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Introduction

The topic of ‘governance’ is one that has gained popularity, and the term is now used to embrace a range of concepts. This unit establishes some basic principles that will form the basis of your study. You will have the opportunity to consider how well these principles match up with your own observations of corporate organisations and behaviour

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Issues in international financial reporting (B853) which is no longe
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7.5 Becoming an institutional entrepreneur

While acting in ways that are seen to be legitimate is important for both individuals and organisations, social institutions are not immutable. Some people and organisations seem to have a talent for changing the rules of the game.

Some writers have referred to this as being an institutional entrepreneur. At the organisational level examples might include organisations such as Microsoft or Sun Microsystems working actively to establish industry standards which favour them. At the
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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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5.5.3 Normative pressures

Normative pressures concern what we think we ‘should’ do. They concern our values and the broader social values to which we subscribe. Some organisations make explicit attempts to foster particular kinds of value (for example, in relation to customer service), but normative pressures also come from outside the organisation, such as from a particular professional or religious affiliation.

Institutional pressures are important for both private and public-sector organisations.
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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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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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References

Boddy, D. and Buchanan, D. (1992) Take the Lead: Interpersonal Skills for Project Managers, London, Prentice Hall.
Buchanan, D. and Badham, R (1999) Power, Politics and Organizational Change, London, Sage.
Deeble, S. (1999) ‘Holding hands on the brands’, The Guardian, 17 July.
Fowler, A. and Walsh, M. (1999)
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3 Identifying and involving stakeholders in a project

For every project, there will be a range of individuals or groups who have an interest in the different stages of the project. It could be the end users of an IT system, the line managers who will be expected to lead a restructuring initiative throughout the organisation, or the marketing department which will promote a new product. The support of these stakeholders is essential, if the project is to succeed. Therefore a key responsibility of the project manager will be to identify these stak
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Introduction

The aim of Managing Projects through People is to demonstrate the importance of managing people for the success of a project, to identify groups and individuals whose appropriate involvement in a project is important for its success, and to consider ways in which their contribution might be maximised.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Fundamentals of Senior Management (B713) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study form
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Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

The unit has been adapted for OpenLearn by The Open University Business School from The Open University course B713: Fundamentals of
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References

Frame, J.D. (1987) Managing Projects in Organizations: How to Make the Best Use of Time, Techniques and People, San Francisco, Jossey Bass.
Buzan, T. (1982) Use Your Head, London, Ariel Books.

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8 A basis for action and the project brief

Once the initial discussions about the purpose and feasibility of the project have confirmed that the project is worth carrying out, it is essential to establish the basic agreement as a document. The document will provide the reference point for all future work on the project and will be the basis for all judgements about whether the project is finally successful or not. This document is sometimes called the terms of reference, but usually incorporates some additional information in the form
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5 Setting aims and objectives

‘If you don't know where you're going, you might end up somewhere else.’

(Casey Stengel, New York Yankees, quoted in Beckhard and Harris, 1987)

Aims are broad goals and can encompass an organisation's mission and values, whereas objectives define more precisely what a project is trying to achieve and how success will be recognised. The SMART principle is often applied to objectives. The
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4 Project inputs and outputs

A project involves the transformation of inputs into an output or product. For example, people's mental and physical efforts, bricks and mortar, equipment or materials might be transformed into a new road, a municipal park or an advertising campaign. Or perhaps transformed into a stream of outputs or products, for example, attendances at a conference or exhibition, state school places or data from a new in-house costing system.

The output or outputs might be used within the organisation
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3.3 Task breakdown chart

The task breakdown technique is a very logical approach to identifying the tasks involved in a project. Some people may find it suits them better than using mind maps; other people may find the techniques complement each other.

To do a task breakdown chart, first draw a box at the top of a page with the project title inside it. Then mentally identify the main elements that go to make up the project as shown below.


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1.1 Introduction

'The world of volunteering has today reported a dramatic increase in the number of people looking for opportunities to volunteer. Leaders of national volunteering organisations attribute this to a rise in unemployment across the UK.'

Volunteer England, 21 April 2009
<
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Acknowledgements

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

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

Table

Table 1: Eurobarometer 49, September 1998, © European Communities.

Unit Image

www.flickr.com TPCOM

All other materials included in this unit are derived from co
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1.7.2 Summary

  • The EU is an economic, juridical and, to a certain extent, a political reality but a single European public space has not emerged yet.

  • The establishment of European citizenship could play a crucial part in fostering a common European public space.

  • European citizenship could encourage Europeans to play a more active role in EU affairs and participate in governance processes.


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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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