher sales and a better quality of a publication. In this case, KCI publishing made the decision to hire a new editor to write the Stainless Steel World Americas publication, someone possibly recently new to the industry with update skills in writing, visual design and interviewing skills. On the other hand each of the editors followed their own interpretation of creating a publication that would be easily readable, appealing and marketable to consumers.
One notable change was the quality of the content. In the 2011 Issue the editor focused highly on the amount of content published in each section of the newspaper. There were eight different subcategories of news spread throughout the publication: Spotlight, Material Focus, Project News, Focus On, Market Report, Appointments/Calendars, Product News and finally Country focus. This complements Bogart.,L(2004), Gade, P.J., (2004), Lewis,.S (2008) and Lowery (2003) on the format and reflection of identity shaped by organizational values but as well attractive makeup of diverse news sources. Reiterpalmon, R., & Illies, J. (2004) perception of creative as a way to organize information to draw attention of readers and multicultural audiences. Each sub category counted as its own area of specialty of specific content which kept the information readable and organized.
Both publications each had their own editorial program which you could find on their website at http://www.ssw-americas.com/ under the subheading print : Editorial programme http://www.ssw-americas.com/print/ShowPage.aspx?pageID=1741 which are updated every year . Editorial program posted in the appendixes outlines what readers and even clients interested in advertising can look forward to in each of the issues outlining: country focus, material focus, and the spotlight and where additional distribution for extra exposure. Reflecting on Sullivan’s (2006) outlook on a business model, editors should encourage readers to initate a two-way communication gateway between industry professionals and editor on the agenda of news or topics necessarily relevant, credible and newsworthy. Opening a two-way communication conversation allows to put forth a stronger performance in a publication as an go-to news source for market changing all the time. As a key predictor for clients, advertising in these publications help gain extra exposure on a local and global scale as well. Advertisers also have the option for online media exposure, but in this study we are focusing on the print publication and its opportunity for creative input. However websites for each of the publication do bring in additional exposure for the consumer and an outlet to create diverse messages in the digital age.
To further observe this analysis of the quality of content, I used a content analysis to illustrate the comparison on both the 2011 and 2012 December publications of Stainless Steel World Americas as to what stories were discussed and the location of the article was published. Along side I placed the location on where the story the originated from based on geography to demonstrate the variety international and cultural representation in the publication. Another important observation in this content analysis is each the type of news was categorized based on subject of news. For example, several articles discussed about company mergers & acquisitions, new product innovations, political policy changes, environmental changes or new projects were identified by using the following labels: political news environmental news, business trades and acquisitions and discoveries/projects.
The chart showed majority of the news in the 2012 edition of Stainless Steel World Americas to have a high consumption of news related to business trades/ acquisitions and projects. News dealing with trades involved organizations within the United States of America that were acquiring local corporations in the same industry of their competitor, for example, in Curtis-Wright acquisition with their parent company Cimarron Energy Holding which was sold for US $ 13.1 million. Also international business deals with the United States and New Mexico with the company Chervon was another headline story in the published Stainless Steel World Americas Issue. Importantly, these types of news are essential for other organization to target key players in the industry meanwhile, helpful for future strategy planning for organizations seeking to pursue their own adventure capital.
Secondly, the content analysis revealing business trades as an important type of news for readers, news regarding new products and discoveries indicates future business relationships amongst organizations on a global scale. This type of news also includes articles on opportunities in the market for companies to plan for new purchasing and projects an example of this is Fluor Corporations contract win with MacKay River Oil Sands and Brazil’s, Statoil’s discovery of oil in the Peregrimo South offshore.
Thirdly the analysis included a category for news regarding political and environmental topics. In the 2012 December Stainless Steel World America Issue the front-page international coverage on the Hurricane Sandy storm affecting thousands of residential civilians living in the cities that the storm hit. As a result some well-known refineries in the United States were shut down for several days, according sources “because of the storm, more than two third of the refineries on the East coast were shut down, some for days, including Hess Corporation and Phillip 66’s Bayway Refinery the U.S East coast’s second largest refinery”(Keddy, p.1) In the 2011 Issue December of Stainless Steel World Americas, the editor covered the Keystone XL Pipeline environmental policy as a major topic both in the political and environmental sphere in the oils sand industry. This story focused on the operations of the Keystone XL pipeline proposed to carry 35 million gallons a day of heavy high-sulphur bitumen crude through the Great Plains, over 2720km through six states until it reached from Canada, starting in Alberta to Texas refineries.
