5.6 A way of dealing with social pressures: decoupling

Organisations often deal with these social pressures by decoupling responses to these different pressures. The need to appear legitimate in the eyes of important constituencies is met by actions and practices which have a purely ceremonial character: they are done for the sake of appearances and not with any real engagement. The example in Author(s): The Open University

5.5.2 Mimetic pressures

Mimetic pressures come from the pressure to imitate what others do. The world is complicated and finding the optimal solution often difficult. One way of dealing with this complexity is to copy others. For example, in my own consulting work I carried out an assignment for British Petroleum (BP). Subsequently, other (smaller) clients would often ask me ‘So how does BP do this?’, usually with little regard for the different circumstances they faced. It is this mimetic pressure that
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5.5 Social pressures which affect our decision making

Broadly, there are three kinds of social pressure which affect how we make decisions:

  • coercive

  • mimetic

  • normative.

We look at these in more detail below.


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3.2 Utility theory

Utility theory is based on this assumption of rationality and describes all decision outcomes (financial and otherwise) in terms of the utility (or value) placed on them by individuals. Within this framework, decisions can be understood in terms of rationally ordered levels of utility attached to different outcomes.

Bazerman (2001, pp.3–4), for example, describes a formally rational decision process for arriving at a decision with the greatest expected utility in the following terms:<
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Learning outcomes

By the time you have completed studying this unit, you should:

  • have greater insight into your own decision-making processes and those of others;

  • be able to use that insight to make more effective decisions;

  • possess a range of different perspectives on what counts as an ‘effective’ decision;

  • be better equipped to understand and influence the decision-making processes of other individuals and groups;

  • understand better
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Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:


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1.1 Globalisation

Globalisation is something we tend to take for granted, mostly in the form of the remarkably low prices we pay for our consumer goods. When the first pocket calculator was launched in the UK in 1972, it cost £79 plus tax, an amount close to the average monthly take home pay.

Ten years later came the original IBM PC. Replete with a 4.77 MHz processor, 64kB RAM, a 12″ monochrome monitor (and an optional floppy disk drive!), it carried a UK price tag in excess of £1500, at that time a
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4 Key points

The important points this unit has covered include:

  • Defining the entrepreneur in terms of economic function and role.

  • Identifying the key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial firms.

  • Considering the role of entrepreneurial motivation in decision making and business behaviour.

  • Identifying leadership and management styles appropriate to an entrepreneurial firm


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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should:

  • understand the nature of entrepreneurship;

  • understand the function of the entrepreneur in the successful, commercial application of innovations;

  • confirm your entrepreneurial business idea;

  • identify personal attributes that enable best use of entrepreneurial opportunities;

  • explore entrepreneurial leadership and management style;

  • identify the requirements for building an
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2.3 Closing the project

Closing a project can be quite an emotional experience for team members who have worked together for some time, particularly if close bonds have developed. The manager of a project has some obligations to staff who have worked for some time on it. Build into the plan a closure interview with each member of staff, so that their contribution can be formally recognised and recorded. Staff may need help to recognise the skills and experience that they have gained and how these have been evidenced
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7.2 Negotiation skills

Negotiation skills are essential for the project manager to get individuals and groups to agree on a common approach to a project, despite their potentially conflicting interests and priorities. The project manager needs to be able to negotiate with suppliers and customers and individuals to adopt a particular course of action. It is also important that negotiation is conducted in a way that will build long-term relationships, rather than simply secure short-term gains.

Effective negoti
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2 What's so great about innovation?

So far we have suggested that innovation is a positive concept and, it appears, the rate of innovation continues to accelerate, led mostly by technology. The process is an example of positive feedback, in which the change is self-reinforcing: the development of technology itself increases the capacity for technological innovation, and raises the expectation of consumers for further innovation. While there seems little reason why this process of accelerating technological change should
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1.6.3 Summary

  • High culture tends to unite Europeans.

  • Education plays a key role in the construction of national identity. A common curriculum shared by all European peoples will be crucial in fostering the development of a European identity.


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1.4.1 Historical background

European unification was begun by the social democratic and Christian democratic leaders of the Western European states who had fought each other during the Second World War. The idea was to create a community of states that would guarantee peace and prosperity. The process turned out to be long and arduous, particularly after the federalist failures of the Congress of the Hague (1949) and the European Defence Community (1953). The main emphasis was on economic co-operation, and the project w
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1.2.2 Summary

  • The results of successive editions of the Eurobarometer show that in most EU countries only a very small percentage of people, around 5 per cent, declare having an exclusive European identity, while up to 50 per cent do not have any sense of European identity.

  • European political identity is weak and there is a great variation across states.


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1.2.1 The role of the Eurobarometer

In 1973 the Directorate of Information of the European Commission instituted a survey of public opinion amongst the members of the EEC. So now, twice a year, a sample of about 1,000 people from each country are interviewed on topics related to European integration and EU policy and institutions. This survey of public opinion is usually referred to as Eurobarometer. The reports are initially published by the Commission in French and English, though they are subsequently made available i
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Introduction

The problem of who, or what, are ‘Europeans’ is at the centre of many of the most acute political and social issues confronting contemporary Europe. Can a genuine European identity be constructed within Europe, and if so on what basis? This question is of even greater importance as the European Union expands and becomes ever more multicultural in character. This unit examines the ways in which European identities are – or are not – being forged across Europe. It assesses the various
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

I would like to thank Liz Stokoe and Jackie Abell for giving me access to their transcript of the Panorama interview and along with Peter Bull generously sharing their unpublished work and knowledge of Diana lit
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References

Abell, J. and Stokoe, E. (1999) ‘“I take full responsibility, I take some responsibility, I'll take half of it but no more than that”’: Princess Diana and the negotiation of blame in the Panorama interview’, Discourse and Society, vol. 10, pp. 297–319.
Anderson, B. (1983) Imagined Communities, London, Verso.
Billig, M. (1991) Ideology and Opinion
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1.6.4 Summary

  • EU enlargement is going to impose new problems for both monetary and fiscal policy.

  • The process by which the accession countries can enter the Euro-zone will be long and will possibly lack stability.

  • According to the rules of the SGP fiscal retrenchment is called for some governments because of government sector imbalances, though this might be offset by payments to the accession countries and regions from Structural and Co
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