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1.3 Activity 1

Activity 1

Before you read on, I would like you to dwell for just a moment on the significance of this shift from direct investment by Western firms to the establishment of subcontracting ties with overseas partners. Aside from outside
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2.4 Dynamic equilibrium

Homeostasis is the term used to describe the dynamic equilibrium that maintains living systems. Homeostasis could be described as the perfect blend of positive and negative feedback cycles in order to maintain living systems.

Homeostasis occurs at all levels of organisation within living systems. Individual cells are constantly pumping chemicals across their membranes in order to maintain the appropriate chemical composition for crucial functions such as metabolism and DNA repair
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1.3 Activities

Activity 4A engages you in developing a more sophisticated visual model of one of the themes raised in the ‘Powerdown Show’ programme. The sign graph diagramming technique is the ultimate visual modelling approach for revealing positive and negative feedback relationships, so you will be using this technique to first explore, and then communicate, the dynamic nature of the complex situation you have chosen to investigate.

The first sign graph you will develop will focus on r
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5.6 Referencing

We mentioned above that we need to reference sources to ensure we abide by copyright legislation. But there is another reason we need to give accurate references to items we use – so we can share it.

Consider this scenario. A friend says they’ve just read an interesting article where Joshua Schachter, founder of Delicious has spoken about why it isn’t a faceted search system, and you should read it. How would you go about finding it? Would you start looking in a news database, a s
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5.3.1 Desktop search tools

Finding your paperwork or electronic files can be a problem. You may find that even if you do have some sort of filing system, your structure soon gets quite large with files in multiple locations, which can be hard to navigate. You may find yourself making arbitrary decisions about which folder to place a document in. It may make sense now but in the future, when you look where you think it should be, it’s not there.

At times like this you may resort to the search command from the Wi
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4.1 PROMPT

There is so much information available on the internet on every topic imaginable. But how do you know if it is any good? And if you find a lot more information than you really need, how do you decide what to keep and who to discard?

In this section we are going to introduce a simple checklist to help you to judge the quality of the information you find. Before we do this, spend a few minutes thinking about what is meant by information quality.

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3.5 Images

Images can also be found online. Some useful image databases are:


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3.4 Databases

At a basic level, a database is a collection of information which can be searched. It is a way of storing, indexing, organising and retrieving information. You may have created one yourself to keep track of your references – or your friends' names and addresses. They are useful for finding articles on a topic, and can be used to search for many different types of information.

You may find some of the following databases useful for your topic. They contain different types of informatio
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Checklist of common features

  • Is there any online help?

  • Can I do a simple search?

  • Can I look at the information in both short and detailed form?

  • Can I choose where in the record I want my search terms to be found?

  • Can I search for phrases?

  • Can I combine search terms?

  • Can I use truncation?

  • Can I use wildcards?

  • Can I do an advanced search?

  • Can I get a list
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1.6 Keeping up-to-date

How familiar are you with the following different ways of keeping up to date with information; alerts, mailing lists, newsgroups, blogs, RSS, professional bodies and societies?

  • 5 – Very familiar

  • 4 – Familiar

  • 3 – Fairly familiar

  • 2 – Not very familiar

  • 1 – Not familiar at all


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Learning outcomes

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

  • conduct your own searches efficiently and effectively;

  • find references to material in bibliographic databases;

  • make efficient use of full text electronic journals services;

  • critically evaluate information from a variety of sources;

  • understand the importance of organising your own information;

  • identify some of the systems available;

  • describe ho
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Module team

Course team

Andy Lane, author and course chair to December 1999

John Martin, author and course chair from January 2000

Amber Eves, course manager

Laurence Newman, course manager

Pat Shah, course secretary

Susan Carr, author

Eion Farmer, author and critical reader

Jim Frederickson, author

John Naughton, author

Roger Spear, author

Karen Shipp, senior software designer and author

Ian Every, software manager

<
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5.2.1 Providing evaluative feedback

One of the roles of a leader is to provide group members with feedback on their performance. This is often an uncomfortable process for both the leader and the recipient. The main reason for this is a failure by both parties adequately to distinguish between the individual and what is being evaluated. When criticism is carelessly given, it is easy for the recipient to take it as an attack on his or her self-esteem. The result is that the recipient resists the feedback and responds in a defens
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2.3.7 New types of team

In addition to the traditional types of teams or groups outlined above, recent years have seen the growth of interest in two other important types of team: ‘self-managed teams’ and ‘self-organising teams’.

During the 1990s many organisations in the UK became interested in notions of empowerment and, often as a consequence, set up self-managed or empowered teams. An Industrial Society Survey (1995) commented:


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2.3.3 The matrix team

In a matrix team, staff report to different managers for different aspects of their work. Matrix structures are often, but not exclusively, found in projects. Staff will be responsible to the project manager for their work on the project while their functional line manager will be responsible for other aspects of their work such as appraisal, training and career development, and ‘routine’ tasks. This matrix project structure is represented in Figure 2.


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Module team

Dr Peter Lewis (Chair)

Dr George Weidmann (Lecturer in Materials)

Dr Bob Dyson (Senior Lecturer, University of North London)

Richard Black (Microphotographer)

Dr Keith Cavanagh (Editor)

Dr Clive Fetter (Editor)

Sarah Hofton (Designer)

Caryl Hunter-Brown (Technology Librarian)

Gordon Imlach (Technician)

Mike Levers (Photographer)

Laurence Newman (Course Manager)

Jennifer Seabrook (Secretary)

Ian Spratley (BBC)<
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5.2.2 Viscous behaviour

Viscous flow is not recoverable. When the stress is removed from a viscous fluid the strain remains. Hence the work energy is not returned to the forcing agency and has to be otherwise dissipated. Figure 45 illustrates this schematically by showing the strain response in such a viscous material when a simple stress history has
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3.2.1 Thermal cracking

The bulk of the major monomer and intermediate, ethylene (C2H4), is still produced in the UK by steam cracking without the use of catalysts. Paraffinic feedstocks are best for optimising ethylene yields, and the severity of cracking is specified by the rate of disappearance of a marker compound, usually n-pentane. The severity of the reaction can then be defined as follows:

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2.3.1 Structural isomerism

In the saturated hydrocarbons, whose structural formulae are shown in Figure 16, it is not possible to form distinct isomers with just three or less carbon atoms linked together. There is only one way in which one carbon and four hydrogen atoms can be linked together, the single compound being methane, CH4. A simila
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Stage 2: The situation analysed

The first step is to develop a picture (called in soft systems terminology a rich picture) that encapsulates all the elements that people think are involved in the problem. Once the rich picture has been drawn, the analyst will attempt to extract ‘issues’ and key tasks.

Issues are areas of contention within the problem situation. Key tasks are the essential jobs that must be undertaken within the problem situation.

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