The selection of news illustrates a diverse and relevant content that targets a specific industrial market. Different sections of the Stainless Steel World Americas journals discuss several themes and types of news both resourceful and informative. The content connects readers to be informed and educated on the recent events in the stainless steel industry. It communicates major global news that is timely focusing on the economy and trading between organizations on future projects and new discoveries. Therefore the research observes the visual design and layout of the issues to understand how to measure content quality and format.
Visual Layout and Design
Throughout the December 2011 issue of Stainless Steel World Americas there was minimal use of editorial images to each of the stories to emphasize the storytelling of each article. The editor has chosen to focus on presenting readers with a diversity of news that targets different markets of stainless steel users. This particular issue focused on a specific type of stainless steel, for example, in the Material Focus column focused on Nickel where as the Focus On column had a discussion on Aerospace, a property in which stainless steel is highly used in the manufacturer process. These columns illustrate a sample range of international news in those specific fields from different countries such as Canada, Brazil, Taiwan with the majority of the news coming from the United States of America.
Measuring Success in Design
Measuring the sophistication and elitism of a publication Bogart (2004) and Sullivan (2006) mention awards and titles “are an indicator how quality is assessed by colleagues. The subject of awards carries in its train the epithet of elitism” (Bogart 2004 p.45). In this case, none of the Stainless Steel World brand has no indication whether it has received awards. An article published in Smashing Magazine on February 11, 2008 written by Vitaly Friedman discusses how the traditional layout techniques from print, particularly an advanced formatting aren’t applicable to the Web online media. These Stainless Steel brand publications also offer a digital version. Between print and online digital presentations there are similar design principles such as data presentation with heavy use of white space and grid-based design (Friedman 2008). Frideman (2008) highlights which newspapers received prestigious awards that demonstrated unusual approaches of newspapers design. (Appendix C).
These award-wining newspapers have been mostly published from countries such as Spain, Poland, Germany, Denmark and India with compliments for their sharpness in typography, legible layouts with soft, neutral colors and easy-to-read content. Therefore creativity is driven by the actual attractiveness and graphical design of a newspaper opposed to who is on the front cover of the story will give better judgment and response by its peers. The applicable concept of creativity has proven to be found in how the format and structure of content is presented rather what is produced, even with the consideration of professional news; also, readers care more about the clear content hierarchy with a very simple structure.
To compliment the content, editors use company profiles and advertisements to utilize for presentation and design quality. As Lowery (2008) agrees “design quality is most strongly predicted by size of the newspaper, and graphical prominence” (p.60) and more importantly the amount of resources and training in the design process. In total ten advertisements were counted in the issue which included the four front boxes that were on the front page. Sizes of the advertisements ranged from ¼ and 1/8 page advertisements, front boxes, and ½ page horizontal advertisements.
As a result, this issue focused on providing readers with news and information on the industry as opposed to targeting the customers’ needs. In addition, the editors’ decision was to minimize graphical information over quality of news resources. Although the variety of the content is diverse, it does not build a relationship with the stainless steel community. In contrast, the 2012 December Stainless Steel World Americas Journal had taken a different approach to presenting an informative publication but directed its focus on the customer through graphical images and advertisements.
In the December 2012 Issue of Stainless Steel World Americas, the readers attention is drawn to the Spotlight Interview on Samuel, Son & Co on page . The company interview is placed on the first two pages inside the magazine to set up the upcoming articles in the rest of the issue. In addition, the company had a ¼ page advertisement inside the newspaper as an effective marketing tactic to draw the attention to the company and their services. As suppose to the December 2011 Issue, the issue decided to take a different approach to organizing and selecting news that was relevant and valuable to the reader.
As a major change in the design and presentation of articles, the editor incorporated new elements to the newspaper that would present the news in a more professional design to increase readability and flow. Using the skeleton of a traditional newspaper, Country News was placed on the front page down the left hand of the margin. A table of contents was placed on the bottom in a Stainless Steel background to assist readers to identify the topic areas of the publication with proper headlines. In addition the headline story, Hurricane Sandy Temporarily shuts down pipelines and refineries,complements the other articles mentioned on the front page of the publication.
