6.3.1 Prototyping

The first prototypes may be made of any convenient material, such as clay, plaster-of-Paris or wood. Plastic models can also be made by fabrication or vacuum forming of thin sheet. Their primary function is to ensure that the product has ‘customer appeal’ when considered in aesthetic or ergonomic terms. This is particularly important for products which are to be consumer durables. It may be the first time in the design process that the concept sketches and initial engineering drawings are
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5.9 Developing other systems methods

There are many more methods that are regarded as systems approaches for managing complexity (e.g. Rosenhead, 1989a; Flood and Carson, 1988; Flood and Jackson, 1991; Mingers and Gill, 1997; Francois, 1997; Flood, 1999; Jackson, 2000). The systems practitioners responsible for developing these come from a varied background, but in the main their experiences are similar to those described for Checkland, Beer, Espejo and the T301 team. All wanted to be able either to take action that stakeholders
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18.4 MP3's diffusion depended on innovations in related areas

As well as being small and portable, MP3 devices have a number of additional competitive advantages. Digital compression allows the size of recordings to be significantly smaller without noticeable loss of sound quality so the capacity of portable devices can be much greater. Compatibility with computer systems means that music can be acquired from the internet or from a CD and easily manipulated into a sequence desired by the user.

Although MP3 players had been around for a number of y
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3.5 Design of the bridge

The design of the original structure was governed by applicable standards in 1926. The official inquiry found that the design and build fell within those limits, the most important being the allowable stress in the eye-bar chain of 345 MPa. The steel was to be made with a maximum elastic limit of 520 MPa, with a safety factor on the strength of the steel of 2.75. It was argued at the time that over 70 per cent of the load was from the self-weight of the structure. Other suspension bridges of
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3.4.5 Fretting fatigue

An additional possibility was considered. It was known that there was significant movement of the bridge during passage of traffic, because users had noticed it many times when crossing. The joints would thus have been subjected to rotary motion around the pin in order to accommodate such vibrations. Could these have caused fatigue crack growth at the bearing surfaces?

Contact between a circular and a flat plate creates so-called Hertzian stresses at the contact zone: compressive at the
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2.3 Interdependency of systems

The control system approach to project control provides a simple overview of the process of planning, measuring against the plan and taking action to bring things back into line if necessary. This suggests that events will move in a fairly linear way. Life is messier than this, however, and every time that something happens it will have an impact on everything else around it – so the interdependency of systems is important to consider.

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2.2.1 Gathering information

Successful control of a project depends on the flow of information, so it is important to have systems in place to make sure that you get feedback on what is happening. If the project team is meeting regularly to review progress, monitoring becomes more dynamic and changes to the plan can be achieved by consensus. Involving the team not only helps to keep everyone on target – it also builds commitment.

Monitoring is the most important activity during the implementation phase of a proj
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4.2 A process perspective on organisations

The overall transformation process can be broken down into a series of micro-processes. Attention to processes within organisations can provide a powerful tool for understanding organisational performance. In the extract below, David Garvin discusses how attention to work processes can yield new insights for managers about the ways in which performance may be improved.

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Introduction

This unit explores the dynamic interrelationships between citizenship, personal lives and social policy for people who have fled their country of origin seeking asylum in the UK.

This unit is an adapted extract from the course Personal lives and social policy (DD305)


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6.2 Looking forward

The sovereign authority of states has not been replaced, nor is it likely to be in the foreseeable future, but it is already significantly less clear-cut than it was only some decades ago. Rather than sovereignty being based on a single territorial level, whether that of the state or a scale replica, we are more likely moving toward a situation of segmented, overlapping or shared authority, where regions are one level among several territorial and non-territorial political entities.

A f
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5.5 Summary

  • The idea that regions are replacing nation states and that the future of Europe lies in a loose, decentralised federation of regions is a misinterpretation of recent and current developments.

  • This ‘small is beautiful’ ideology of a ‘Europe of the Regions’ can be rejected on empirical and normative grounds: it is still largely the existing member states which control EU integration and define the regions; the strongest regional threa
    Author(s): The Open University

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2.4 Summary

  • ‘Regions’ and ‘regionalism’ in Western Europe display great diversity in economic, social, cultural and political terms, varying not only between states but also within particular states (as exemplified by the UK and Spain).

  • Regions vary widely in their size, population, levels of economic development, historical origins, contemporary identity, cultural distinctiveness and political activism (or in some cases the lack of distinctive
    Author(s): The Open University

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4.2 Family meanings matter to people in their individual lives and relationships

Survey research in the UK, reported by Jacqui Scott (1997), shows the extent to which families matter when people are asked about the key events in their lives over the previous year. While there were some differences by gender and age, the overall pattern was clear: events concerning family lives were considered to be the most significant. And, in the intricacies of personal lives and relationships, family meanings can be complex and powerful.

As an example of how powerful these meanin
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4.1 Family and meanings?

We have considered the difficulties of pinning down family definitions and meanings. We now ask whether it is indeed important to explore and unravel these complexities. Do the varieties of family meanings – or the meaning of ‘family’ itself – matter, or do they just provide a minor intellectual diversion? You may like to pause here for a moment to consider how you would answer this question for yourself. Do you think they matter, and if so, in what ways?

We consider this questi
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Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • identify criteria to evaluate the politics of racial violence.


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1 What is the ‘new economy’

10 p.m. Friday evening

Sunil, in India, has just received an email from Claire in Brighton, England, who runs a micro enterprise from her front room, clarifying details of some programming she has just subcontracted.

Tom is at a wine bar celebrating news of a £1 million investment of venture capital in his company.

Stephen has just begun the night shift in a call centre.

Joyce has just left her cleaning job, one of three jobs she currently holds. She is also a
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Introduction

This unit considers four ways in which some social scientists have claimed that there might be a ‘new economy’ coming in to being: the switch from manufacturing to services, globalisation, new technology and flexible labour markets. The good and bad points of economic change, its benefits and costs, are discussed. For example, what does it mean for people trying desparately to balnace the urgent demands of work and life?

This unit is an adapted extract from the course Author(s): The Open University

6 Conclusion

As you moved through the various techniques we can use to analyse media texts in Sections 2 to Section 4, you should have discovered how rich even the simplest text can be in its drawing on political, social and cultural meanings discernible by close attention. Textual analysis enables you to register and negotiate the polysemy of texts and to see how the preferred reading is not the only one available. The preferred reading may be given prominence, however, by anchoring or by the genre chose
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1 The purpose, efficacy and regulation of CCTV

John Muncie presents a series of opposing views about the purpose, efficacy and regulation of CCTV. The audio programme was recorded in 1994.

Participants in the audio programme were:

  • John Muncie Professor of Criminology at The Open University;

  • Bob Patison Superintendent with the Newcastle Police force;

  • Andrew Puddephat General Secretary of Liberty (civil rights organisation);


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1 New Labour's approach welfare reconstruction

This audio file, recorded in 1999, explores questions about New Labour's approach to welfare reconstruction. The discussion is lead by John Clarke with contributions from Ruth Lister and Sharon Gerwitz and contains extracts of Tony Blair's speeches.

Participants in the audio programme were:

  • John Clarke Professor of Social Policy at The Open University;

  • Ruth Lister Professor of Social Policy, Loughborough Universit
    Author(s): The Open University

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