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1 Dividing the planet

A good globe can set you back quite a lot of money. Of course, I don't mean the little moulded plastic planets or the globes you can blow up as if the world were a beach ball, but the decent sized ones that sit solidly on turned wooden bases and quietly emanate authority from the corner of a room. Yet these days, it hardly seems worthwhile making such an investment. Countries appear to change their colour, their shape or their name with remarkable rapidity.

It has become a cliché to po
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • identify the economic issues faced by developing countries in mutilateral trade negotiations;

  • describe these issues from a developing country perspective;

  • explain how the economic power of nations impinges upon the ability of states to negotiate settlements that are beneficial to them.


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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

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material within this book.

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1.6 Defining global markets

Global markets for manufactured goods, as opposed to, say, primary commodities such as oil and timber, arose largely in the second half of the twentieth century as trade between countries intensified. The lowering of transport costs and the relative fall in trade barriers enabled firms in one country to compete wit
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References

Alexander, G. (2002) eGaia: Growing a Peaceful, Sustainable Earth through Communications, Florida, Lighthouse Books.
Allinson, C.W. and Hayes, J. (1996) ‘The cognitive style index: a measure of intuition-analysis for organizational research’, Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 33, No. 1, p. 122.
Asch, S.E. (1963) ‘Effects of group pressure up on the modification
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2.3 Negative feedback and stability

If positive feedback results in change, then another mechanism must exist that creates stability. This is negative feedback.

What stops water hyacinth from taking over the world? Clearly, it is the lack of tropical freshwater. As the number of water hyacinth reaches the limits of their water body, there is a sudden increase in the death rate as offspring compete for the ever decreasing levels of sunlight. The sudden overcrowding allows the establishment of a negative feed
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1.3 Activities

Activity 4A engages you in developing a more sophisticated visual model of one of the themes raised in the ‘Powerdown Show’ programme. The sign graph diagramming technique is the ultimate visual modelling approach for revealing positive and negative feedback relationships, so you will be using this technique to first explore, and then communicate, the dynamic nature of the complex situation you have chosen to investigate.

The first sign graph you will develop will focus on r
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1.2 Readings

In your studies of the learning units so far, you have investigated a range of factors that may lead up to the ‘perfect storm’: a combination of interlinked environmental, social and economic crises. You have also explored your personal ecology, extending this to incorporate quality of life and environmental impact aspects. You have done this using a range of verbal, visual and mathematical models.

You have also become familiar with the fact that our mental models evolve through th
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1.3 Activities

In Activity 3A, you will be exploring your ‘personal ecology’ – the relationship between t
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6.1 Review

Let's see if we have made any progress in studying thermal effects. The following SAQ is based on Exercise 3, although this time I have a higher expectation of how much you should be able to do.

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4.2.2 The significance of the average energy

The average thermal energy of the atoms in a solid indicates how much they are ‘rattling’ or vibrating around their mean positions. Since the atoms are close together, virtually touching, and because atoms are almost incompressible, they cannot get much closer. But they can get further apart. So, since thermal energy is manifested in the vibrations of the atoms, bigger vibrations mean that the atoms must spend more time further apart. On average then, there is a tendency for a solid to ex
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3.1 Modelling properties

This section provides a model for properties interpreted in terms of the average thermal energy of all the constituent atoms of a material. Since absolute temperature T is a measure of average atomic kinetic energy, we shall expect to be looking at properties that change gradually with T, roughly proportionally, over a wide range. In terms of the classification introduced in Author(s): The Open University

Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • relate the temperature of a solid to the mean kinetic energy of its atoms;

  • use models for thermally induced effects that involve linear, exponential and step changes;

  • use exponentials, logarithms and graphical methods to interpret data from a thermally activated process in terms of Arrhenius's law;

  • identify the changes of phase taking place in a variety of critical phenomena;


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5.4.3 Two key leadership activities

  • Providing feedback: giving evaluative feedback so that it is experienced as helpful rather than destructive.

  • Problem ownership: the importance of accepting responsibility for our own problems, rather than blaming others.


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4.3.2 Setting goals and objectives

Whatever the structure and culture of an organisation and the range of people involved, goals and objectives are usually seen as a valuable management tool. This is as relevant to a project team as it is to a whole organisation. What I will focus on here are some of the tensions and ambiguities surrounding the management of goals, especially in the context of team development. To be effective in clarifying and achieving the team task, we need to take account of the variety of (often conflicti
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3.2.2 Group size

Another significant feature of a work group is its size. To be effective it should be neither too large nor too small. As membership increases there is a trade-off between increased collective expertise and decreased involvement and satisfaction of individual members. A very small group may not have the range of skills it requires to function well. The optimum size depends partly on the group's purpose. A group for information sharing or decision making may need to be larger than one for prob
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2.3 Types of teams

Different organisations or organisational settings lead to different types of team. The type of team affects how that team is managed, what the communication needs of the team are and, where appropriate, what aspects of the project the project manager needs to emphasise. A work group or team may be permanent, forming part of the organisation's structure, such as a top management team, or temporary, such as a task force assembled to see through a particular project. Members may work as a group
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6.4.1 Materials selection

Among the common thermoplastics available in the mid-1970s, polypropylene appeared as a front runner on grounds of toughness, density and cost Table 9). However, it is subject to creep (being uncrosslinked) and possesses a low tensile modulus of ca. 1500 MN m−2. Its merit index is 12.7 due to the low density of 0.
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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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6.3 Materials selection

Good design fulfils the product specification under the required service conditions as well as contributing to the cost effectiveness of its manufacture and maintenance. The product specification itself must be an interpretation of the market needs. Hence good design means giving product appeal at the point of sale. Selecting the polymer is just one stage in this design exercise, both in terms of information on various properties of materials, as well as the detailed evaluation and selection
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