Inside the publication the editors uses more graphical information such as charts and on-site photos to describe the technical information to help readers to illustrate the explanation of the proposed research. Also, there were fewer stories found in the publication than there were in the December 2011 issue. The difference between both publications is in the 2011 Stainless Steel World Americas publication readers are informed about the issues in todays political struggles in the oil and gas industry as oppose to the 2012 publication promotes a call to action from readers to communicate and respond actively by publishing articles on corporate social responsibility, public outreaches in the community, business trades and mergers and new technological advancements to improve the environmental conversions between refineries.
Stainless Steel World Asia & Edelstahl Aktuell
This section of the paper discusses how these two other versions of the stainless steel brand in conjunction to the study on the measure in quality of content and creativity in newspapers. In comparison, both Stainless Steel World Asia and Edelstahl Aktuell publications indicated a different approach to not only giving a new presentation to formatting news but presents strong quality cultural presence in their particular geographical markets. Similarly, the publications had the same agenda in covering news in stainless steel, a spotlight cover of an organization, event coverage and advertisements. Edelstahl Aktuell, the Dutch publication of stainless steel news reflects Reiterpalmon et al. (2004) and Bassett-Jones (2005) arguments on creativity driven by shared values and community relations. To further emphasize Lewis (2008) states an imagined community is a building block of national identity including a form of communication when referred to news coverage and stories surrounding geographical location and cultural groups.
The August 2011 edition, Issue 6 of Edelstahl Aktuell has a larger usage of white-space , bold design in the headings including titles of the articles as well as the images inside are newsworthy. The sizes of the advertisements range from 1/1 print size advertisements, matchboxes, 1/8 and ½ both vertical and horizontal sizing. Although majority of the advertisements are marketed towards the European market, it does illustrate a strong global homogenization of local and group-specific identities (Stahl 2011). For example, Edelstahl Aktuell typology and literature in the publication is written in Eastern German as oppose to Western German which would include sentence structure, grammar and pronunciation making the distinctive accents within both regions of Germany. Above all the publication is providing an essential service to leaders in a designated market and surprisingly does not accept non-european companies to publicize their material in the publication.
In contrast, Stainless Steel world Asia has neither similar design in visual prominence as opposed to Stainless Steel World Americas where about 85% of the publication is advertisements and stories focused in the U.S and European market. We were unable to translate the content into English due to time constraints and language barrier. Stainless Steel World Asia demonstrated a high volume of statistical and market research on the U.S and European stock market in stainless steel. Showing resistance to the production process of using advertisements, the American and European issues have a higher quality value in content and diversity in news.
Images shown in Appendix E, illustrates Stainless Steel World Asia’s focus to market a very direct group of investors, supporting Lewis,.S (2008) theory of an imagined community unifying cultural values and Fitzsimmons et al, (2011) and Zhensheng., H (2008) abiding by the rules of their cultures respectfully to only sell to the Chinese and Japanese clients. Above all, this images displayed in the publication have workers from the organization playing a role within the performance of the job to signify handmade quality as oppose to machine manufacturer production in their products. These images reflect to Lewis (2008)’s argument on organizations working within their cultural barriers as way to influence diversity and innovation in their organizational behavior. Thus through promotion of advertisements published in either a local publication such as Stainless Steel World Asia or an international publication such as Stainless Steel World Americas these organization emphasize cultural diversity in their creative artwork to demonstrate work and management styles among different countries.
Analysis reveals how creative assessment in improving the quality of print production can potentially change the branding strategy but as well the response of customers in a targeted market. The Stainless Steel World Americas publication has indicated in the results that when change occurs whether it been a new editor or a different approach to reporting news it becomes a documented resource for professionals to review and asses transformative change Alternatively, the organization is in the position to re-build a different marketing strategy to measure the quality of the publication (Kulvisaechana,S et al,(2003).For example, rebuilding the existing stainless steel and corrosion community of leaders in a specific market to regain the trust and to market the publication at price that would appeal to the true-value of the publication.To properly asses the creative value, we can refer to Bogarts (2004) guidelines for content evaluation and Sullivan’s (2006) guidelines to identifying cultural quality must be taken into consideration when content is reviewed for cultural diversity to recognize other authors who have contributed to the production of the Stainless Steel World publication. Additional contribution from industry professionals in the stainless steel and corrosion resistant alloys industry to better convey in-depth credible resources and accuracy in the information being published in each issue.
