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4.3.3 Customer intimacy

[Customer-intimate companies] focus on delivering not what the market wants but what specific customers want. [They… ] do not pursue one-time transactions; they cultivate relationships. They specialize in satisfying unique needs, which often only they, by virtue of their close relationship with – and intimate knowledge of – their customer, recognize. The proposition to the customer is: we have the best solution for
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6.1 Variety of business objectives

Most people would agree that the primary objective of a business is to survive and, in order to survive, its revenue must be greater than its expenditure.

Activity 12

What other objectives do you think a business may have? Take a
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4.5 Person specification

Once the job and organisational analyses and the job description have been completed (see Figure 1), the next stage is to write a specification of the kind of person needed to fill the job you have just described. It is important to be as precise as possible about the skills, knowledge, qualifications and at
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3.2 Person–job fit

The traditional approach to recruitment and selection is based on the view that organisations should specify the requirements of the job as closely as possible and then look for individuals whose personal attributes fit those requirements. It is based on the assumption that human behaviour is determined by factors particular to the individual, and the clear implication is that selection techniques should be concerned with accessing and measuring these personal factors, which can then be compa
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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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References

Brown, A. (1995) Organisational Culture, London, Pitman.
Crace, J. (2000) ‘Feel at home with a job abroad’, Guardian, 14 October.
Drennan, D. (1992) Transforming Company Culture, London, McGraw Hill.
Hofstede, G. (1980) Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work Related Values, London,
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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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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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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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3.6 Extending and sustaining involvement

Whatever framework you adopt, donor development is still essentially part of the asking business. You are asking people for more resources and support. But there are some specific ingredients to bear in mind.


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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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2.4 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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2.2 Monitoring as control

To control you need a plan that indicates what should happen and information that tells you what is actually happening. This is monitoring activity. By comparing the information about actual progress against the plan, you will be able to identify any variations.

Control is an important part of project management. It involves:

  • reporting the progress of the project against the plan;

  • analysing the reasons for variance between progr
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2.1 Unique problems and constraints

In an ideal world, projects would be completed on time, within specified budgets and to the standards set out in the plans. In practice, any project involves a set of unique problems and constraints that inevitably create complexity and risk. Plans are liable to change as work progresses, and each stage in the process may have to be revisited several times before completion. Projects do not exist in a vacuum: they often take place in rapidly changing contexts, and the impact of the changing e
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1.4 Resourcing the project

Work will be delayed if the necessary materials and equipment are not readily available, or if the accommodation for the project has not been arranged. Although the project manager is responsible for overall resource allocation and utilisation, much of the work can be delegated. By conferring responsibility to achieve an outcome within the budget, more direct links between costs and outcomes are established. In most projects there will be organisational internal controls and statutory require
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1.2.1 Target dates

The overall plan will indicate the start dates for each group of activities, or each task. A useful way of focusing activities on achieving outcomes is to provide clear dates for completion of stages and of final outcomes. If there are a number of different types of team, these may start and finish tasks at different times. Where the work of one team depends on another having completed in time, there are important issues to consider. Although a good control system will provide information abo
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Unit Image

Carl.j: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carljervis/16202720/

All ot
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4.1 The boundary of the operations system

The simple transformation model in Figure 1 provides a powerful tool for looking at operations in many different contexts. It helps us to analyse and design operations in many types of organisation at many levels.

This model can be developed by identifying the boundaries of the operations system through which an organisation's goods or services are provided to its customers or clients. Author(s): The Open University

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