School Papers

CHAPTER Interestingly, within countries where multi-party systems thrive

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

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1.1       Background to the Study

The
study of attributes that form marketing image of government has been encouraged
by the forces of globalization. In the past, governments restrict themselves to
particular political systems and also aligned themselves to specific blocs. As
a result of globalization facilitated by technological advancement, countries
who aligned to blocs have greatly transformed to track along the path of
current world trends and order. In the light of this, governance of many
countries has taken different twists and transformed either into egalitarian or
democratic regimes. Interestingly, within countries where multi-party systems
thrive there are different political leanings and ideologies. Some are
leftists, rightists

Centre-left
politics, also referred to as leftists or moderate-left, is an adherence to
views leaning towards left-wing. Depending on the degree of inclination, some
leftists can be closer to the centre on the left-right political spectrum than
other left-wing variants. According to Woshinsky (2008) centre-leftists presume
in working within the established systems to advance social fairness. The
centre-left supports a social equity level that it supposes is attainable
through promoting equal opportunity (Woshinsky, 2008). The centre-left has advanced
luck egalitarianism that lay emphasis on the equality achievement  requires personal responsibility in areas in
control by the individual person through their abilities and talents, as well
as social responsibility in areas outside control by the individual person in
their abilities or talents (Armstrong, 2006). 
 

            Centre-left resists a wide gap
between the affluent and the deprived and backs moderate measures to assuage
the economic gap, such as a progressive income tax, laws barring child labour,
minimum wage laws, laws regulating working conditions, limits on working hours
and laws to ensure the workers’ right to organize. Unlike the far-left, the
centre-left typically claims that complete equity of outcome is not possible,
but instead that equal opportunity improves a degree of equality of outcome in
society (Woshinsky, 2008). Generally, the centre-left incorporates social
democrats, social liberals, progressives, and democratic socialists. Some
social liberals are portrayed as centre-left, other than many social liberals
are in the centre of the political spectrum (Cioffi & Hopner, 2006; Ertel,
Schlamp & Simon, 2009).

            Centre-right politics moreover is
considered as moderate-right politics, are adherences that bend over to the
right of the left-right political spectrum, except nearer to the centre than
other variants of right-wing. Notwithstanding the ideological leaning,
right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are certain,
natural, normal or desirable (Johnson, 2005), typically supporting this
position on the basis of natural law, economics or tradition (Clark, 2003). Centre-rights
generally support liberal democracy, capitalism, the market economy, private
property rights and a limited welfare state (for example, government provision
for education and medical care). In modern times, it is sometimes used to
describe laissez-faire capitalism. They support a decentralized economy based
on economic freedom, and holds property rights, free markets and free trade to
be the most important kinds of freedom. John (2003) citing Kirk believed that
freedom and property rights are interlinked.

            Centrism or the centre in politics
is a viewpoint or particular position that entails acceptance or balance support
of a degree of social equity and social hierarchy degree, despite the fact that
opposing political changes which would result in a major society shift either
strongly to the left or the right (Woshinsky, 2008). Centre-left and
centre-right both commonly involve relationship with centrism combined with
leaning somewhat to their respective sides of the spectrum. Radical centre,
radical middle and radical centrism are terms for ranges of political
philosophy with eagerness to primarily restructuring institutions with the conviction
that genuine solutions to social problems require realism and pragmatism, in
addition to idealism and emotion. Most radical centrists borrow what they
perceive as good ideas from both “left” and “right” ideology ranges and
wherever else they may be found, frequently melding them together in unique
ways of grand diversity.

            A government is the system through
which a state or a group of people is controlled and ruled (Oxford English
Dictionary, 2010). In general, it is composed of the administrators
(executives), legislators and arbitrators. Ideally, government is the means through
which policies of state are put into effect, in addition to the mechanism for
determining the state policies. Types of government, or types of state
governance, embody the set of political systems and institutions that structure
a specific government organization. Various governments across the globe wield
control over the economy, social freedoms, and political systems and may or may
not be voluntary. Basically, governments are primed to legislate for, and put
into effect, environmental transformations that may be preventive.

Governments
across the nations have different political orientations, ideologies, policies
and convictions that determine their imagery in the minds of people, both the
citizenry and outside communities. Government image within the framework of
marketing strategy can be seen in the light of nation’s brand in relation to
policy implementations, governance, trading, bilateral and multilateral
relationships, law and human right enforcement imprinted in the minds of the
citizenry, international organizations and institutions, as well as outsiders. The
governments’ imagery and the economic performance of countries largely show some
links particularly, where there are closed and opened economies, enforcement of
laws or human right abuses and environmental conservation. 

