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Managing my financial journey
This free course, Managing my financial journey, explores the history of the financial services industry in the UK and its transformation following the global financial crisis. The institutional landscape following the crisis, recent developments to financial products and the regulation of the industry are examined. First published on Mon, 26 Jun 2017 as
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Asset allocation in investment
This course looks at how to take investor objectives and constraints and turn them into a portfolio which aims at achieving an expected return and level of risk appropriate for the investor. In this free course, Asset allocation in investment, portfolio optimisation techniques such as portfolio theory can be used to determine how much of an investor’s portfolio to put in each asset class. Portfolio theory can also be used to determine so-called model portfolios which offer optimised benchmarks
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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

5 Conclusions

Finally, I would like to mention some specific criticisms about Hofstede's research. There are in fact a number of criticisms that can be made, but I will confine myself to two main issues:

  1. We may not be able to generalise Hofstede's findings to other organisations because his empirical data were obtained by comparing the values of employees ‘within the subsidiaries of one large multinational corporation’ (Pugh, 2007, p. 230), even though the research
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Activity 8: Exploring cultural dimensions on Hofstede's website

Allow 60 minutes for this activity.

You have now explored how different people can have different perceptions and how national culture may be one reason why this is the case. You have spent some time too looking at one explanation of national culture and the differences between countries. Hofstede's ideas are quite complex and, for this reason, this activity is an opportunity for you to consolidate your understanding of Geert Hofstede's research.

In this activity you will d
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References

Connor, A. (1993) Monitoring and Evaluation Made Easy, HMSO.
Craig, S. and Jassim, H. (1995) People and Project Management for IT, McGraw-Hill.
Mae-Wan Ho (1999) ‘One bird – ten thousand treasures’, The Ecologist, October 1999, reprinted in Resurgence, No. 199, March/April 2000, p. 15.
Schlesinger, P.F
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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.


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4.2.1 Defining the problem

It is vital that the problem is identified correctly. If the risk management system is working properly, the problem should not have hit you completely out of the blue, and you should already have some idea what it is about. But, although there is often a temptation to skip the definition phase and go straight to causes and solutions, it is important to be as clear as possible about the nature of the problem as seen from different perspectives, by answering questions such as those below.

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3.3 Managing conflict

Conflict can emerge when a project is thought to be absorbing scarce resources or shifting the balance of power.

The schedule for project meetings provides a framework for communication while the project is in progress. Meetings with team members on a one-to-one basis, in addition to group meetings, will help them to feel supported and could be an opportunity to provide coaching when necessary.


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2.8 Controlling changes to the project

Sometimes an addition or change to the project will be requested. This can be difficult for those who manage the project, because you will want both to maintain good relations with your client and to protect your profit margin and budget for resources. The first step is to assess the extent to which this will cause a need for additional time or resources. Perhaps the change can be accommodated in the project plan within the existing time-scale and budget, for example by altering some of the t
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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.

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2.6 Maintaining balance

Monitoring is also concerned with achieving a balance of the three dimensions of the project:

  • cost – the resources available;

  • time – the schedule;

  • quality – the scope and appropriateness of the outputs or outcomes.

Many of the difficulties in implementing a project are caused by poor time management. This will have a direct effect on the costs of the project, as well as on the quality of what is achie
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2.4 Project status reports

Project status reports are regular and formal. You will need to decide how often they are necessary – depending on the size and nature of the project, it might be weekly, monthly or quarterly. In some situations reports might need to be hourly, if a problem is causing serious concern and has the potential to delay progress seriously. Daily reports might be necessary if there are implications for arranging work for the following day.

The degree of risk involved, and the time it would t
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2.3 Interdependency of systems

The control system approach to project control provides a simple overview of the process of planning, measuring against the plan and taking action to bring things back into line if necessary. This suggests that events will move in a fairly linear way. Life is messier than this, however, and every time that something happens it will have an impact on everything else around it – so the interdependency of systems is important to consider.

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2.2.2 Milestones

Milestones are measuring points that are used in reviewing the progress of a project. Milestones can be set in different ways, to reflect different purposes. For example, milestones are often used to provide an agenda for regular meetings which review the project. These reviews should take place, weekly, monthly or quarterly, depending on the nature of the project.

Another approach is to set the milestones to reflect key phases of the project. Sometimes such milestones are established i
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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.


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3.5 Consumer behaviour models

Many theorists have developed models of consumer behaviour. Some of these focus on the factors which influence behaviour (such as the model in Figure 1). Others emphasise the stages which consumers go through as they make their decisions to engage in a particular behaviour. Many adopt the ‘belief–feeling–behavioural intentio
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3.1 Introduction

Andraesen (1995) states that for the social marketer ‘consumer behaviour is the bottom line’ (p. 14). In order to understand how to develop programmes that will bring about behavioural change we need to understand something about the nature of behaviour. The consumer behaviour literature typically borrows from the fields of sociology, psychology and social anthropology amongst others. There is a vast, and growing, body of knowledge on the subject and a few of the main elements will be dis
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2.2 So how can social marketing be defined?

The definition offered by Kotler, Roberto and Lee (2002, p. 5) is a useful one:

The use of marketing principles and techniques to influence a target audience to voluntarily accept, reject, modify or abandon a behaviour for the benefit of individuals, groups or society as a whole.

Social marketing relies on voluntary compliance rather than legal, economic or coercive forms of influence.

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2.1 Definitions of marketing

Before we focus on ‘social marketing’ we should clarify the nature of ‘marketing’ as both an academic discipline and a management practice.

Kotler and Armstrong (2008, p. 5) define marketing as follows:

Marketing is human activity directed at satisfying needs and wants through exchange processes.

Two key issues are highlighted by this definition:

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1 Course overview

Never before have social issues been more at the centre of public and private debate than at the present. From concerns about sustainability and the future of the planet to the introduction of smoking bans, from actions to combat ‘binge drinking’ and childhood obesity to programmes designed to prevent the spread of AIDS in developing countries, there is a growing recognition that social marketing has a role to play in achieving a wide range of social goals. In the UK, for example, the Nat
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