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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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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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4.6 Post-decision evaluation

For most normally functioning people, maintaining self-esteem is an important internal goal. This can cause us to filter out or discount information that might show us in an unfavourable light. This is what lies behind the fundamental attribution bias. This is the tendency to attribute good outcomes to our own actions and bad outcomes to factors outside our control. While such defences against loss of self-esteem can be helpful to the extent that they help us persist in the face of adv
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4.1 Introduction

A psychological perspective does not start from the assumption that people are fundamentally irrational. Rather, it emphasises a different logic: a logic that meets the challenges we have evolved to face (Calne, 1999). For much of our evolution we have faced an environment with major differences from the modern business world. We have developed a range of cognitive mechanisms to cope with adverse environments in which resources are scarce. These include a range of simplifying and confidence-s
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1 Barriers to a strategic view

Marketing communications is not always accepted as having strategic importance in organisations. This unit examines some of the reasons for this, before exploring some recent arguments in favour of a strategic role for marketing communications.

One reason for seeing marketing communications as tactical rather than strategic is that much of its development and execution has been outsourced to marketing services agencies offering a range of specialisms (such as design, creative consultanc
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References

Arrow, K. (1974) The Limits of Organisation, New York, Norton & Co.
Fukuyama, F. (1995) Trust: the Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, London, Hamish Hamilton.
Hosmer, L.T. (1994) ‘Strategic planning as if ethics mattered’, Strategic Management Journal, 15, 17–34.
Hutton, W. (1995) The State
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1.2 The relationship between stakeholders and the organisation

Public and voluntary sector organisations do not have the same shareholder obligations as those in the private sector. However, as the distinction between public and private sector organisations becomes blurred, there are concerns that the ethical role of public service organisations – defined as acting in the public interest through a public service ethos – is being undermined. As public service and non-profit organisations are increasingly expected to achieve targets and become more ‘
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3.2 CSR reporting

We mentioned earlier three reasons for environmentally friendly behaviour, effectively deriving from personally held values, niche marketing or regulatory pressure. To a large extent the same holds true for ethical behaviour.

Some organisations have a long tradition of good citizenship, ranging from the UK social housing of Bourneville or Port Sunlight, through to community involvement schemes from such as Xerox and IBM. Financial sponsorship of good causes, whether that be artistic end
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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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2.4 Problems in closure

Projects do not always go according to plan. If problems develop during the closure period there are particular difficulties. The following story is told by an integration manager of an IT project.

Activity 3

0 hours 15
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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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2.2 Closure tasks

The closing stages of a project need as much, if not more, attention as the early stages. Many of the final tasks in a project may seem rather tedious ‘housekeeping’ once the project's main purpose has been achieved. Nevertheless, there are a number of actions that must be taken to close the project and ensure that any necessary maintenance arrangements have been made.

  • Make sure that all project staff actually stop work on the project.


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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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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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9 Summary

This unit has focused on managing projects through people and how important this is in relation to:

  • managing the relationship with stakeholders;

  • motivating the project team to get results;

  • dealing with senior management;

  • building relationships across the organisation in order to encourage co-operation;

  • satisfying the client and end user.

Recapping on the learning obje
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8 Satisfying the client and end user

Most projects have an identifiable client or customer group which will benefit from or use the outcome of the project. The client may be external to the organisation which is implementing the project, for example, the customer for whom a new building is being constructed. Or the clients may be internal, for example, the users of a new IT system. As we have already seen, it is important that the client or end user shares and endorses the project's objectives and is actively involved in its dev
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7.2.1 Labelling behaviour

Signalling that you are about to suggest a solution to a problem or to ask an important question is one way of drawing attention to this and puts pressure on the person or persons at whom your signal is directed to respond.


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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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5.2 Using political skills

In particular, a project manager needs to employ good political skills in order to maintain the support of senior management, without allowing them to undermine or take over the project. However, this can raise questions about the ethics of their behaviour. Read the following account that was given by a member of an external consulting team working on a project for a local authority in Scotland. The project's objective was to revamp the structure of the council which had operated in much the
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