The
United Nations introduced good governance practices characteristics as an international
standard to be espoused by governments that accept their assistance. According
to the United Nations, “good governance has 8 major characteristics; it is
participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive,
effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive, and follows the rule of law”
(UNESCAP, 2009). Often such criteria are applied by international organizations
and beneficiary nations to appraise the manner their governments are attaining
better governance (Mimicopoulos et al., 2007). In addition, international
organizations have contended that good governance positively affects the
quality work of the government, the manner services are provided to their
citizens, as well as the manner programmes are implemented (Agere, 2002;
Mimicopoulos et al., 2007).

Both
marketing academics and practitioners over the years have diverted their focus
away from product brands to corporate brands (Ward & Lee, 2000), and more
recently towards nation brands (Rojas-Mendez, Murphy & Papadopoulos, 2013;
Hakala & Lemmetyinen, 2011; Dinnie, 2008). As the concept of nation
branding gain popularity, some scholars have suggested that nation brand may be
seen and treated as a product or corporate brand (Papadopoulos & Heslop,
2002). This view stem from the fact that corporations have logos, jargons,
culture, and employees, while countries have flags, language, culture, and
citizens respectively (Anholt, 2002). This is reinforced by the fact that a
nation brand has a multinational nature and diverse stakeholder interactions
(Hankinson, 2004; Trueman, Klemm & Giroud, 2004) and nations are also faced
intense competition due to globalization just as corporations (Osei &
Gbadamosi, 2010; Hanna & Rowley, 2008; Anholt, 2007). As a result, the
world is being perceived today as one market and in order to succeed, nations
must be distinctive and enhance their image in global arena (Caldwell &
Freire, 2004).

The
government’s imagery role can be useful in fostering entrepreneurship and
economic growth. Most efforts to stimulate business creation and expansion have
been in the form of tax incentives. 

 

1.2       Summary
of Methods in Explaining Government Image

 There are several
methods used in both field of academia and practice to explain the government
image. Among these explanation methods are the systems of governance, methods
of selecting the executives, relationship between levels of government, media
relation, trust, nation-branding and consonance. Systems of governance relate
to “the processes of interactions and decision-making among the actors involved
in a collective problem that lead to the creation, reinforcement, or
reproduction of social norms and institutions” (Hufty, 2011). A variety of
entities (known generically as governing bodies) can govern. The most formal is
a government, a body whose sole responsibility and authority is to make binding
decisions in a given geopolitical system such as state by establishing laws.

When
discussing governance in particular nation or state, the quality of governance
within is often compared to standards set by global bodies such as United
Nations, continental and regional bodies. Actually, good governance relates to
consistent management, cohesive policies, guidance, processes and right
decisions for a given area of responsibility, and proper oversight and
accountability. “Good governance” implies that mechanisms function in a way
that allows the executive to respect the rights and interest of the people in
spirit of democracy. This method has become a globally accepted standard in
determining and explaining government image of a country. Anything short of
these measures places the government image of that country in bad light. Comparatively,
the advantages of using system of nation’s governance to determine government
image are that, it follows the global standards which are well defined by the international
community with no distinctions irrespective of believe system, values and
social orientations of a particular country. Disadvantage of using this method
used in determining government image is that, all the determinants are
subjective to varied interpretations depending on ideological differences.   

Method
of selecting executives globally comes with competition (healthy and
unhealthy), tensions, acrimonies and invitation to struggle. In any case,
method of selecting nation’s executives varies from place to place. Even in the
monarchy system, tensions and struggles and acrimonies are not rule out. This
method is used globally to assess government image. Depending on the level of
tension, acrimonies, and struggle in selecting it is either considered fair or
otherwise. The government image is dented when all the elements making the
process healthy and fair are abused and not followed. The distinction between
this method and others are that method of selecting executives bother on human
right issues, and far reaching implication on human lives and trade. The
advantage of using method of selecting executives is it engages global
attention and concern. Disadvantage of this method is that it complex to
interpret and soon the new executives are selected different picture can be
portrayed to international community.   

Relationship
between levels of government has to do with separation of powers and
decentralization. This method used to explain government image varies from one
political administration to another. However, almost all political
administrations have executive, judicial and legislative. The level of autonomy
and independence to a very large extent describe the healthy or insanitary
nature of government image. The difference between this method and others is
that it affords the any assessor an opportunity to evaluate the level of
totalitarianism as well as prevailing rule of law. The advantage of
relationship between levels of government is mainly due to its ability to
determine the level of dictatorship of executive in relation to decision
making. The disadvantage of the method is that it subjects to ideological
interpretations and governance approach.  
    

