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6.6 Professional bodies and societies

Consider joining a learned society or professional organisation. They can be very useful for conference bulletins as well as in-house publications, often included in the subscription. Don't forget to ask about student rates. Try looking for the websites of learned societies associated with your subject area (e.g. The Royal Society, the Institute of Electrical
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6.4 Blogs

The founder of Technorati claims that the number of ‘blogs’ doubles every five months and that the creation rate is approaching two per second. One estimate I read in July 2010 put the number at 400 million blogs. Because these online diaries offer instant publishing opportunities, you potentially have access to a wealth of knowledge from commentators and experts (if they blog) in a wide range of fields. Most internet searc
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6.2 Alerts

Online bookshops and some of the major search engines offer ‘Alerts’ services. These work by allowing you to set up a profile once you have registered on their site, and when there are items meeting your criteria you receive an email. The good thing about alerts is that you don’t have to do anything once you have set up your profile. The downside, particularly with alerts services from the search engines, is that given the extent to which internet traffic is on the increase whether new
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5.4 The 5 Ds

If you don’t use a system at all, then you could suffer from the effects of information overload:

  • losing important information

  • wasting time on trying to find things

  • ending up with piles of physical and virtual stuff everywhere

One technique you might like to apply to your files (be they paper or electronic) is the 5Ds. Try applying these and see if you can reduce your information overload.


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5.3 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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5.1 Why is it important to be organised?

  • 87% of items that are filed into a filing cabinet are never looked at again. STANFORD UNIVERSITY

  • TIn 2010, the world’s digital information output was estimated to pass 1.2 zettabytes. A zettabyte is a new term which equals a thousand billion gigabytes.UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA (BERKELEY)

  • A new blog is created every second. TECHNORATI

  • 10% of salary costs are wasted as employee
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4.7 T is for Timeliness

The date when information was produced or published can be an important aspect of quality. This is not quite as simple as saying that 'good' information has to be up to date.

Activity

Here is an example of a news item from an onli
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4.6 P is for Provenance

The provenance of a piece of information (i.e. who produced it? where did it come from?) may provide another useful clue to its reliability. It represents the 'credentials' of a piece of information that support its status and perceived value. It is therefore very important to be able to identify the author, sponsoring body or source of your information.

Why is this important?

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4.4 O is for Objectivity

One of the characteristics of ‘good’ information is that it should be balanced and present both sides of an argument or issue. This way the reader is left to weigh up the evidence and make a decision. In reality, we recognise that no information is truly objective.

This means that the onus is on you, the reader, to develop a critical awareness of the positions represented in what you read, and to take account of this when you interpret the information. In some cases, authors may be
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4.2 P is for Presentation

By presentation, we mean, the way in which the information is communicated. You might want to ask yourself:

  • Is the language clear and easy to understand?

  • Is the information clearly laid out so that it is easy to read?

  • Are the fonts large enough and clear?

  • Are the colours effective? (e.g. white or yellow on black can be difficult to read)

  • If there are graphics or photos, do they help
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3.8 Internet resources

There are many websites where you will find useful information for business and management. With all information on the internet you need to make a judgement on the reliability of the information.

Interactive Investor InternationalA good market data site, offering a mixture of real-time, dela
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3.7 News sources

Many news sources are now available online. Searching an online version of a newspaper is easier, quicker and more effective than searching through printed indexes, microfilm or actual newspapers.

Abyz News LinksA portal to online news sources from around the world, providing up-
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2.2.1 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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2.1.1 Choosing keywords

Keywords are significant words which define the subject you are looking for. The importance of keywords is illustrated by the fact that there is a whole industry around providing advice to companies on how to select keywords for their websites that are likely to make it to the top of results lists generated by search engines. We often choose keywords as part of an iterative process; usually if we don't hit on the right search terms straight off, most of us tweak them as we go along based on t
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1 What does ‘life sciences’ mean?

During the twentieth century, particularly in its second half, the provision of human healthcare changed significantly because of scientific and technological developments. Before then, medical practice was limited and scarcely differentiated from other trades; in fact, barbers often acted as surgeons or dentists. Throughout the 1900s, there were major advances in most countries in sanitation, nutrition, vaccination, surgery, medicines and medical devices. At the same time, there was an incre
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3 Seeking relevant information

Once you have a reasonably clear idea of what you are looking for and have identified potential consultants, you may need to find out more about them before you can choose. Ideally, you will gather information from as many sources as possible, and, as with any such information, evaluate its reliability and relevance to your particular context. The clearer you are about the nature of the intervention that you require, and the key features of the context in which this will occur, the better pla
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

Unit Image

Zohar_Manor-Abel

All other materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.

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2.5 Rating agencies: corporate governance indices

A number of rating agencies, including credit rating agencies, have developed indices to measure corporate governance performance. Among the more well-known indices are FTSE-Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) Corporate Governance Index, Standard & Poor's Corporate Governance Scores, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index. Rating agencies can act as catalysts for corporate governance by either directly factoring corporate governance in
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Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • provide a range of definitions of corporate governance;

  • identify issues usually addressed by corporate governance structures;

  • summarise recent scandals and abuses and the regulatory reaction;

  • identify the other drivers of corporate governance, such as capital markets, shareholders and rating agencies.


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6.1 Introduction

An important aspect of decision making which crosses all three perspectives is making decisions about risks. Risk is all-pervasive in organisational life and many decisions require us to weigh up and choose between different kinds of risk. Thus any account of decision making would be incomplete without examining how our perceptions of risk affect our decisions. In this section we will examine risk from the three different perspectives we have identified: rational-economic, psychological and s
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