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Working life and learning
What is your experience of work and what have you learned from this experience? This free course, Working life and learning, will enable you to reflect upon what you have learned from work and will support you in improving how you learn at work. It will encourage you to think critically about work-based learning and review your own professional knowledge and skills.Author(s): Creator not set

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4.12.1 Communities of practice and technology

Communities of practice are technical and social networks which set the context in which new knowledge arises in daily work, and determine how it is shared and interpreted, what counts as important knowledge and how people become recognised as members of that community:

A good deal of new technology attends primarily to individuals and the explicit information that passes between them. To support the flow of knowledge,
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4.1.1 Mapping who knows what

One of the most widespread ways to represent what you know is to represent who knows what. This avoids the complications of codifying or storing the knowledge in great detail – you simply map the relevant people to a high-level taxonomy, leaving them to give contextualised answers when asked. Initiatives to provide corporate ‘yellow pages’ which map an organisation by what people know rather than by where they work, or alphabetically, have been reported to be extremely popular and succe
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4.3.1 Product leadership

Its practitioners concentrate on offering products that push performance boundaries. Their proposition to customers is an offer of the best product, period. Moreover, product leaders don't build their positions with just one innovation; they continue to innovate year after year, product cycle after product cycle.

(Treacy and Wiersema, 1996)

For product leaders, competition is not about pric
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4 How do organisations become market leaders?

Drucker (1992) wrote:

The five most important questions you will ever ask about your organization [are]:

  • What is our business?

  • Who is our customer?

  • What does our customer consider value?

  • What have been our results?

  • What is our plan?

Can you answer these questions for your own organisation? I don't expect you to know all the answers now. Try to think about them
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3 Do all organisations need to be market oriented?

As you have seen, many marketing writers maintain that to be successful all organisations (commercial and non-profit) must be market oriented and must focus their attention on adding value to their products and services to satisfy their customers’ needs.

Leaving aside the word profit from the CIM's definition of marketing, at a conceptual level the process of becoming market orientated is concerned with identifying, anticipating and satisfying customers’ needs. Kotler (Drucker, 1992
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1 What does 'marketing' mean?

Activity 1

Before you start working through this course, take a moment to write down what you understand by the term ‘marketing’, either on the basis of your previous studies or the everyday use of the term.


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4 Conclusion

Culture is just one perspective that can help us to understand more about a business. In this course we saw how the concept of culture developed from research into differences between cultures at a national level. Many cultural elements of a business are not obvious, but there have been some attempts in the academic literature to develop definitions and identify influencing factors. It is possible to see, or ‘feel’, that one business is different from another, and that this involves more
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3.7 Interest rate risk

This has to be seen in conjunction with the previous comments about the secondary market in shares and debt instruments. An efficient secondary market can ensure that there is always a ready buyer for an investment, but the price at which the investment can actually be sold will depend entirely on market conditions at the time of sale. The secondary market price will not necessarily bear any relation to the price originally paid by the investor. The following example illustrates the general p
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7.3 What is an effective decision?

To improve decision making it is first important to have a clear idea of how we should judge an effective decision. While in this course we have suggested that decisions often stray from formal rationality, this does not always mean those decisions are less effective. Sometimes it is smart to take mental shortcuts: drawing on hunches and intuition can allow us to tap our tacit knowledge and experience and can reduce the costs of decision making. It can be smart to ask what is ‘legitimate’
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6.6 The social construction of unknown risk

While some risks can be quantified, many are unknown. In the face of such uncertainty our approach to risk depends on fundamental assumptions about the way the world works which cannot be readily subject to empirical test. Different social groups have different approaches to uncertainty. Schwarz and Thompson (1990) characterise these in terms of what they describe as four myths of nature. Adams (1995) has conceptualised these in terms of a ball on a surface (
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Social care, social work and the law - England and Wales
This free course is made up of four extracts related to social care, social work and the law in England and Wales. The extracts are stand-alone sections but follow on from each other to make up this course. You will be introduced to five main themes that shape practice in the field of social care and social work. The aim of this course is to enhance your understanding of the relationship between social work practice and the law. Author(s): Creator not set

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1.8.1 What happens next?

The next ten years are likely to be momentous for the history of Europe. However, in the same way that no social scientist was able to predict the collapse of the Soviet order, it is pointless to speculate on possible but improbable scenarios. At this point it is only possible to project toward the future on the basis of the existing parameters; the more accurate and detailed our knowledge of the present trends is, the more likely our forecasts are to have some success.

Europe is at a c
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1.6.2 Education

Education is obviously one of the crucial dimensions in any attempt to develop a future European identity or at least more understanding and convergence among Europeans. If the school made the nation, it should also be a key factor in promoting Europeanness. Observers of the school scene in Europe acknowledge the existence of a growing sentiment of interest for European themes (institutions, politics, peoples, languages). Furthermore, the EU-based exchange programmes have recognised the impor
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1.12.2 Constructing discursive spaces

Finally, the notion of discursive space draws attention to the broader social practices which construct such spaces. Thus social scientists and discourse researchers have been interested in the practices of production of newspapers and the media and in the ways in which economic and technological developments construct discursive spaces. E-mail, the internet and computer-mediated communication are good examples of how changing practices produce new spaces which construct new kinds of discursi
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1.9.2 To sum up

Such an analysis reinforces the notion of discourse as a form of work or labour. It also implies a strategic speaker. But, again, is this the case? Are speakers strategic in this way or just doing what comes naturally? It can suggest, too, a duplicity in Diana's actions. Potter is not implying this, however. Rather, as knowledgeable speakers and competent members of discursive communities, we are all, like Diana, skilled in a range of methods for accomplishing different activities such as sta
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1.6 Discursive practices

Some of the thinking behind the claim that discourse is social action has now been unpacked. But what explains the order and pattern in this social action? One source of regularity is the discursive practices which people collectively draw on to organize their conduct. Take a look back again at Extract 1. Even this short piece of discourse reveals many complex layers of these practices. It reveals that there is such a thing as an interaction order to use a concept developed by
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References

Lemert, C. (1993) ‘Social Theory: Its Uses and Pleasures’ in Lemert, C. (ed.) Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, Oxford, Westview Press.
Millet, K. (1970) Sexual Politics, New York, Doubleday.
Schütz, A. (1943) ‘The Problem of Rationality in the Social World’, Economica, Vol. X, May, pp. 130–49.
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3.1 Theorising situations

This course explores the processes through which we comprehend the world around us. When it comes to understanding and explaining the way that social life operates, social scientists draw from a conceptual tool kit, just as we possess a conceptual tool kit for watching a movie or as a spectator at any sports event. There are times when all human beings feel that something appears to be plausible or appears to be false and we are quite aware that others would disagree with our own point of vie
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2.1 The challenge of change

We are living in a very complex and rapidly changing world. Social science does not exist in a vacuum: by its very nature, social scientific study directly considers those things in life which are close to our concerns as human beings – how we produce things, communicate with one another, govern ourselves, understand our varied environments, and how to solve the problems we face in the organisation of social relations and processes. The social sciences offer a way of dealing with all of the
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