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1.1 The wider context

This course explores the management of local knowledge-generating practices with regard to their wider contexts. Although these local practices might be considered in terms of individuals acting and thinking as if they were autonomous, independent agents interacting with other agents, such practices are simultaneously shaped by shared skills and understandings. As Karl Marx pointed out, when the hero of Daniel Defoe's (1660–1731) novel Robinson Crusoe (Defoe, 1994, first published in
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5.4 Activity 8

Activity 8

The M & S case study illustrates the importance of managing relationships. Having read it, try to answer the following questions.

  • On which value discipline has the com
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4.3 Dominating the market

Value disciplines refer to the ways in which organisations can combine value-driven operating models and propositions to dominate their markets. In their discussion of market domination, T&W identify three distinct value disciplines, each of which will deliver a different kind of customer value. They recommend that an organisation chooses one of the value disciplines on which to make its reputation but stress that these value disciplines are not mutually exclusive.

The choice of
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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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2.2 Marketing as a job title

The term ‘marketing’ became common in the UK during the 1960s. During that time it was quite common for businesses to rename their sales departments marketing departments. Communications and sales managers became marketing managers. Stephen King called this ‘thrust marketing’ (King, 1985). Although the functional name changed, managers typically still placed an emphasis on selling what the organisation made or the services it offered, cutting costs and manipulating prices, rather than
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References

Brown, A. (1995) Organisational Culture, London, Pitman.
Crace, J. (2000) ‘Feel at home with a job abroad’, Guardian, 14 October.
Drennan, D. (1992) Transforming Company Culture, London, McGraw Hill.
Hofstede, G. (1980) Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work Related Values, London, Sag
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2.2 Symbols within business

How have academics and managers attempted to diagnose these largely hidden aspects of business? One well-known example is provided by Trice and Beyer (1984), who concentrated on the idea of there being symbols within a business. They divided these into, first, high-level symbols, which are the more obvious ones such as company buildings and logos, and, second, low-level symbols. They suggested four categories of low-level symbols: practices, communications, physical forms and a common languag
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • make an informed judgement about whether or to what extent a financial market satisfies the conditions of an efficient market

  • identify the main factors that could detract from that efficiency.


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3.2 Maturity

The maturity of an investment is the date when the investor is contractually entitled to demand repayment of the investment and the associated return. Some investments (such as company shares, as discussed in Section 3.1) actually have no contractual maturity. Others – such as demand deposits at banks – are subject to contractual repayment at
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2.1 Looking at each of the possible alternative outcomes

Investment risk is synonymous with uncertainty of outcome, so it is logical to try to quantify risk by looking at the relative uncertainty, or probability, of each of the possible alternative outcomes.

Suppose that we are interested in investing in the shares of Company X, and want to know:

  • What is the mean or average expected total return for the next year?

  • What is the degree of risk or uncertainty in this mean figure?


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6.4.1 Implications

What does this all imply for decision making? First, the importance of control perceptions to decision makers' perceptions of risk suggests an important source of bias. In a study of managers' risk taking, Zur Shapira (1995) found that managers would often discount risks on the basis that they felt they could control them. In my own research on traders' decision making, I found traders to suffer from control illusions and their risk judgement and performance to suffer in consequence: illusory
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4.2 Bounded rationality and the use of heuristics

As decision makers, none of us has infinite resources or time to devote to gathering and analysing information. In addition, we all have significant limitations to the amount of complexity we can cope with. Thus, even where we make conscious efforts to make decisions according to a formally rational process, we often need to make simplifying assumptions and accept limits on the availability of information and the thoroughness of our analysis.

As noted above, we constantly use heuristics
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3.3 Limitations of the rational-economic perspective

As an approach to understanding economic life, the assumption of formal rationality has been very successful. For example, there is great deal of evidence that, on average, prices in financial markets behave as if investors were formally rational. However, there is also a great deal of evidence that individuals do not behave in this way (e.g. de Bondt, 1998). Even within the field of financial economics, there is increasing interest in developing theories of market behaviour which take better
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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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Acknowledgements

This content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence. See Terms and Conditions.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

Sally Pawlik, Careers consultant
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2.2 Identifying skills and personal qualities

There are several ways to approach this:

Reflective

It’s a great opportunity to reflect about yourself and to ask others, your friends, family or colleagues just what they think as well. Be realistic about your strengths and your weaknesses. Ask them to be honest; weaknesses can be just as important as strengths here!

Look at the ‘Know yourself’ section of the OU Careers Advisory Service website, which covers personal strengths and skills.

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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 1 Who are Europeans?

When I went to Loughborough for the first time I was pleasantly surprised as a social scientist to see that the town was twinned with Épinal, the French town where the founder of modern sociology, Émile Durkheim, was born. In fact, as you enter any major English town you are likely to see sooner or later a plaque indicating that the town is twinned with another European town. But what is the meaning of this practice?

After the Second World War, which pitched European state against Eur
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1.4.1 Discourse involves work

If discourse is doing something rather than doing nothing, what kinds of things are being done? We can see that Diana's account in Extract 1, like all accounts, constructs a version of social reality. When we talk we have open to us multiple possibilities for characterizing ourselves and events. Indeed, there are many ways Diana could have answered Bashir's first question in the extract above. Any one description competes with a range of alternatives and indeed some of these alternativ
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8.1.1 What kind of evidence has been used in this course?

We have used personal stories as evidence to support arguments about the mutual constitution of personal lives and social policy. The people in our stories all came to, or stayed in, the UK primarily because they saw it as a place of safety, not because of the welfare benefits or services they hoped to receive, and we have contrasted this with dominant discourses about (bogus) asylum seekers for whom welfare in the UK is said to act as a magnet. These dominant or official discourses, echoed b
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