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Introduction

Awareness of our own and others’ interpersonal skills can help us enormously in dealing with the work tasks we are responsible for, both in terms of management and also many other aspects of working and non-working life.

In this free course, The importance of interpersonal skills, you will consider the fundamentals of good communication. You will consider how the content, language and medium of the message you are communicating, as well as the relationship you have with the per
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Management: perspective and practice
What does it mean to be a manager? Being a manager is a complex and challenging activity. This free course, Management: perspective and practice, introduces you to the role of the manager. In this OpenLearn course you’ll look at an array of activities including leadership, human resources, finance, project management, change management, operations management and stakeholder management. Author(s): Creator not set

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Activity 2: Differences between national culture and organisational culture

Allow 30 minutes for this activity.

Activity 1 introduced you to national and organisational culture by helping you to develop suitable definitions. This activity will help you to understand more about culture. It looks at differences between national culture and organisational culture. It wi
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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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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
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2.1.2 How a force-field diagram can help

  1. The diagram is a useful expositional or presentational device. When you are presenting an analysis or proposal, the diagram will enable you to describe (and distinguish between) the reasons for a change. It will enable you to do the same for the reasons why a change may be resisted.

  2. The diagram will be an explicit prompt for exploring the restraining forces. The more a manager finds out about these, and the earlier, the better placed the manag
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1.1.3 The intercept

When a line cuts an axis, the line is said ‘to intercept the axis at’ [the particular point]. In this example, the line cuts the vertical (y) axis at £10, so ‘the line intercepts the y axis at £10’. It can also be said that ‘the intercept with the y axis is £10’.


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2.3 Capital markets

In so far as better corporate governance has the objective of enhancing shareholder control, it should follow that companies with better corporate governance will attract investors and will reduce their cost of capital. A global investor opinion survey carried out by McKinsey & Company (2002) gives some evidence that good governance is linked to investment decisions. The survey found that:

  • investors state that they still put corporate governance on a p
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2.2 Recent governance failures

As we have discussed before, the creation of corporate regulation is often linked to perceived failures of corporations and their management to behave in the way society expect them to. Corporate governance is not an exception to this trend, and, as with accounting, different countries may well experience difficulties at different times. For example, the development of British codes of best practice, which began with the Cadbury Committee, can be related to governance scandals such as Polly P
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2.1 Introduction

In this section we are going to review the different needs that drive the creation of corporate governance frameworks. The contingent model of regulation applies to financial reporting: the idea that equilibrium in regulation exists, but is broken by some intrusive event, often a financial scandal. This leads to a search for a revision of the rules, and a new equilibrium is worked out. This is very much a pattern that drives change in corporate governance.


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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the need for organisations to acknowledge the influence of their environments

  • understand the impact organisations have on those environments.


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3.4 Evaluation at the end of a project

Different types of evaluation may take place at the end of a project. A common one is determining the extent to which the project outcomes have been achieved. This is often done in a meeting of the sponsor, key stakeholders and project team leaders, and sometimes informed by reports from key perspectives. An evaluation of this nature may be the final stage of the project, and the main purpose might be to ensure that the project has met all of the contracted expectations and can be ‘signed o
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3.3 Evaluation during implementation of a project

At this stage the project activities are monitored to determine how their timing, quality and cost match the plan. The results of this monitoring are reviewed to see whether the plan needs to be modified. New environmental conditions may indicate the need to change the organisation's strategic direction. It might be necessary in that case to re-align the project, so that the outcomes relate to the new direction. In some cases it may be necessary to abort the project, if it is no longer approp
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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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8 A basis for action and the project brief

Once the initial discussions about the purpose and feasibility of the project have confirmed that the project is worth carrying out, it is essential to establish the basic agreement as a document. The document will provide the reference point for all future work on the project and will be the basis for all judgements about whether the project is finally successful or not. This document is sometimes called the terms of reference, but usually incorporates some additional information in the form
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3.3 Task breakdown chart

The task breakdown technique is a very logical approach to identifying the tasks involved in a project. Some people may find it suits them better than using mind maps; other people may find the techniques complement each other.

To do a task breakdown chart, first draw a box at the top of a page with the project title inside it. Then mentally identify the main elements that go to make up the project as shown below.


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1 Problems facing campaigning organisations

This course aims to explore some of the problems campaigning organisations can encounter, and how such problems can be anticipated and even avoided. It consists of:

  • a short case study about a parent teacher association which is campaigning for the lowering of the speed limit on roads within the vicinity of its school.

  • an audio extract from a podcast interview on campaigning which forms part of the learning material for the OU Business Sc
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Working for health
What does your health mean to you? What features in society affect it? The tracks on this album explore influences such as stress, housing and employment on everyday health, and examines debates about the relative importance of individual lifestyles and looks at wider public-health concerns and the impact of changes in NHS policy and practice on the delivery of health care. Health is increasingly ‘everybody’s business’. This album will provide you with insight into the debates that surrou
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Living with Disability
How does living with disability and chronic illness impact on a person's quality of life? What are the consequences of physical limitations and treatment regimes? The tracks on his album explore real-life case studies in a variety of care environments. From domestic homes to residential and hospital settings, we explore physical, social and psychological impacts and investigate the extent to which care environments are enabling or disabling. The album also contains a fictional case study which
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