5.1 Managing relationships

You should now understand that markets and the customers within them are the responsibility of all managers within an organisation. An organisation needs to identify what will create extra value for its customers, and design a value-driven operating system that will concentrate all its efforts on producing it. This process of going to market involves the organisation in managing the relationships between itself and its customers and competitors, and also in the co-ordination of the organisati
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4 How do organisations become market leaders?

Drucker (1992) wrote:

The five most important questions you will ever ask about your organization [are]:

  • What is our business?

  • Who is our customer?

  • What does our customer consider value?

  • What have been our results?

  • What is our plan?

Can you answer these questions for your own organisation? I don't expect you to know all the answers now. Try to think about them
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3.3 Implications of market orientation

An organisation that develops and performs its production and marketing activities with the aim of satisfying the needs of its customers is market oriented. However, using market-led ideas in the non-profit sector requires a fundamental shift in organisational philosophy. Identifying those people who add value to the service means renaming some users ‘customers’. It also means that you have to establish what they want before you begin the planning processes and you have to concede
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7 Summary

You should now have a clearer idea of the context in which accounting is set. You should also be aware that accounting is the recording and processing of data into information, of the characteristics of ‘good’ information, and of the relationship between accounting and organisational objectives.

Now, you should complete the following self-assessed question.

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6.2 Conflicting objectives

You have just seen how an objective to maximise market share may not be compatible with an objective to maximise profits. Businesses may have multiple objectives, many of which conflict. Think, for example, how difficult it would be for an oil refinery to both maximise profits and minimise the effect upon the environment of its production activities. Similarly, maintaining high product quality while minimising costs would be extremely difficult.

Imagine if a business was struggling. Its
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5 The characteristics of ‘good’ information

Have you ever seen a set of published accounts for a company? If you haven’t or, even if you have, take a look at some now. (They are often called the annual report.)

Internet activities are intended to show you the large range of information available at your fingertips. Some of it is useful, most of it is not. Accountants are increasingly having to deal with growing quantities of information and many are having to search for relevant information as part of their jobs. These I
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5.3 The selection interview

The aim of the selection interview is to determine whether the candidate is interested in the job and competent to do it. A selection interview also has the following functions:

  • to explain the work of the organisation, the job and any features such as induction and probation

  • to set expectations on both sides, including a realistic discussion of any potential difficulties (if appropriate)

  • to enable the candidate to ass
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4.10 Shortlisting

It is common to shortlist up to six applicants per position, but the exact number may reflect the time you have available for interviewing and the strength of the applicants. The important point is to ensure that as far as possible you finish up with the best possible candidates on the shortlist. This can best be achieved by approaching the task systematically. In other words, the systematic use of criteria as detailed in the job specification should be preferred to reliance on intuition. It
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2 Effective recruitment and selection

The key to successful recruitment is to ensure that the criteria of suitability are overt and relevant to the job itself. Once these criteria are agreed and shared it is possible to make more rational decisions about someone's suitability for a job, based on evidence rather than ‘gut feeling’ or instinct. Effective recruitment and selection should not be about the luck of the draw. Systematic planning and preparation will increase the likelihood of taking on the right person. The key to e
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1 Overview

The unit begins by looking at how it can be difficult for a manager in the process of recruitment and selection to maintain objectivity. Drawing up clear criteria to use throughout recruitment and selection can help the process. It then addresses the difference between the person–job and person–organisation approaches to recruitment. Subsequent sections review the different tasks to be completed and the different methods which can be used by the manager in this important process.


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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • list the skills and knowledge needed to conduct full and fair recruitment and selection, and be able to undertake it systematically.


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Acknowledgements

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3 Factors influencing culture

Where the culture of a business comes from, and how it develops, is the subject of much discussion within business studies. Every commentator seems to have their own list of key factors. One example is by Drennan (1992), who proposes twelve key factors that shape the culture of a business. These are:

  1. the influence of a dominant leader – the vision, management style and personality of the founder or leader in a business often has a significant influe
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2.2 Symbols within business

How have academics and managers attempted to diagnose these largely hidden aspects of business? One well-known example is provided by Trice and Beyer (1984), who concentrated on the idea of there being symbols within a business. They divided these into, first, high-level symbols, which are the more obvious ones such as company buildings and logos, and, second, low-level symbols. They suggested four categories of low-level symbols: practices, communications, physical forms and a common languag
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • explain the relationship between research on national cultures and the development of the culture perspective in business studies;

  • describe some of the problems of working in, and doing business with, businesses in other countries;

  • offer a definition of organisational culture;

  • recognise the factors that constitute or influence the culture of a business.


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Acknowledgements

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References

de Mooj, M. (2003) ‘Convergence and divergence in consumer behaviour: implications for global advertising’, International Journal of Advertising, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 183–202.
Hofstede, G. (c. 2007a) ‘A summary of my ideas about organizational cultures’ Geert Hofstede's Homepage [online] http://feweb.uvt.nl.center/hofstede/page4.htm (accessed 15 December 2007).
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Learning outcomes

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

  • identify some fundamental dimensions of national and organisational culture;

  • differentiate between various national and organisational cultures;

  • discuss ways in which culture influences organisational environments;

  • critically apply theories on culture to organisations and the environments in which they operate;

  • demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which organisationa
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Introduction

In very broad terms, ‘culture’ refers to the prevailing norms and values which guide the way people behave in a society or in an organisation. Culture at the level of an organisation is referred to as organisational culture, and culture at the level of a society is referred to as national culture.

Organisational culture refers to an organisation's own values, beliefs and learned ways of doing business. This is reflected in its structure and in the people who work in the organisatio
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References

Institute of Fundraising (2006) The Good Fundraising Guide: Where to start… London [online], Institute of Fundraising, http://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/documents/good_fundraising_guide.pdf (Accessed 20 April 2007).
Lloyd, T. (2006) Cultural Giving, London, Directory of Social Change.
Mellor, P. (1983) ‘Advertising for legacy income’ in Norton, M
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