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2.6 Conclusion

This section has considered the reasons for different systems of accounting regulation in more detail. A number of factors external to accounting (e.g. the legal system and so-called ‘accidents of history’) have been important in shaping accounting regulations differently from one jurisdiction to another. The contingent model of accounting change provides an explanation of how accounting regulation continues to evolve and how dealing with one issue can have unintended consequences, leadin
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2.4 Means of regulation

We have started to draw attention to cultural variables already when talking about the perceived objectives of financial reporting. In this next section, cultural issues can be seen to have a considerable impact on the methods used in each country to regulate its accounting, and indeed on whether regulation is perceived to be necessary.

One of the fundamentals in this area is the underlying legal system. The literature recognises two models: the common law model and the Roman law model.
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3.1 Interconnectedness

In making sense of the stretch from the here-and-now to the wider context, social science has often seized on distinct levels: the micro – dealing with things that happen in organisations, for instance – and the macro or national level. Explanations are often generated at either the micro or the macro level and critical connections between the two are ignored (Flyvbjerg, 2001, p. 138). Arguably, increased talk about globalisation provides a convenient label for things that g
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2.5 Clusters

A striking contradiction of the internet revolution is that, although cyberspace allows firms to be located anywhere, they still seem to cluster together in global cities such as New York, London and Sydney (Castells, 2001). Four years after publishing a book proclaiming The Death of Distance, Frances Cairncross noted in the book's second edition that, ‘Economists, most of whom have long ignored or despised economic geography, are now taking a fresh interest in it’ and, after revie
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1.1 The wider context

This unit 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 1
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4.2 Qualitative v. quantitative data

Accountants do not, traditionally, deal with qualitative data, such as whether a customer was happy or sad, or whether it looked like it would rain when a customer bought an umbrella.

Activity 9

Why do you think accountants do no
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1 What is accounting about?

Let's start with a question – we shall call questions ‘Activities’. For many of these activities you will need a pen and paper, or you can use the unit Forum, to note down your own ideas. Once you have completed the Activity you should return to the text, read the comments that follow the activity, and then think again about your answer. Change it, if you like. Once you are happy that you have understood the comments and that your own answer is alright, you should continue to read the t
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4.6 Recruiting and selecting internal candidates

Where an existing member of staff is applying for a post, you will already have knowledge of their personality, skills, fit with the organisation and so on. However, whether the job they are applying for is very similar to or different from the one they are doing currently, you need to ensure that they receive the same treatment as other candidates. Being an internal candidate is not easy. It can be both an advantage and a disadvantage to be known! Maintaining our theme of objectivity, the re
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4.4 Job description

From your analysis of the job you can write a job description which will state what the job holder is responsible for and what they are required to do (see Example 1).

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3.3 Person–organisation fit

This approach stresses that people's behaviour and performance are strongly influenced by the environment in which they find themselves. So being successful in a job in one organisation does not necessarily imply success in a similar job in another. In assessing the suitability of a job applicant a manager should explore the reasons why a person has performed well in their existing job and consider whether similar conditions apply in the new job. Advocates of the person-organisation fit appro
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Activity 10: Critical reflections on Hofstede

Allow 60 minutes for this activity.

You have spent most of this unit working with Hofstede's ideas. He is one of the pioneers of the study of national culture and its impact on organisations, and his work has been very influential.

My aim so far has been to help you understand Hofstede's cultural dimensions and to become familiar with how they can be used to analyse one of the main environments within which organisations operate. National culture is also one of the factors
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1 Overview

This unit begins with some explanations of culture and discussion of how to distinguish between national and organisational culture. Reading what some well-known writers on organisational and national culture have to say will help you recognise some of the main dimensions of culture and reinforces that all of us, including organisations, construct different views of the world as a result of cultural influences. Thus culture plays a key role in the ways in which organisations perceive the envi
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2.5 Project meetings schedule

You need to decide early on what meetings are essential to the monitoring process. All your stakeholders will expect to receive reports at regular intervals, whether formally or informally. So you need to ask yourself:

  • Who needs to be informed?

  • About what?

    How often?

  • By what means?

Effective communication involves giving information, collecting information and listening to people. To ensure the
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2.8 Network analysis

One of the weaknesses of simple charts for planning and control is that they do not show how tasks are dependent on each other. Network analysis (or critical path analysis) seeks to overcome that drawback, particularly where large or specialist projects are concerned. The critical path is found as a result of the analysis of the network. There are many computer software packages which can help a manager to carry out a network analysis.


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2.6.1 Compendium

Compendium  is a knowledge map software tool for visual thinking. It can be used for personal reflection as you study or work on a problem, and you can share your maps with others – your summary of a topic or a learning path through, say, an OpenLearn unit.

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2.3 Influence diagrams

An influence diagram shows the influences, from within the organisation or from outside it, which bear on a person or unit.


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2.2.2 A second diagram

This first representation can be developed in the way shown in Figure 11.

2.2.1 A first diagram

For example, think about the inputs to the running of a commuter rail operation and the outputs from it. The diagram might look like the one in Figure 10.

1.1.3 The intercept

When a line cuts an axis, the line is said ‘to intercept the axis at’ [the particular point]. In this example, the line cuts the vertical (y) axis at £10, so ‘the line intercepts the y axis at £10’. It can also be said that ‘the intercept with the y axis is £10’.


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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • understand the value of graphics as visual thinking tools;

  • give examples of relevant graphics used in the business context.


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