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2.2 Modern history – an evolution

So, what is modern about ‘modern medicine’? Several key scholars – notably Schwartzman (1976), Gambardella (1995), Galambos and Sturchio (1996) and Henderson et al. (1999) – have detected a pattern in the recent development of the industry which may help address this question. According to these scholars, the modern history of the industry can be analysed as an evolutionary process. This may involve changes, which are self-created, or adaptation to discrete technological or institutio
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Conclusion

We hope this course has set you thinking about how you and others make decisions. It has been a very brief and to some extent shallow introduction to some quite complex ideas. The reference list should give you some pointers to further resources which will help you explore this topic in greater depth.


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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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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

4.3 Framing the problem

As you saw in Activity 1, how a problem is framed can have a significant effect on how you make decisions. Medical decisions can be affected by whether outcomes are framed as likelihood of deaths or of saving patients. Financial decisions can be affected by whether you see yourself in a position of loss or gain. In a position of gain we tend to become risk averse; in a position of loss we will tend to take risks to avoid or recover losses. You may know people who are good at using this
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2.2 Different approaches to decision making

Activity 2

Think of a major decision you have recently been involved in making at work. For each of the following statements about your decision-making process make a note of the number which shows your level of agreem
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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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4.2 Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a project team

Those involved in a project may have skills that fulfil more than one aspect of the project agenda. This is likely to be particularly important in small-scale projects, where management of the content, process and control agendas are just as important to the project's success, but where fewer people are involved.

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3 Identifying and involving stakeholders in a project

For every project, there will be a range of individuals or groups who have an interest in the different stages of the project. It could be the end users of an IT system, the line managers who will be expected to lead a restructuring initiative throughout the organisation, or the marketing department which will promote a new product. The support of these stakeholders is essential, if the project is to succeed. Therefore a key responsibility of the project manager will be to identify these stak
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2 What's so great about innovation?

So far we have suggested that innovation is a positive concept and, it appears, the rate of innovation continues to accelerate, led mostly by technology. The process is an example of positive feedback, in which the change is self-reinforcing: the development of technology itself increases the capacity for technological innovation, and raises the expectation of consumers for further innovation. While there seems little reason why this process of accelerating technological change should
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Becoming a critical social work practitioner
What does it take to become a critical practitioner in social work? This free course, Becoming a critical social work practitioner, will guide you through some important concepts. An understanding of 'critical perspectives' will help you take a positive and constructive approach to problems that arise in social work practice.
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Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see http://www.open.ac.uk/conditions terms and conditions), this content is made available under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2

8 Sources of references

Virtual voluntary work

  • Voluntary Worker: virtual volunteering
  • NABUUR, a comprehensive information site, suggesting a wide range of opportunities. A ‘global neighbour network, but everything done online’.
  • Horsesmouth, an online coaching and mentoring network.
  • TheSite.org: what can a virtual volunteer do? A good description of a range of virtual possible activities, from media and publicity, campaigning, information and ad
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6 Impressing employers

'69 per cent of employers have done voluntary work in their lifetime, with over half stating that volunteering gave them people skills which helped them get to where they are today. Half of employers say that job candidates with volunteering experience are more motivated than other candidates.'

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4 Getting started

Here’s a seven-point action plan to help get you started and activities to give you ideas about creating development opportunities and monitoring the progress you make.

1) Review your objectives/wish list (see Section 1). Be clear about what you want to achieve and how much time you can offer (it could be quite small!)
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this free course, you should be able to:

  • identify your objectives;

  • assess what you have to offer;

  • balance these against a practical framework of your personal circumstances;

  • explore a range of reference sources to select what is most relevant;

  • prepare an action plan, including evaluation of achievements;

  • produce ongoing strategies to develop your voluntary work;

  • understand emp
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1.7.2 Summary

  • The EU is an economic, juridical and, to a certain extent, a political reality but a single European public space has not emerged yet.

  • The establishment of European citizenship could play a crucial part in fostering a common European public space.

  • European citizenship could encourage Europeans to play a more active role in EU affairs and participate in governance processes.


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1.5.2 Summary

  • The development of a European identity will be the outcome of a long process in which bottom-up as well as top-down initiatives are likely to be employed.


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1.4.3 Summary

  • The process toward European unification was initiated by top political elites in France, Italy, Germany and the Benelux countries after the Second World War.

  • New collective actors are progressively being engaged in European affairs, among them the Labour movement, regional movements and new social movements such as the environmentalism of groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

  • European elites, although engaged in
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1.4.2 Unification and the EU

With the development of the EU an arena for collective action has appeared. But, as we shall see in SubSection 1.4.3, it is rather limited and it cannot be compared to the public sphere of the member states. Although collective actors have reacted to the emergence of new European-based institutions, due to internal constraints not
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1.4.1 Historical background

European unification was begun by the social democratic and Christian democratic leaders of the Western European states who had fought each other during the Second World War. The idea was to create a community of states that would guarantee peace and prosperity. The process turned out to be long and arduous, particularly after the federalist failures of the Congress of the Hague (1949) and the European Defence Community (1953). The main emphasis was on economic co-operation, and the project w
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