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Activity 7: Hofstede's way of thinking about national culture

Allow 60 minutes for this activity.

Activity 6 introduced you to Hofstede's academic writing. This activity takes this further by giving you the chance to take a closer look at what he actually said.

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4.2.2 Identifying possible causes

The possible causes of a problem can be written onto Post-it notes or similar, and arranged on a flipchart or whiteboard in the form of a ‘fishbone diagram’. This can be a useful method to help a group to examine causes of problems, and perhaps also to clarify your own thoughts. Figure 4 shows a fishbone diagram prod
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4.1 Dealing with risk

Projects are high-risk activities, and it is in the early stages that uncertainty is greatest. Some of this uncertainty can be removed during design and planning, but in practice a great deal may remain. Risks can be ranked according to their probability and likely impact, and a risk log can be kept detailing this information. Throughout the progress of the project you will need to review your risk log, to check whether any risks have become either more or less probable, and whether any new r
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2.8 Controlling changes to the project

Sometimes an addition or change to the project will be requested. This can be difficult for those who manage the project, because you will want both to maintain good relations with your client and to protect your profit margin and budget for resources. The first step is to assess the extent to which this will cause a need for additional time or resources. Perhaps the change can be accommodated in the project plan within the existing time-scale and budget, for example by altering some of the t
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2.2.2 Milestones

Milestones are measuring points that are used in reviewing the progress of a project. Milestones can be set in different ways, to reflect different purposes. For example, milestones are often used to provide an agenda for regular meetings which review the project. These reviews should take place, weekly, monthly or quarterly, depending on the nature of the project.

Another approach is to set the milestones to reflect key phases of the project. Sometimes such milestones are established i
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1.5.1 Using matrices

A matrix can be a useful way of organising your thinking about a topic. Suppose that you were asked: ‘How will you know when you have written a good assignment?’. Suppose as well that you thought ‘usefulness’ and ‘mark’ were the two measures by which you would judge an assignment. You could use a two-by-two matrix like the one shown in Author(s): The Open University

3.4 The importance of understanding attitudes

One of the most important phenomena for a social marketer to understand is that of ‘attitudes’. Having said this, this is not a straightforward issue as there is much disagreement about the nature of attitudes, how they are formed, and how they determine our behaviour. Attitude theory research is a key focus for consumer behaviour theorists and derives from the field of psychology.

There are many definitions of attitude, for example, ‘the predisposition of the individual to evalua
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7.5 Materials costs

There will be many categories of materials, supplies and consumables used in a project. Once again, the materials that are in constant use and easily and ‘freely’ available in an organisation might be overlooked in costing the project. For example, it is easy to assume that stationery will be available in much the same way as it is for day-to-day work. However, a project is a bounded activity, and if you are to understand the full cost of achieving the outcomes, you will need to know how
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2.1 Introduction

In this section we are going to review the different needs that drive the creation of corporate governance frameworks. The contingent model of regulation applies to financial reporting: the idea that equilibrium in regulation exists, but is broken by some intrusive event, often a financial scandal. This leads to a search for a revision of the rules, and a new equilibrium is worked out. This is very much a pattern that drives change in corporate governance.


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References

Arrow, K. (1974) The Limits of Organisation, New York, Norton & Co.
Fukuyama, F. (1995) Trust: the Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, London, Hamish Hamilton.
Hosmer, L.T. (1994) ‘Strategic planning as if ethics mattered’, Strategic Management Journal, 15, 17–34.
Hutton, W. (1995) The State We
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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying Business & Management. 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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2 The ‘business sense’ of an ethical approach

Sternberg (1995: 125) argues that treating employees ethically is not an optional extra but an essential ingredient in maximising long-term value:

Treating employees ethically simply means treating them with ordinary decency and distributive justice. The ethical business rewards contributions to the business objective, and is honest and fair to its staff; it avoids lying, cheating and stealing, coercion, physical v
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1.2 The relationship between stakeholders and the organisation

Public and voluntary sector organisations do not have the same shareholder obligations as those in the private sector. However, as the distinction between public and private sector organisations becomes blurred, there are concerns that the ethical role of public service organisations – defined as acting in the public interest through a public service ethos – is being undermined. As public service and non-profit organisations are increasingly expected to achieve targets and become more ‘
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1.1 The concept of 'social capital'

Fukuyama (1995) examines the importance of civil society defined through institutions including businesses, churches, universities, and schools and uses the concept of ‘social capital’ to describe how people work together for common purposes in organisations. Fukuyama argues that shared values lead to trust, which is crucial for society and the economy to function. He quotes from the distinguished economist Kenneth Arrow with approval:

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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • explain the relationship between strategy and the ethical dimension of organisational purposes.


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References

Bain, P. and Taylor, P. (2004) No Passage to India? UK Unions, Globalisation and the Migration of Call Centre Jobs, Work, Employment and Society Conference 1–3 September 2004, Manchester.
Cowe, R. and Porritt, J. (2002) Government's Business: Enabling corporate sustainability. London: Forum for the Future.
Knox, S. and Maklan, S. (2004), ‘Corporate Social Res
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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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4 Conclusion

The primary thrust of this course has been to emphasise the need for all organisations to acknowledge the influence of their environments and, in turn, the impact of organisations on their context. We have argued that the commercial environment is characterised primarily by the growing trend toward globalisation. To a much greater extent than ever before we live in a global village where goods and services will be produced wherever they can be provided at the least cost. Consumers in the West
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