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Managing projects through people
The importance of managing people for the success of a project cannot be underestimated. This free course, Managing projects through people, identifies the groups and individuals whose appropriate involvement in a project is important for its success, and considers the ways in which their contribution might be maximised. First published o
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Introduction

The topic of ‘governance’ is one that has gained popularity, and the term is now used to embrace a range of concepts. This course establishes some basic principles that will form the basis of your study. You will have the opportunity to consider how well these principles match up with your own observations of corporate organisations and behaviour

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of postgraduate study in Author(s): The Open University

Introduction

Strategy is based on the unique relationship between an organisation's distinctive resources and capabilities and its environment. This relationship is defined as ‘strategic fit’ and is seen as a dynamic relationship where the organisation does not merely respond to its environment but seeks to shape it.

Organisations do not exist in a vacuum: they rely on and reflect the political, economic and social contexts within which they operate. These will include:

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Developing your skills as an HR professional
This free course, Developing your skills as an HR professional, will help you to develop some of the skills you will need to be effective as an HR professional. You will practise learning reflectively and you will also develop the skills of organising yourself, managing time and stress, and working in teams or groups. First published on Thu, 11 Feb 2016 as
Author(s): Creator not set

Introducing corporate finance
This free course, Introducing corporate finance, introduces you to the importance of finance and the role it plays in organisations. It explains the different functions of money and the ways in which finance is linked to organisational strategies. The course also explores the ways in which finance is linked to the governance of organisations, how organisations fund their activities, and the role of the finance and accounting functions. Author(s): Creator not set

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Working life and learning
What is your experience of work and what have you learned from this experience? This free course, Working life and learning, will enable you to reflect upon what you have learned from work and will support you in improving how you learn at work. It will encourage you to think critically about work-based learning and review your own professional knowledge and skills. Author(s): Creator not set

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Stakeholders in marketing and finance
This free course, Stakeholders in marketing and finance, comprises two sections introducing the idea of customers and stakeholders for financial information. It also contains two activities in which learners are asked to relate the ideas discussed to their own work practice. None.
First published on Tue, 16 Feb 2016 as Author(s):
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Working in groups and teams
This free course, Working in groups and teams, explores team working from start to finish. It looks at how successful teams are created, roles within a team, the life cycle of a team, how to manage conflict within teams and evaluating team performance. First published on Wed, 22 Jun 2011 as Author(s): Creator not set

Project management: the start of the project journey
This free course, Project management: The start of the project journey, introduces projects, what they are, how they come about, responses to problems and planning. It explores the role of key players including the project manager, feasibility studies, decision making and project life cycles. First publis
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First steps in innovation and entrepreneurship
This free course provides you with a short introduction to innovation and entrepreneurship, clarifying some key themes and terminology and helping you to examine your own views about these important subjects. First published on Mon, 22 Aug 2016 as Author(s): Creator not set

Products, services and branding
In this free course, Products, services and branding, you will find out about how organisations manage their products and services. This will include learning about how new products are developed and how the existing portfolio of offerings is managed. The particular characteristics of service products will be explained so that you can understand the impact that these features have on how services are managed. Author(s): Creator not set

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Entrepreneurial behaviour
Have you ever wanted to start your own business? This free course, Entrepreneurial behaviour, will give you the opportunity to consider and reflect on the personal aspects involved in transforming an innovative idea into an entrepreneurial product. You will also learn how to identify the requirements for building an appropriate entrepreneurial team.
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2.1 Accounting rules and reality

In a seminal article, Hines (1988) demonstrates that when we draw up accounting rules, we determine what view of reality we present. At its simplest, if we decide that internally-generated intangibles should not be measured, we also determine that a whole class of assets owned by a company is not part of the picture given by the balance sheet, and therefore the ‘reality’ that the balance sheet is supposed to reflect is shaped by our decision on the accounting rules.

Those who make t
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1.5 Borrowed finery

These examples show how financial reporting has evolved in response to economic evolution, but other influences have occurred also. One of these is ‘borrowing’ legislation from other countries. There is a strong tradition within continental Europe of looking at what the neighbours are doing and adapting their solutions for one's own use. Forrester (1996) discusses how professional accountants from the nineteenth century onwards encouraged exchanges of accounting rules.

The Savary
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1.2 Stewardship

The simplest form of financial reporting has been around, originally unregulated, for thousands of years. Ever since possessors of wealth appointed other people to manage their money, the agents have been reporting back on what they did with it in the form of the stewardship report. If you are familiar with the Bible, you may know a parable about a wealthy man who advances the same amount of money to three employees, and then asks them a year later to say what they did with it – verbal fina
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4.2.4 Collecting possible solutions

This is the most creative part of the problem-solving process: it involves breaking the mindset within which situations are normally interpreted. Brainstorming is a good way to generate new approaches, by making sure that even apparently ridiculous ideas are not thrown out in the initial stages. Brainstorming has two basic principles:

  • quantity is more important than quality, in the creative phase;

  • critical comments are not allowed, at th
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2.7 Tracking progress

Gantt charts and critical path diagrams are useful for tracking project activity and for making necessary changes to the project plan. Project-planning software may also be used; the original chart is kept as the standard and any modifications are superimposed.

The example of the joint strategy for commissioning training services demonstrates how tracking produced information that led to a change of plan.

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1.6.2 Using the matrix

The results of the evaluation reflect the scores that are awarded to each option and the weightings that are attached to the different criteria. A change in one or the other (or in both) will lead to a change in the results. Accordingly, when you construct a matrix of this kind be sure to think hard about the scores and weightings. A matrix like this can be used in many ways, for example, when interviewing applicants as part of a selection process.


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1.6 Evaluation matrices

When there are several courses of action, then one way of thinking clearly about the advantages and drawbacks of the different courses is to compile an evaluation matrix.

Box 1: Six steps to creating an evaluation matrix

  1. List the various opti
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5.3 How communications work

The paper by Kotler and Zaltman (1971) emphasises the crucial fact that, for both commercial and social marketers, it is the combination of the ‘marketing mix’ elements (i.e. product, price, place and promotion) which will effect behavioural change. So what can we expect from communication and what objectives can be set for advertising and other elements of the promotional mix? In order to answer these questions we have to have some understanding of how promotion, and specifically adverti
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