As a global organization, KCI Publishing Corporation works on a business model that services not just the stainless steel industry but as well manages several other industrial sectors giving much needed attention to other publications that are being produced six to ten times a year. To manage or to achieve targeted growth, localized sales teams are appointed to market specific brands, in this case Stainless Steel World Americas is based out of the Toronto, Canada office. On the back of the publication is a list of names responsible for different functions of publication in which the advertising and the editorial team being essential are two key players in attracting new consumers. As the publication continues to sell based on subscription orders and media campaigns, consumers will want to play close attention to sales reports especially if reputation and on investment is at stake for future media campaign with the publication.
Consumers become the evaluators of how well a publication is able to share a story and detect quality journalism. Bogart (2004) argues that the evaluation of “a newspaper’s salient existence characteristics exists in the eye of the beholder they are not easily amenable to independent or potential audience or by professional peers” (p.45). On the other hand, awards are an acceptable measurable quality often carry elitism (Gade, P.J., (2004). In this case, based on the observation, there was no identification of the publication receiving any awards or status for journalistic quality or design.
Purchasing decisions by consumers are influenced by the service of product that is being promoted, the beneficial factor and circulation numbers to the stainless steel community. Clients purchasing media campaigns feel the return of investment for promoting their services in a monthly publication is in advertisements by retrieving results through individual profits (Sullivan 2006). In doing so, editors have the task to create an outlet for clients to feel confident in the service considered to be professional journalism (Gade, P.J., (2004).
Consumers on the other hand, want to be able to target local suppliers and be associated with a service that not only has reliable news and is also credible to an industry that continues to change and grow over time. In a publication such as Stainless World Americas advertising and spotlight news on organization are marketing objectives that KCI Publishing Corporation places importance for their consumers. In addition, other media campaigns that can draw the attention to larger audiences such as trade shows and online media only reaches those who see the benefit over time, for example sending pop-up art postcards when inviting consumers to trade show or offering product commercials to be placed on KCI Publishing LinkedIn or Facebook fan page. Therefore, the publication is a medium where creativity can be outsourced through a variety of different marketing tactics. Creativity as a tool to assess the quality of a publication is executed when readers are able to be interactive and motivated by change through cultural identity.
Stainless Steel World Americas is a publication that is distributed to clients across North and South America and other parts of the country that is reaching readers in the field of stainless steel and corrosion. Dominated by a majority of American advertisers the publication does reach an international market for example, JSL Jindal Stainless from India and Centravis from Ukraine promote their services in order to expand and gain new business prospects. Krevelen (2005) states “professional values for design are consistent with the idea that design should serve the communication needs of readers, and professional standards reflects visual trends in the larger culture (p.38). As a result cultural diversity in newspaper design demonstrates brand recognition and authenticity in the creative production process in the publication.
Combining both Reiterpalmon & Illies(2004) applied theory model creativity that assess the organizational cultures and Bassett-Jones (2005) creative theory that assess the shared cultural values and symbolism in brands, we can make sense to how important culture in news can bring a community together. A shared community can build and connect with the ability to share the same knowledge of information through a piece of literature (Fitzsimmons et al, 2011 and Lewis, 2008). This research study can suggest that innovation is found by the technological and cultural factors demonstrated through multiple contributors from different workplace environments and business practices.
Technologically, Stainless Steel World Americas is able to connect readers through their ability to gather news on a global scale. KCI Publishing Corporation will able to distribute information the bi-monthly through social media networking sites constantly and more frequently. International clients will have more access to online news through the updated Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter page of Stainless Steel World Americas. Follower will be able to “like” the page and receive updates on recent interviews, upcoming events and start an open discussion Social media would elevate the creative production process providing new advertisement opportunities for international business’ interested in the global market.
Culturally, Stainless Steel World name is demonstrates its ability to reach multiple business markets through their participation in the global economy by maintain a strong relationship with their readers. KCI Publishing has been able to maintain adapt the Stainless Steel World brand through cultural diversity in the news selection published in each issue. Complimenting Kulvisaechana,S., & Stiles, P. (2003) research on managing change when re-branding an organizations identity, Stainless Steel World managed the cultural transition through the consistency of customer service and leadership in the design of the publications. Still, KCI Publication manages to elevate creativity by incorporating technology into their news production and business practice.