With
respect to media relation, trust, nation-branding and consonance in marketing,
the difference is that their interpretations are more objective than
ideological subjectivity. Their analytical interpretations in the field of
marketing can be done using either qualitatively or quantitative approach. The
disadvantage of the method is its costs in collecting enough data from the mass
respondents that will reflect the generality of the outcome. In this study,
media relation, trust, nation-branding and consonance were chosen in determining
the government image in relation to economic performance for the following
reasons, to appraise:

i.                   
how government image is promoted by media
relation,

ii.                 
how the trust of business community
impact on government image,

iii.               
how the nation branding projects the
government image, and

iv.               
how the government image is elevated by
consonance 

     

1.3       Study
Objectives

The
objectives of the research include, to:

·        
Determine the significant statistical
influence government image has on the nation’s economic performance.

·        
Find out the extent government image
influences the nation’s economic performance.

·        
Identify the factor elements that enhances
government image in relation to marketing strategy.

·        
Make recommendations as how these
government image variables could be improved to enhance economic performance.

 

1.4       Area of Focus

Performance
of countries globally are usually viewed from the perspective of economics
without due consideration to other subjects interpretations. Marketing is
believed to be a core of all business activities including governance of nations
that can be used to determine and interpret nation’s economic performance.
Nation branding attempts to reduce the identity-image gap by identifying
prejudices and misperceptions as well as enabling it to dismantle and oppose
the negative force that could: (1) hold back the nation’s economic development
(2) damage the nation’s standing in the world community. The significance of
this study is to establish a link from marketing perspective between image of
government and economic performance. The outcome of the results is expected to
highlights the elements of government image that significantly influence the
economic performance of the country. Hence, the suggested recommendations are
expected to be used by developing countries, particularly those in Sub-Africa
who share similar characteristics to that of Ghana. It is to add facts and
information to existing academic literature useful for referencing.

 

1.5       Delimitations

As
the nation Ghana has experienced diverse forms governance since its independence
then it becomes a perfect case for this study. The study will look at economic
performance of Ghana vis-à-vis the governance regimes since its independence to
establish a trend. In this study economic performance will be defined in terms
of growth domestic product (GDP/capita) while government image is described in
terms of factors such as media relations, trust, nation branding and
consonance.

 

1.6
      Chapter Disposition

This
research was organized into six main chapters. Chapter One, Introduction,
comprise of background to the study, summary of methods in explaining
government image, study objectives, areas of focus, delimitations, and chapter
disposition. Chapter Two, Literature Review, consist of theoretical review,
empirical review, and summary of the chapter. Chapter three presents Ghana’s economic performance and
political governance. Chapter four,
Research Methodology, captures research design, data collection approach, data
collection ethics and method of data analysis. Chapter five, data presentation,
results and discussion presents the processed data, analyses and discussions.
Chapter six, conclusion and recommendation, presents summary of the findings,
conclusion based on the research questions, limitations of the study and
recommendations.

 

1.7       Creative Opinion

Ghana,
due to her different political regimes and governments since its independence
the economic performance has gone through various twists and turns. The country
has experienced both military and multi-party regimes. In each of the case, its
economic performance has gone through some form of changes, some impressive
performance, others dreadful. During the military regimes in the 1960s, 1970s,
1980s and 1990s, the business communities were the worst sufferers of the blunt
of dictatorships, autocracies, repressions and despotisms tendencies. At some
stage in these eras, local businesses who could not withstood the vagaries of
the economy collapsed while others, particularly, multinationals either
relocated to the safer destinations or reduced their investments. In all these
regime periods, the image of governments appeared shoddier and woefully affected
the economic performance of the country even notwithstanding some success
chucked by some of them. Examining the economic performance of the country, it shows
evidently that gross domestic products (GDP/capita), the measure of economic
performance, during these military regimes proved more terrible depiction than
democratic dispensations.

Also,
even under the democratic dispensations, at some periods of times the economic
performance dips as result of lack of investments in the economy and relocation
of businesses which were purportedly on the account of governments’ image. As
ideologies and policies in politics cannot be ruled out, some political parties
in the reins of power attracts more foreign direct investments (FDIs) and
businesses than the others. Political parties that are branded business
friendly are bound to attract more FDIs and businesses and hence grow the
economy in more positive way.

By this rendition, it clear that there is a link
between the economic performance and the image of government. As under certain
regimes, the economic performance of the country blossom while also within
certain regimes it becomes worst-off. The image of government is very critical
to every nation’s economic performance because in marketing, national branding
which is almost synonymous to government image is all that the investors both
local and foreigners need to promote businesses to enhance economic growth.
Hence, this study seek to analyze the influence government image has on
nation’s economic performance, and the extent of the influence. Due to number
of key stakeholders involve in determining the government’s image and economic
performance are numerous, this study concentrates mainly on business entities
whose outputs and performances have direct benefits or otherwise on both the households
and the nation.    

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