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1.1 Equity instruments

Both public and private incorporated companies can issue shares in order to finance their operations. Those who invest in shares expect a return blended from dividend yield and capital growth – although the expectations of investors vary from country to country. In the USA, for example, many companies rarely, if ever, pay dividends, with the result that investors seek their returns through share price growth. You will have learnt from earlier finance studies that investors require higher re
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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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6.1 Introduction

An important aspect of decision making which crosses all three perspectives is making decisions about risks. Risk is all-pervasive in organisational life and many decisions require us to weigh up and choose between different kinds of risk. Thus any account of decision making would be incomplete without examining how our perceptions of risk affect our decisions. In this section we will examine risk from the three different perspectives we have identified: rational-economic, psychological and s
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5.6 A way of dealing with social pressures: decoupling

Organisations often deal with these social pressures by decoupling responses to these different pressures. The need to appear legitimate in the eyes of important constituencies is met by actions and practices which have a purely ceremonial character: they are done for the sake of appearances and not with any real engagement. The example in Author(s): The Open University

4 Summary

This section has examined marketing communications’ claims to strategic credentials. Historically there have been several barriers to this – the fragmented nature of development and execution in the absence of strategic co-ordination, rivalries between different communications disciplines, and short-termism in the marketing communications industry itself which has led to communications being seen as a tactical rather than strategic resource.

The traditional hierarchy of strategy has
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References

Craig, S. and Jassim, H. (1995) People and Project Management for IT, Maidenhead, McGraw-Hill.
Elbeik, S. and Thomas, M. (1998) Project Skills, Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann.
Gulliver, F.B. (1987) ‘Post-project appraisals pay’, Harvard Business Review, March–April.
Sabbagh, K. (2000) Power into Art,
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4.2 Personal self-evaluation

You could also carry out a personal self-evaluation, to contribute to your own development as a project manager. You can develop a list of questions to evaluate your own performance:

  • Were the project objectives achieved?

  • Did the project stay within budget?

  • How were problems that occurred during the project been resolved?

  • What could you have done differently to improve the final result?

  • <
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4.1 Introduction

Managing a project provides considerable opportunities for self-development, but these can be lost if you become too immersed in delivering the project to remember that you will move on to other work once it concludes. For many managers, taking responsibility for a project is a time-bounded task with clear objectives and a fixed budget. A project usually involves managing staff, finance, operations and information across the boundaries of departments and functions, with complicated interactio
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3.8 Following up the report

The evaluation report will often contain recommendations for further actions and these may lead to new project ideas. Recommendations may relate to processes and procedures within the organisation. Project evaluation and debriefing can be a learning experience for the organisation as a whole, as well as for individuals. For example, British Petroleum gathers the lessons learnt from post-project appraisals in a series of booklets that are then used as guidance for writing project proposals. In
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3.3 Evaluation during implementation of a project

At this stage the project activities are monitored to determine how their timing, quality and cost match the plan. The results of this monitoring are reviewed to see whether the plan needs to be modified. New environmental conditions may indicate the need to change the organisation's strategic direction. It might be necessary in that case to re-align the project, so that the outcomes relate to the new direction. In some cases it may be necessary to abort the project, if it is no longer approp
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3.1 Evaluation while developing the vision

A project is often shaped through discussion among those developing the vision and direction of the project. They may agree in general terms about what is to be achieved, but have to make a number of choices before deciding how to proceed. It may be important to allow time for different views to be heard and considered, and for attitudes to change and – hopefully – converge.

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Project drift

Project drift is a common problem when one project leads into another without a clear break, or when extra tasks, which were not identified at the beginning, are added to a project. If possible, significant changes of the latter kind should be treated separately as a follow-on project: otherwise they may not be properly resourced and this can have adverse consequences for motivation of the project team.

<
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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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The closure meeting

The final meeting is a time for celebrating successful completion. It could have a similar format to the launch meeting, and involve many of the same people. It might include:

  • reviewing the outputs or outcomes;

  • confirming the arrangements for any follow-up work;

  • thanking the team, the sponsor(s) and the stakeholders for their support;

  • presenting the completion report for approval and sign-off.


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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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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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2.2 Effective communication

Whilst effective communication is an essential skill for the project manager, most people tend to be over-optimistic about the accuracy and efficacy of the communication process. Achieving understanding can be difficult, especially in the atmosphere of change and uncertainty generated by a major project. Verma (1996) identifies the following barriers to good communication.


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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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7.3 Risk and contingency planning

Risk in projects may be defined as ‘an event or situation … which can endanger all or part of the project’

(Nickson and Siddons, 1997).

Risk management is fundamental to project management and has an impact on estimates of time and effort required for the project. It is concerned with assessing the kinds of risk associated with trying to make something happen, for example the possibil
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1.2 What is expected from projects?

  • The project may be expected to deliver financial benefits to the organisation.

  • In the public sector projects are usually expected to lead to social, economic and political outcomes.

All projects are different. The level of complexity differs and the context in which a project exists will affect it. There is no single right way to manage a project. All projects have customers.

There are three key dimensions to a projec
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