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4.18.1 Data mining

Data mining refers to techniques for analysing databases or information systems to try to identify hidden but significant patterns that are not possible to detect by standard querying of the database.

Moxon defines data mining as follows:

Data mining is a set of techniques used in an automated approach to exhaustively explore and bring to the surface complex relationships in very large datasets … most likely im
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4.16.1 Ontologies + the Web = the Semantic Web

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has defined a vision of the Web's evolution into the Semantic Web:

The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation. The first steps in weaving the Semantic Web into the structure of the existing Web are already under way.
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4.12.1 Communities of practice and technology

Communities of practice are technical and social networks which set the context in which new knowledge arises in daily work, and determine how it is shared and interpreted, what counts as important knowledge and how people become recognised as members of that community:

A good deal of new technology attends primarily to individuals and the explicit information that passes between them. To support the flow of knowledge,
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3.5.1 Planning a group memory system: a framework

Nothing can be stored in a computer-supported organisational memory unless it is encoded in some form. Who is going to invest the effort to encode information within an organisation?

Creating a dedicated team of information librarians and knowledge managers is certainly one route, perhaps necessary for long-term maintenance of a large repository, just as librarians are needed to manage traditional libraries. But such a team cannot be experts in all aspects of the organisation's activiti
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3.1 A knowledge management technology framework

In the introduction to a book on knowledge management technologies, Borghoff and Pareschi (1998) described a framework for organisational memory that has been developed within Xerox to promote understanding of the roles and interplay between different technologies (Figure 4).

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2.4.1 From Heidegger to knowledge technologies

Because each transformation from one ‘knowledge state’ to another (Figure 2) is an act of interpretation, there is no such thing as objective knowledge representation, or indeed objective classification or codification of any sort (in software or any other medium): there is always a viewpoint. This leads to the view that information and communication systems cannot be thought of as neutral; in their formal structures and operations they embody the goals and perspectives of their developer
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Introduction

Knowledge technologies embody formal models of how the world works. If well designed, these models can relieve people of mundane activities and free them up to concentrate on what they do best. At their best, knowledge technologies can detect patterns in information which are too complex for humans to detect, or which they do not have time to detect, and can deliver this information to the right people, at the right time, in the right form for interpretation. This unit looks at the cor
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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
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1.8 Conclusion

This section has demonstrated that regulation evolves in response to a number of factors. Some of the more significant ones, such as economic development, ‘borrowed’ legislation, colonisation and imperialism and economic domination, have been discussed here. The consequence of this is that accounting regulation has evolved differently in various countries. The reasons for the diversity in accounting regulations will be considered in more detail in Author(s): The Open University

Introduction

This unit examines how national practices for financial reporting have evolved and why different rules are in place within different jurisdications. In times past, imperialism and war have both been responsible for expanding financial rules across Europe and the world . More recently the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 in the United States has had the same, if unintentional, effect.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Issues in international financial reportin
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4 The public policy-action relationship: activities

Having read this unit you now have the opportunity to reflect on the public policy-action relationship in more detail. There are two activities and two self assessment questions (SAQs) for you to complete.

Activity 1 A focus for reading

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1.1 Policy delivery

The question of policy delivery seems to be growing in importance. So, for example, the Blair governments in the UK were, from the outset, preoccupied with ‘delivery, delivery, delivery’ as ministers and prime minister grew increasingly frustrated with what was often viewed as the intransigence of public service professionals. The constant cycle of change, in which new policies and initiatives were introduced in rapid succession, producing what critics described as ‘policy overload’ o
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4.1 Scientific management

Frederick Winslow Taylor, who is often regarded as the father of modern management, was an engineer, born of a wealthy Pennsylvanian family. He was expected to go into the law or some other genteel profession: instead he preferred to work on the shop floor. As he reflected on his experiences as a foreman in the Midvale Steel Works, he concluded that the workers knew more about the actual processes they were working on than their managers did. Workers could tell stories about why things were t
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Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this book.

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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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