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The concept of innovation
Just what is innovation? This free course examines the issues surrounding the concept of innovation. What is the difference between innovation and invention? How are organisations affected by innovation: are all of the outcomes positive? You will learn how to analyse this concept and its impact on resources, capabilities and competencies. First published on
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The role of the manager
This free course, The role of the manager, examines the manager role in theory and in practice. You will begin by considering two classic theories on the role of the manager, written about in The Manager's Good Study Guide, to assess how relevant they are for your current work. You will then be asked to examine the work of managers in a range of other organisations using video excerpts from the BBC World News series Escape from the Boardroom. Author(s): Creator not set

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Creativity and innovation
This free course offers an introduction to factors that are important in creativity and innovation at work. It addresses different ideas about the cause of creativity and some key approaches to innovation in organisations.As part of a review of content, this course will be deleted from OpenLearn on 25 July 2019. To view more free Money & Business courses click here. First
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Social marketing
Never before have social issues been more at the centre of public and private debate. From concerns about sustainability and the future of the planet to the introduction of smoking bans, there is a growing recognition that social marketing has a role to play in achieving a wide range of social goals. This free course, Social marketing, examines the nature of social marketing and how the adoption of marketing concepts, frameworks and techniques developed for commercial marketers can be applied to
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Introduction

A fair return on investment is defined as one that compensates the investor for the risk incurred in making the investment – neither more nor less. Conversely, an excess return is one that over-compensates the investor for the risk incurred. Investors want to avoid investments that pay less than a fair return, while borrowers want to avoid paying an excess return. In this course we shall:

  • define more precisely what we mean by ‘risk’ in a f
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4.16.1 Ontologies + the Web = the Semantic Web

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has defined a vision of the Web's evolution into the Semantic Web:

The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation. The first steps in weaving the Semantic Web into the structure of the existing Web are already under way.
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4.15.1 Ontologies

We noted earlier that, in philosophy, an ontology refers fundamentally to ‘being’, or ‘what can be’. In the field of artificial intelligence the term ‘ontology’ has been appropriated to mean a ‘reusable terminological scheme’ or, if you prefer, a ‘conceptualisation’: a scheme for providing a rigorous description of the concepts, attributes and interrelationships deemed relevant to describe a particular aspect of the world. Its precision means that it can serve as an agreed
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4.3.1 Mapping what we know

Knowledge maps are often one of the first knowledge management representations to emerge, in an effort to add value over the simple corporate intranet search which returns lists of ‘hits’ that are undifferentiated beyond a ranking in terms of keyword matches. Knowledge maps, like other forms of cartography, should communicate a ‘big picture’ by overlaying meaningful structure on to raw resources.


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2.4 Codification and formalisation continued

An important point is that the process of ‘objectifying’ knowledge brings with it a gradual change in the knowledge represented, because content and form are inextricably linked. McLuhan's famous quotation ‘the medium is the message’ highlights this phenomenon, but overstates the case a little. We can say that the medium shapes the message, as follows:

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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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4.2.2 Rational organisations

The third source of authority, based on rational-legal precepts, is exactly what Weber identified as the heart of bureaucratic organisations. People obey orders rationally because they believe that the person giving the order is acting in accordance with a code of legal rules and regulations (Albrow, 1970, p. 43). Members of the organisation obey its rules as general principles that can be applied to particular cases, and which apply to those exercising authority as much as to those who must
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3.3.2 China

When the medieval Italian traveller, Marco Polo (1254–1324), returned from China, he shocked Europeans with the news that the Chinese used not metal but paper money; indeed, European resistance to representative money based on paper notes stretched into the nineteenth century (de Soto, 2000, p. 222). While China might have had a few centuries away from the global limelight, it is currently staging the biggest economic boom in the history of the planet. In common with Japan, China runs a sub
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3.3.1 Japan

After the Second World War, the commander of the allied occupation of Japan (1945–52), General Douglas MacArthur, proclaimed in a September 1945 interview with the New York Times that ‘Japan will never again become a world power'; and, five years later, his economic experts advised that ‘the Japanese economy's best course in the postwar era would be to make “knickknacks” – their word – for underdeveloped countries’ (Fingleton, 1997, pp. 1–2). Today, Japan is a technol
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3.2 Institutions in flux

Although the implosion of the Soviet Union, after the dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989, has extended the flow of global capitalism, de Soto (2000) argues that the lack of capitalist institutions – and specifically legally enforceable rights to own property – has frustrated Western expectations about achieving increased prosperity through free-market economic development: ‘Ten years ago, few would have compared the former Soviet bloc nations to Latin America. But today they look as
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2.2 Standardised products

While Theodore Levitt's (1983) classic article about the globalisation of markets accepted that there are fundamental disparities across different local contexts that have to be accommodated (for example, Japan's auto exporters had to adjust to the fact that the USA and continental Europe, unlike Japan, drive on the right), he argued that there was an underlying uniformity in human tastes. Levitt's vision of the globalisation of markets was that it created opportunities for firms to offer glo
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Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce materia
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4.1 Choosing customers

Think about your own organisation – or your own experiences as a customer. I'm sure you'll agree that, over the last few years, customers have become very sophisticated. They expect higher standards, lower costs, and a wide range of goods and services that are provided at their convenience. If an organisation does not provide what they want, they find one that can.

Most companies have experienced changes in their markets, such as new customer demands and expectations, and new competit
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2.1 Culture as socialisation

The cultural perspective has become popular in business studies because it offers a way of explaining performance and understanding difference. It is only one way of analysing business, but it is an interesting one as it focuses particularly on the insider point of view, or on what it is ‘really’ like to work in an organisation. There have been many definitions of organisational culture. One definition that is often cited is:


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References

Ansoff, H.I. (1965) Corporate Strategy, Penguin, Harmondsworth.
Galambos, L. and Sturchio, J. (1996) ‘The pharmaceutical industry in the twentieth century: a reappraisal of the sources of innovation’, History and Technology, Vol. 13, pp. 83–100.
Gambardella, A. (1995) Science and Innovation in the US Pharmaceutical Industry, Cambridge University Pres
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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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