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2.1 Exercising judgement

To understand how we make decisions, it is useful to start with the ways in which we make judgements about information we are presented with. Let's start this unit with an activity designed to get you exercising judgement. The answers are at the end of the questions but please arrive at your own answers before checking them!

The questions in this activity are adapted from Bazerman (1998).


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1.1 Introducing decision-making

A vast literature on decision making stretches back over several centuries and encompasses a wide range of academic disciplines – from history and literature through to mathematics. This unit is not a comprehensive survey of this field. Rather, we have chosen a few key topics that will help you to think in broader ways about how you and others take decisions; we shall also introduce you to some themes in social science which have direct relevance to managerial decision making. In particular
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Introduction

This unit covers a few key topics that will help you to think in broad ways about how you and others take decisions; we shall also introduce you to some themes in social science which have direct relevance to managerial decision making. The approach of this unit is descriptive: rather than prescribing how you should make decisions we look at frameworks that will help you to understand how decisions are actually made. We aim to help you to develop greater insight into both your own deci
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Acknowledgements

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Unit Image

The GUINNESS word is a trademark. © Guinness & Co.

All oth
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References

Butterfield, J. (1997) ‘Strategy Development’ in Butterfield, L. (ed.) (1997) Excellence in Advertising, Oxford Institute of Practitioners in Advertising/Butterworth Heinemann pp. 65–90.
Economist, The (2001) ‘Rebirth of a salesman’, 14 April 2001, p. 82.
Fill, C. (2002) Marketing Communications: Contexts, Strategies and Applications, 3rd edition, Har
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4 Summary

This section has examined marketing communications’ claims to strategic credentials. Historically there have been several barriers to this – the fragmented nature of development and execution in the absence of strategic co-ordination, rivalries between different communications disciplines, and short-termism in the marketing communications industry itself which has led to communications being seen as a tactical rather than strategic resource.

The traditional hierarchy of strategy has
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3 The changing role of communications: customer preferences

Finding out how customers access marketing communications reveals their preferences in receiving information. As active recipients of brand messages, they can screen out the irrelevant and the inconvenient. Observing their preferences in this regard can be a source of genuine competitive advantage, as demonstrated in Example 1.

Example 1
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2 The changing role of communications

Butterfield (1997) argues that the hierarchical model of planning which has traditionally placed communications alongside the other variables of the marketing mix is due for a rethink. This model starts with corporate strategy, which translates into a number of functional strategies (including marketing). It sees marketing communications as a subset of marketing strategy. Butterfield suggests that, because of the increased importance of company-wide brand values in providing competitive advan
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1 Barriers to a strategic view

Marketing communications is not always accepted as having strategic importance in organisations. This unit examines some of the reasons for this, before exploring some recent arguments in favour of a strategic role for marketing communications.

One reason for seeing marketing communications as tactical rather than strategic is that much of its development and execution has been outsourced to marketing services agencies offering a range of specialisms (such as design, creative consultanc
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4.2 Personal self-evaluation

You could also carry out a personal self-evaluation, to contribute to your own development as a project manager. You can develop a list of questions to evaluate your own performance:

  • Were the project objectives achieved?

  • Did the project stay within budget?

  • How were problems that occurred during the project been resolved?

  • What could you have done differently to improve the final result?

  • <
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3.6 Collecting and interpreting data

In many projects it can be difficult to make comparisons with anything similar. However, there may be quality standards that can be used for one of more of the outcomes, perhaps alongside different targets for time-scales and resource use. Benchmarks are another possible source of comparative data; they have been established for many processes, and data are available from industry, sector and professional support bodies.

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3.1 Evaluation while developing the vision

A project is often shaped through discussion among those developing the vision and direction of the project. They may agree in general terms about what is to be achieved, but have to make a number of choices before deciding how to proceed. It may be important to allow time for different views to be heard and considered, and for attitudes to change and – hopefully – converge.

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3.2.1 To draw a mind-map (manually)

  • Put your paper (ideally a large sheet) in landscape format and write a brief title for the overall topic in the middle of the page.

  • For each major sub-topic or cluster of material, start a new major branch from the central topic, and label it.

  • Each sub-sub-topic or sub-cluster forms a subsidiary branch to the appropriate main branch.

  • Continue in this way for ever finer sub-branches.

  • You may
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1.4.3 Summary

  • The process toward European unification was initiated by top political elites in France, Italy, Germany and the Benelux countries after the Second World War.

  • New collective actors are progressively being engaged in European affairs, among them the Labour movement, regional movements and new social movements such as the environmentalism of groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

  • European elites, although engaged in
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1.4.2 Unification and the EU

With the development of the EU an arena for collective action has appeared. But, as we shall see in SubSection 1.4.3, it is rather limited and it cannot be compared to the public sphere of the member states. Although collective actors have reacted to the emergence of new European-based institutions, due to internal constraints not all are in t
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1.4.1 Historical background

European unification was begun by the social democratic and Christian democratic leaders of the Western European states who had fought each other during the Second World War. The idea was to create a community of states that would guarantee peace and prosperity. The process turned out to be long and arduous, particularly after the federalist failures of the Congress of the Hague (1949) and the European Defence Community (1953). The main emphasis was on economic co-operation, and the project w
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Learning outcomes

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

  • identify some key themes in discourse analysis;

  • appreciate the consequences of discourse research for some key topics in social science, such as indentity, interaction and subjectivity;

  • be familiar with some discourse analytical techniques and their consequences for analysing social interactions.


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2.1 The challenge of change

We are living in a very complex and rapidly changing world. Social science does not exist in a vacuum: by its very nature, social scientific study directly considers those things in life which are close to our concerns as human beings – how we produce things, communicate with one another, govern ourselves, understand our varied environments, and how to solve the problems we face in the organisation of social relations and processes. The social sciences offer a way of dealing with all of the
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Introduction

In a complex and rapidly changing world, social scientific study examines how we produce things, communicate, govern ourselves, understand our environments, and how to solve the problems we face in the organisation of social relations and processes. This unit provides a basic overview of how social science contains deeply embedded cultural assumptions and outlines the important relationship between philosophical thinking and practical research methods in social sciences.

This material
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7.1 Summary of Sections 1–3

In summary, this unit has endeavoured to substantiate a variety of related points which epitomise current trends and problems in governing European diversity.

‘Regions’ and ‘regionalism’ in Western Europe display great diversity in economic, social and cultural terms, within particular states as well as between states; regions vary widely in size, population, levels of development, history, identity and politics (or lack thereof). But since the heyday of the centralised nation s
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