Introducing the voluntary sector
This free course, Introducing the voluntary sector, will guide you through some of the distinctive features and values of the voluntary sector, how organisations are funded and involve volunteers and other ‘stakeholders’ in their work. It will also provide you with knowledge and skills you can apply to your own work or volunteering as well as your everyday life.
Author(s): Creator not set

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see http://www.open.ac.uk/conditions terms and conditions), this content is made available under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2

Managing and managing people
This free course, Managing and managing people, will introduce you to the world of management. We will be looking at a range of topics, including what managers do, what skills they require, and how you can develop as a manager. First published on Thu, 11 Feb 2016 as Author(s): Creator not set

2.5 ‘Events, dear boy, events’

A further influence on accounting is, to borrow Macmillan, events. (Macmillan was the Prime Minister of the UK (1957–1963) who famously observed that the greatest obstacle to political achievement was ‘Events, dear boy, events’.)Countries' systems are overtaken by events of one kind or another that bring accounting consequences. Not least of these is war. Napoleon's desire to conquer Europe had the side effect of exporting his Roman law paradigm and the commercial code within it, to hal
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

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
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • identify factors that have influenced the development of financial reporting

  • provide examples of how those factors have effected change in particular countries

  • list a number of variables that affect the development of accounting rules in different jurisdictions

  • explain the contingent model of accounting change

  • apply the theories of accounting development to new situatio
    Author(s): The Open University

    License information
    Related content

    Copyright © 2016 The Open University

4.2.6 Getting agreement to the chosen solution

It is important to establish consensus as far as possible within the project team on the best solution, and to record your decision. Depending on your reporting arrangements and the severity of the problem, you may then need to prepare a formal report with recommendations for action and take it to the project sponsor(s) for agreement. Solutions have to be ‘sold’ to ensure that they are acceptable.


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

4.2.5 Choosing the best option

When you have collected a broad range of options, each possible solution should be assessed for its feasibility. As the feasible options are narrowed down, you may choose to analyse three or four in detail. Appraise the possible consequences of implementing each of these, against your criteria for cost, time and quality.


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

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
    Author(s): The Open University

    License information
    Related content

    Copyright © 2016 The Open University

4.2.3 Restating the problem

If your analysis of the problem and its possible causes is thorough, it should enable you to rewrite the problem statement to include the causes. If you can clarify your objective by defining a desired end-state, you are more likely to produce a good solution.


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

4.2.2 Identifying possible causes

The possible causes of a problem can be written onto Post-it notes or similar, and arranged on a flipchart or whiteboard in the form of a ‘fishbone diagram’. This can be a useful method to help a group to examine causes of problems, and perhaps also to clarify your own thoughts. Figure 4 shows a fishbone diagram prod
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

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.

Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

2.2.1 Gathering information

Successful control of a project depends on the flow of information, so it is important to have systems in place to make sure that you get feedback on what is happening. If the project team is meeting regularly to review progress, monitoring becomes more dynamic and changes to the plan can be achieved by consensus. Involving the team not only helps to keep everyone on target – it also builds commitment.

Monitoring is the most important activity during the implementation phase of a proj
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • contribute to the implementation of project activities

  • monitor, and recommend adjustments to activities, resources and plans

  • maintain communications with project stakeholders

  • contribute to developing solutions to project problems.


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying Computing and IT. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

2.8.1 A case study

Figure 18 shows part of a critical path for converting surplus retail space into a warehouse. Each task is represented by an arrow; the length of an arrow does not relate to the duration of the task. The junctions (called nodes) where arrows meet would normally be num
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

1.2 Time series line graphs

In time series line graphs, data are plotted or organised along a time dimension. Time series graphs are used for displaying data that show cyclical fluctuations or changes, such as growth, over time. Suppose that you wanted to present the data shown in Table 2 as a gra
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

6 Course questions

Try to answer the following questions:

Question 1

What is meant by ‘social cognitive theory’?

Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

3.4 The importance of understanding attitudes

One of the most important phenomena for a social marketer to understand is that of ‘attitudes’. Having said this, this is not a straightforward issue as there is much disagreement about the nature of attitudes, how they are formed, and how they determine our behaviour. Attitude theory research is a key focus for consumer behaviour theorists and derives from the field of psychology.

There are many definitions of attitude, for example, ‘the predisposition of the individual to evalua
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

3.3 The importance of understanding motivation

Personal characteristics in Figure 1 combine both psychological and personal factors. Two important factors which drive behaviour are motivation and attitudes.

MacFadyen et al. (1998) (see Author(s): The Open University