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4.5 Technologies and the tacit dimension

In this unit we have discussed the intriguing notion of tacit knowledge, or perhaps better, knowing as a situated process. What might it mean to provide technological support which exploits the tacit dimension? If ‘tacit’ can mean ‘not yet codified, but could be’ in Nonaka and Takeuchi's (1995) sense, then we can devise computer systems that assist in formalising information and ‘transforming’ it into explicit, shared knowledge to feed the knowledge spiral. However, if ‘t
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2.4.1 From Heidegger to knowledge technologies

Because each transformation from one ‘knowledge state’ to another (Figure 2) is an act of interpretation, there is no such thing as objective knowledge representation, or indeed objective classification or codification of any sort (in software or any other medium): there is always a viewpoint. This leads to the view that information and communication systems cannot be thought of as neutral; in their formal structures and operations they embody the goals and perspectives of their developer
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1 Knowledge technologies in context

There are many non-technological dimensions to understanding what it might mean to ‘manage knowledge’. However, technology is a thread weaving throughout, and seems now to be a fixture in knowledge management conferences and publications. ‘Knowledge’ can be managed as an objectified asset is a core idea in knowledge management.This unit will encourage you to question what this means in different contexts. ‘Context’ allows us to considere what value is added by viewing management a
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3.3 Implications of market orientation

An organisation that develops and performs its production and marketing activities with the aim of satisfying the needs of its customers is market oriented. However, using market-led ideas in the non-profit sector requires a fundamental shift in organisational philosophy. Identifying those people who add value to the service means renaming some users ‘customers’. It also means that you have to establish what they want before you begin the planning processes and you have to concede
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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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3 Factors influencing culture

Where the culture of a business comes from, and how it develops, is the subject of much discussion within business studies. Every commentator seems to have their own list of key factors. One example is by Drennan (1992), who proposes twelve key factors that shape the culture of a business. These are:

  1. the influence of a dominant leader – the vision, management style and personality of the founder or leader in a business often has a significant influen
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2.1 Culture as socialisation

The cultural perspective has become popular in business studies because it offers a way of explaining performance and understanding difference. It is only one way of analysing business, but it is an interesting one as it focuses particularly on the insider point of view, or on what it is ‘really’ like to work in an organisation. There have been many definitions of organisational culture. One definition that is often cited is:


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3.5 Default or credit risk

This is the risk that contractual returns will not be paid because the borrower's financial situation has deteriorated to the point that it is no longer able to service the debt. It is possibly the commonest type of risk in commerce generally, and you are probably familiar with it in some shape or form. It affects many areas of business decision-making over and beyond the specialised world of investment risk and return. Most large companies devote significant resources to the identification,
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3.1 Background

In practice, there is almost always some element of risk (in the technical sense of ‘uncertainty’) in any investment return. There is in finance the theoretical concept of a truly risk-free asset, but at the moment it is sufficient just to be aware of the main factors causing risk or uncertainty in practice. These are:

  • maturity

  • liquidity

  • variability of income

  • default or credit risk

  • event r
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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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4.5.1 Filtering

Which of these senses do you usually tune out? From birth we start learning to filter information out and to prioritise, label and classify the phenomena we observe. This is a vital process. Without it we literally could not function in our day-to-day lives. In our work lives, if we did not filter information and discard options we would suffer from analysis paralysis: the inability to make any decision in the face of the complexity and the ambiguity of the real world.

However, t
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6.1 Introduction

Buchanan and Badham (1999) suggest that political behaviour can be usefully evaluated against four criteria to help determine whether it is acceptable or whether it is not:

Four criteria to determine whether political behaviour is acceptable


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1.12 The politics of representation

We turn now to consider Diana as an icon, as the subject of discourse. It could be said that Diana and the many words written about her form a discursive space (Gilbert et al., 1999; Silverstone, 1998). She is the rather enigmatic centre of many competing representations of royalty, femininity, democracy, the family, morality, celebrity, fashion, private versus public life which jostle with each other. Such a discursive space is a place of argument. To use another metaphor, it i
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1.3.1 Discourse is constitutive

First we'll focus on Diana's utterances as a form of description. She is describing some events in the world and people's reactions to those. Social scientists deal with descriptions of this kind all the time. They are basic data. But what do we do with them? One way to respond is to move to judgements about adequacy and accuracy. Is this objective data? Is Diana telling it how it was? Would we want other sources of information about what really happened? Social science is made up of these ki
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Acknowledgements

This free course is an adapted extract from the course DD305 Personal lives and social policy, which is currently out of presentation.

Course image: Erik Törner in Flickr made available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.
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4.2 Feminist perspectives: who counts as a refugee?

The UN Convention has a very narrow definition of a ‘refugee’, which does not ‘accommodate those people who are forced to leave their country of origin because of economic and/or social disruption caused by environmental, political or economic turmoil or war. These are precisely the reasons that propel most refugees from the underdeveloped South’ (Lewis, 2003, p. 327). If we examine this definition further through a feminist theoretical perspective, we can see how social policy operat
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Introduction

This course 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 OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 3 study in Social sciences


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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying sociology. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


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References

Christiansen, K.O. (1977) ‘A review of studies of criminality among twins’ in Mednick, S.A. and Christiansen, K.O. (eds) Bisocial Bases of Criminal Behaviour, New York, Gardner Press, pp. 45–88.
Clarke, R.V. and Coleman, D. (1980) Designing Out Crime, London, HMSO.
Cohen, S. (1973) Folk Devils and Moral Panics, London, Paladin.
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2.3 Activity 1: Discussion

Responding to the way in which the content and style of photographs are so often limited by the production and distribution processes of the mass media, Owen Logan uses digital technology to produce a new way of seeing the oil industry. As you can see, many of his pictures are made by digitally splicing separate photographs together. The effects of these montages are in part about the relationship between what is put together. For example, to me Logan's use of a photograph of an oil platform
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