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1.6 Sources of authority

A very useful way of gaining insight into a religion and seeing how it works is to examine its sources of authority: for example, whether authority is vested in scriptures, in religious specialists, in tradition, in personal experience or a combination of these. Even in traditions where there is some agreement on what counts as an authoritative text, there are still contested issues of how that text is to be interpreted, by whom, with what degree of literalness and in what context. Similarly,
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1.1 What are the issues?

Some themes recur when we start to think about religion. These include issues of continuity and change, representation, differing perspectives, authority, community and identity. In this unit we start to consider some of them in detail.

The full list of themes and issues considered in this section are:

  • Continuity and change

  • Representation

  • The Victoria and Albert Museum 'Sacred Spaces' exhibition of 2000


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4.1 What is a composition?

We are used, in Western art music, to being able to identify a piece of music and its composer. The ‘piece’ is represented by the written notation; it can be realised in somewhat different ways in different performances. One of the problems we have in applying our concepts of composition to the music of other cultures is that it is not always easy the identify a ‘piece’ of music (an item of repertoire), as distinct from a particular performance.

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3.6 Conclusion

I asked the question at the beginning of this section on Sundanese gamelan music: how is it possible for a group of musicians to play highly complex music, in a cohesive manner, without the use of notation and without having to memorise impossibly large amounts of music? My answer came in a number of stages.

  1. Rather than reading, or memorising vast amounts of music, the musicians memorise the simple frameworks of pieces (the Javanese term for this, bal
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2.1 An introduction to khyal singing

I now want to move on to explore the first of two case studies of non-Western music-traditions: North Indian art music, also known as Hindustani music. (There are two major art music traditions in South Asia; the other is known as South Indian or Carnatic.) In this section I will take you through a performance of music from this tradition and consider some of the questions posed by Author(s): The Open University

3 The Efficient Markets Hypothesis (EMH)

The classic statements of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis (or EMH for short) are to be found in Roberts (1967) and Fama (1970).

An ‘efficient’ market is defined as a market where there are large numbers of rational, profit ‘maximisers’ actively competing, with each trying to predict future market values of individual securities, and where important current information is almost freely available to all particip
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2.1 Looking at each of the possible alternative outcomes

Investment risk is synonymous with uncertainty of outcome, so it is logical to try to quantify risk by looking at the relative uncertainty, or probability, of each of the possible alternative outcomes.

Suppose that we are interested in investing in the shares of Company X, and want to know:

  • What is the mean or average expected total return for the next year?

  • What is the degree of risk or uncertainty in this mean figure?


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9 Summary

This unit has focused on planning a project. At this stage you may find it useful to recap on the learning objectives introduced at the beginning of the unit and to think about some of the issues associated with them.

  1. You should now be able to develop plans with relevant people to achieve the project's goals. This will involve identifying and finding ways of including the appropriate people in the project.

  2. You should be able
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5.3 Desktop search tools

Finding your paperwork or electronic files can be a problem. You may find that even if you do have some sort of filing system, your structure soon gets quite large with files in multiple locations, which can be hard to navigate. You may find yourself making arbitrary decisions about which folder to place a document in. It may make sense now but in the future, when you look where you think it should be, it’s not there.

At times like this you may resort to the search command from the Wi
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7.4 Avoiding decision traps

While it is not possible to change our human natures, it is possible to immunise ourselves to some extent against common decision traps. Useful strategies include:

  • Get in the habit of reframing problems. For example, if you are considering strategies for avoiding a loss of €10,000 try asking yourself if you would feel differently if you consider them as strategies for making a gain of €10,000.

  • Think about the information you have
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6.2 A rational-economic perspective on risk

A rational-economic perspective generally represents risk as a combination of the expected magnitude of a gain or loss, combined with some probability distribution of anticipated outcomes. Economic ideas of risk behaviour are founded largely on expected utility theory. Expected utility theory predicts that investors will always be risk averse. The shape of the utility curve (utility plotted against increasing wealth) is such that utility increases with wealth, but at a declining rate. This is
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3.6 Collecting and interpreting data

In many projects it can be difficult to make comparisons with anything similar. However, there may be quality standards that can be used for one of more of the outcomes, perhaps alongside different targets for time-scales and resource use. Benchmarks are another possible source of comparative data; they have been established for many processes, and data are available from industry, sector and professional support bodies.

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3.2 Evaluation during the planning stage

Evaluation at this stage is usually concerned with whether plans represent good value for money. It may be appropriate to evaluate inputs to the project, to ensure that their quality and quantities are sufficient to achieve the objectives. In large building projects, many specialist tasks are subcontracted. Specifications are developed, and potential contractors are invited to tender for work. The element of competition can lead to problems if some tenderers are over-anxious to win contracts.
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1.2 What is handed over, and when?

Not all handovers are at the completion of a project. In some projects there might be several different types of handover, which happen at different stages. For example, the Tate Modern was built within the shell of a disused power station, and an early handover point was when the building was purchased and became the property of the Tate Trustees. Such a handover is significant when a building may present long-term problems (in this case, contamination from its previous uses).


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1.1 Formal handover

The outputs of a project should be defined at the planning stage, including any conditions that will be required for a smooth transfer. Each outcome should be formally handed over to the sponsor who should confirm their delivery (‘sign them off’) so that there is no dispute about whether outcomes have been completed.

A closure list is likely to have sections to include the following groups of tasks, but each project will have different features to consider. A list of suggested areas
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Learning outcomes

At the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • explain the key components of project closure and their importance;

  • plan an effective project closure;

  • ensure that the project activities have been completed;

  • be alert to problems that may need to be resolved at the closure stage;

  • contribute to evaluating a project;

  • plan personal development to improve your performance in managing projects.


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7.1 Sharing the project

As we have seen, the execution of a project may depend on the involvement and co-operation of several departments or functions within an organisation. If this is the case, then, for it to succeed, they must be prepared to share ownership of the project, be willing to work together to help the project achieve its objectives and be happy to release adequate resources when appropriate. The project manager and their team therefore have to create and maintain good relationships with all interested
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6.1 Introduction

Buchanan and Badham (1999) suggest that political behaviour can be usefully evaluated against four criteria to help determine whether it is acceptable or whether it is not:

Four criteria to determine whether political behaviour is acceptable

  1. Is the behaviour e
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Learning outcomes

At the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • identify why managing people is an essential part of project management;

  • establish which people and groups of people are important for the success of a project and why;

  • explain what issues are at stake in managing them;

  • evaluate how particular groups of people involved in a project might best be handled;

  • recognise which skills are most important for managing people in proje
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9 Summary

The project brief is a summary of previous discussions and research. If there is earlier documentation, the project brief can refer to these documents and summarise the key points rather than repeat everything. For example, there may have been previous documentation outlining the business case for the project so that commitment could be gained in earlier stages of the decision-making process. Similarly, there may be documentation that outlines the background to the project and the reasons for
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