Ultimately, the Stainless Steel World brand meets the demands of the consumer to provide quality in content about an industry that is continuously growing. Creativity as a tool assess the technical design of the publication, thus the research recommends for other publications to be examined that have been awarded for their designs as opposed to news. This might heighten attractiveness of the brand and encourage a committee of designers to review the quality to suggest what could be improved overall. Friedman’s (2008) article provides some good resources and publications that the company can seek for further input and analysis of what they can include to refresh the brands image.
The research project does propose future research to examine several aspects of how creativity can be used to better value to an organizations brand. First, creativity both as a practical model and theory can be used to examine the roles of management and different job functions that assist in process of executing a multi-media campaign that KCI Publishing Corporation offers to their clients. Kreveln (2005) states “the publishing world should again become an internationally oriented trade, where each separate book market offers a great variety of authors from many centers of culture (p.38). Future research recommends examining international business environments and operations, specifically the cultural environments facing business to discuss behavioral factors influencing countries’ business practices and understand cultural guidelines for companies that operate internationally. .As well this study propose to interview the production and creative department in regards to the decision making process in from the design of the publication to selecting which local news get priority over others.
The research was asked how can publishers use creativity as a tool to analyze the quality of production? Publishers can use creativity to asses the nature of the environment; select news to reflect the diversity of cultures and information that is accessible to readers online and in print. Creativity means first, bridging together culture and news as a form of communication, as an outlet for organizations in a specialized field to draw attention to objectives and missions of these organization wanting to connect with other end-users and manufacturers. Secondly, creativity can embrace job motivation for employees to think outside the box, gathering news by participating in the industry, inviting writers to join the conversation through written discussion.
As a tool to analyzing quality of production, creativity can question the visual design; examine alternative typology, illustrations or texts that can be used to highlight headings, format and change the way we read news. More specifically designs that are simple and bland can provide an unique perception of visual design through experiment and applying unorthodox designs during the process of production.
KCI faces some challenges ahead in order to pursue any creative transformation. KCI Publishing Corporation identifies their business as a multicultural organization, by marketing the Stainless Steel World publication through each of the individual offices. Yet, their ability to embrace cultural quality in their publication still has work to be done and restructuring in the process of managing all the stainless steel world brand under a cohesive and communication plan.
Furthermore, this current study points out that to better improve ensure proper cultural representation in the publication news reported should be shared and reported by individuals from the within the industry across the globe. Although it is targeted and sold to an American audience it still attracts a wide array of prospects in areas such as Brazil, France and India. A qualitative survey study should be conducted by the organization to find out where majority of the market is located as well as to identify the ethnicity of their readers.
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KCI –Main page http://www.kci-world.com/pages/ShowPage.aspx?pageID=1927
Stainless Steel World Americas: http://www.ssw-americas.com/
Edstahl Aktuell website http://www.edelstahlaktuell.de/print/ShowPage.aspx?PageId=1199
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Online print version of publication
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Stainless Steel World Asia December Issue 2011 KCI Publishing Corporation.
Edelstahl Aktuell August Issue 2011 Issue 6 KCI GmbH.KCI Publishing Corporation.
February 1- Submit Research Proposal
February 6- March7th- Write Early Research Paper
· Collect Data (Ongoing)
March7th- Submit an Early draft of the Research paper for review
April 12, 2013- Final Presentation of Research Paper.
KCI (Knowledge Communication and Information ) Publishing is a technology driven, independent Publishing and Information Group. The company is a market leader in processing and delivering technical information with a high added value for the global flow control, stainless steel and pump communities in the process industries. The Toronto office opened in 2011 and took responsibility for publishing two out of the 8 brands under : Valve World Americas and Stainless Steel World Americas.. Both publications are sister brands to the European version Valve World and Stainless Steel World which are published in The Netherlands and Germany. Both publications have also been published in Korean named Valve World Asia and Stainless Steel World Asia to target a new market for clients and business. There are plans to create another branch of the brand to reach the South America market business in Brazil and Mexico.