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1.3 Scope of this unit

ICT technical developments are announced on almost a monthly basis, so this unit cannot provide an up-to-the-minute snapshot of knowledge management technologies. While we describe many examples of relevant technologies, it is important not to let these particular examples constrain how you think about the possibilities; they are simply examples of commercial products and point to emerging technologies in research laboratories.

Our emphasis, therefore, is on providing conceptual framewo
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1.1 ‘Technology’?

In knowledge management literature the term ‘technology’ is assumed to mean digital media and networks: software and hardware that comprise today's ICTs. However, it is important to remember that pens and paper are forms of technology, along with whiteboards, sticky notes, and the other non-digital media that make up the infrastructure of our daily lives at work. These are not about to disappear: paper is robust and portable, text on paper is easily read and annotated, and most organisati
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3.3.2 China

When the medieval Italian traveller, Marco Polo (1254–1324), returned from China, he shocked Europeans with the news that the Chinese used not metal but paper money; indeed, European resistance to representative money based on paper notes stretched into the nineteenth century (de Soto, 2000, p. 222). While China might have had a few centuries away from the global limelight, it is currently staging the biggest economic boom in the history of the planet. In common with Japan, China runs a sub
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3.2 Institutions in flux

Although the implosion of the Soviet Union, after the dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989, has extended the flow of global capitalism, de Soto (2000) argues that the lack of capitalist institutions – and specifically legally enforceable rights to own property – has frustrated Western expectations about achieving increased prosperity through free-market economic development: ‘Ten years ago, few would have compared the former Soviet bloc nations to Latin America. But today they look as
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3.1.1 Global convergence?

The Nobel Laureate, Douglass North (1990, p. 46), has argued that progress, from a less to a more complex society, is characterised by a lengthy and uneven but unidirectional move from informal institutional rules of practice to formal constraints. Thus, informal sanctions, taboos, customs, traditions and codes of conduct are superseded by formal rules embodied in constitutions, laws and legally enforceable property rights, including intellectual property and copyrights. North argues that the
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3.1 Interconnectedness

In making sense of the stretch from the here-and-now to the wider context, social science has often seized on distinct levels: the micro – dealing with things that happen in organisations, for instance – and the macro or national level. Explanations are often generated at either the micro or the macro level and critical connections between the two are ignored (Flyvbjerg, 2001, p. 138). Arguably, increased talk about globalisation provides a convenient label for things that g
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2.5 Clusters

A striking contradiction of the internet revolution is that, although cyberspace allows firms to be located anywhere, they still seem to cluster together in global cities such as New York, London and Sydney (Castells, 2001). Four years after publishing a book proclaiming The Death of Distance, Frances Cairncross noted in the book's second edition that, ‘Economists, most of whom have long ignored or despised economic geography, are now taking a fresh interest in it’ and, after revie
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2.1 Introduction

Globalisation is used in different contexts to mean quite different things. According to the prestigious Economist magazine's Pocket Strategy: The Essentials of Business Strategy from A to Z, globalisation is: ‘The marketing of uniform products around the globe, based on an idea put forward by Harvard's Theodore Levitt in an article published in the Harvard Business Review in 1983’ (The Economist Books, 1998, p. 88). In his article ‘The globalization of markets’,
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1.1 The wider context

This unit explores the management of local knowledge-generating practices with regard to their wider contexts. Although these local practices might be considered in terms of individuals acting and thinking as if they were autonomous, independent agents interacting with other agents, such practices are simultaneously shaped by shared skills and understandings. As Karl Marx pointed out, when the hero of Daniel Defoe's (1660–1731) novel Robinson Crusoe (Defoe, 1994, first published in 1
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6 Summary

The aim of the first section was to introduce you to the concept of the market-led approach to marketing (also referred to as pan-company marketing or marketing orientation) and to differentiate it from ‘marketing department marketing’. I used examples and case studies to make you think about the applicability of this concept to commercial (for-profit) and non-profit organisations, and gave you activities to help you apply it in your own organisation.

Five of the learning outcomes w
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5.5 Relationships in your organisation

In this section I have introduced you to case studies and reading that should have helped you understand how market orientation affects an organisation's performance. I have also asked you to look at your own organisation and make judgements regarding its performance. Near the beginning of this session I asked you to consider some questions from Drucker (1992). I have added a few more questions to his list and ask you now to try to answer these questions for your organisation. You probably do
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4.4 Marks and Spencer: a case study

The following case study examines a company coming to terms with market orientation.

Case study 1 M&S goes online to reverse crisis

Marks & Spencer is the latest UK retailer to turn to the web to revive its fortunes.

In the week that the company announced a halving in its pre-tax p
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1 What is accounting about?

Let's start with a question – we shall call questions ‘Activities’. For many of these activities you will need a pen and paper, or you can use the unit Forum, to note down your own ideas. Once you have completed the Activity you should return to the text, read the comments that follow the activity, and then think again about your answer. Change it, if you like. Once you are happy that you have understood the comments and that your own answer is alright, you should continue to read the t
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Activity 6: Hofstede's four dimensions of culture

Allow 45 minutes for this activity.

So far you have encountered some of Hofstede and his son's resources. It is now time to go on and explore his way of thinking about national culture. You are going to start by getting an overview of Hofstede's ideas, then in Activity 7 you will look at what Hofstede himself has to say.

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Activity 4: What do you see?

Allow 60 minutes for this activity.

Now that you have understood the nature of national culture and how it is manifested in your context, the following activities will help you to appreciate why it matters. Culture influences your way of thinking. Indeed Hofstede argues that it is a ‘given’ for organisations and therefore also influences the way in which organisations are managed.

This activity will help you to understand why culture matters by helping you to see how di
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Activity 1: Defining culture

Allow 60 minutes for this activity.

This first activity will help you to define key norms and values. It consists of four separate tasks, the first three of which involve reading short pieces of writing. Each of these extracts deals with a different aspect of culture – beginning with the idea of culture itself and then moving on, more specifically, to the notions of ‘national culture’ and ‘organisational culture’.

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1 Overview

This unit begins with some explanations of culture and discussion of how to distinguish between national and organisational culture. Reading what some well-known writers on organisational and national culture have to say will help you recognise some of the main dimensions of culture and reinforces that all of us, including organisations, construct different views of the world as a result of cultural influences. Thus culture plays a key role in the ways in which organisations perceive the envi
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should:

  • appraise your own skills in asking for contributions;

  • identify ways of sustaining and developing donor involvement;

  • make recommendations on how your organisation might most appropriately acknowledge contributions;

  • contribute to thinking on the actual or potential role of ‘big gifts’ in your organisation's approach to fundraising;

  • enhance your approach to legacy fundraising.


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2.7 Multiple-cause diagrams

As a general rule, an event or outcome will have more than one cause. A multiple-cause diagram will enable you to show the causes and the ways in which they are connected. Suppose, for example, that you were asked to explain why a work group was under-performing. You could use a multiple-cause diagram both to help you to construct the explanation and to present it.

2.3 Influence diagrams

An influence diagram shows the influences, from within the organisation or from outside it, which bear on a person or unit.


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