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1.3.5 Corporate connections

As I mentioned in Section 2, what was happening in the factories of overseas contractors was said to have appeared remote to most, if not all, the chief executive officers of the clothing multinationals in the 1980s. Overseas contractors were selected on the basis of market price, quality and reliability, not on whether forced or child labour happened to be employed to stitch the product together. However, all that changed in the early 1990s when the geographical ties between the big retailer
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1.2.10 Summary

  • The shift of the world's manufacturing base from developed to developing economies in the 1970s heralded the beginning of a new global division of labour and the rise of global factories to produce for Western markets. The search for ever-cheaper labour sources undertaken by multinational firms established a new geography of low-cost manufacturing operations which, to this day, remains controversial.

  • The rise of subcontracting as the most flex
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2.2.1 Environmental economics

Environmental economics emerged as a sub-discipline in the 1960s, following a tradition that began in the early twentieth century with ‘agricultural’ economics and continued in the 1950s with ‘resource’ economics. In each case, natural resources are treated as environmental assets in the same way as other resource inputs, using the classical mainstream supply and demand economic models. David Pearce, who at one stage was at the forefront of environmental economics and was an ac
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Acknowledgements

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following:

Text

Reading: Stephen Talbott
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5.3 Settlement, deforestation and endangered species

Box 4: Some indicators of New Zealand's environment*

The proportion of New Zealand converted to farmland is large by world standards (52 percent compared to the world's 37 percent in 1993). Although our human population density is comparatively low (13 people for each square kilometre (km2
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2.3 Negative feedback and stability

If positive feedback results in change, then another mechanism must exist that creates stability. This is negative feedback.

What stops water hyacinth from taking over the world? Clearly, it is the lack of tropical freshwater. As the number of water hyacinth reaches the limits of their water body, there is a sudden increase in the death rate as offspring compete for the ever decreasing levels of sunlight. The sudden overcrowding allows the establishment of a negative feed
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2.2 Quality of life

Unlike non-living systems, all living systems have behaviours that have evolved to achieve a certain
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2.1 Introduction to the problems with the way we think

The way in which we think, and the way in which we think about thinking in our Western tradition, can be traced back at least to Parmenides of Elea, a Presocratic Greek philosopher who lived around 500 BC. His influence on our thinking is hard to overestimate – from it grew the notion that what can be known must be real, and what is real is eternal and unchanging. Though many others have contributed since, the Greek philosophers laid the foundation for the way in which we currently think ab
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5.4.1 Leadership roles

  • The classic ‘scientific’ view of the leader is as the central ‘controller’ – planning, monitoring and regulating.

  • The more ‘democratic’ view sees the role as facilitator, or coordinator.

  • The more ‘educational’ view sees it as that of adviser, teacher, source of expertise, etc.

  • Adair identified three overlapping areas: achieving the task, building and maintaining the team, and developing in
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Stage 8: Choice (OK, let's go)

You might imagine that after all that has gone before, the decision about whether to go ahead or not would be automatic, but this is rarely the case. There will still be much discussion and ‘fine tuning’ necessary to ensure that the proposal is acceptable. It is at this stage that any qualitative measures of performance are brought into play.


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Stage 4: Generation of routes to objectives (how could we get there?)

This stage explores the different ways of achieving the defined objectives. It is the most imaginative and free-thinking stage of the approach. The idea is initially to generate as many ideas as possible, then to whittle the list down to two or three ‘definite possibilities’ that can be carried further in the development stage.


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2.2 Fibre types

A strand of glass (or plastic, but the best performance comes from glass) has a core surrounded by a cladding, where the refractive index of the glass in the core is higher than that of the cladding (see the box on ‘Refractive index>’).

Light is contained within the core by <
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6.6 Risks

  • 15. What are the risks associated with the change that might mean the intended benefits cannot be realised?

  • 16. How can these risks be mitigated or eliminated?

No plan for the future ever comes with a 100 per cen
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12.3 Market pull

The alternative market pull model suggests that the stimulus for innovation comes from the needs of society or a particular section of the market (Figure 55). These might be needs perceived by an entrepreneur or manufacturer like Shaw and his cat's-eyes or they m
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11.7 Characteristics of inventors

In their classic book The Sources of Invention (1969) John Jewkes, David Sawers and Richard Stillerman observe the following about inventors, whether working outside or inside an organisation.

  • Inventors tend to be absorbed with their own ideas and to feel strongly about their importance and potential.

  • Inventors can be impatient with those who don't share their optimism.

  • Inventors are often isolated because they are
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11.2 Step 1 – identification of the problem

The activity of identifying a problem to be solved or a need to be met is a key step for the start of the innovation process. As you saw earlier there's a range of possible starting points. You've already seen examples where curiosity drives people to look for applications of certain scientific or technical principles such as Cockerell and air-cushion transport. Sometimes people identify an unsolved need, such as Percy Shaw and unlit roads. Sometimes people identify a need with an unsatisfact
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1.1.3 Features of diagrams

As there is variety in the types of diagrams we can see and use we need to think more broadly about what diagrams are trying to represent. One distinction which follows on from the discussion above is:

  • Analogue representations: these diagrams look similar to the object or objects they portray. At their simplest they are photographs of real objects and at their most complicated they are colourful, fully labelled drawings of the inner workings o
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4 Who are the users?

This section reveals that ‘users’ can include a wide variety of people – not just the final purchasers or consumers of a product. The section also makes the case for strong user representation in the design process.

Of course, it is not only me who uses the various products in my home; other people use them as well, both members of the family and visitors. Sometimes the range of users of a product, and their different needs, can be diverse. And in addition to the obvious or intend
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5.4 Sedimentation

When water has little or no movement, suspended solids sink to the bottom under the force of gravity and form a sediment. You will recall that we discussed a similar process in estuaries, with solids separating from the water. This process is called sedimentation. In water treatment it is used to remove solids from waters which are high in sediment content, and also to remove particles rendered settleable by coagulation and flocculation.

The theory of sedimentation would
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3.7 Aftermath

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, it was vital to prevent any further collapses, especially on bridges of similar design. Two other bridges were built to a design similar to that of the Silver Bridge, one upstream at St Mary's, West Virginia and the other in Brazil at Florianopolis. The bridge upstream on the Ohio river, at St Mary's, was the focus of concern, and it was closed to traffic immediately after the disaster. The eye-bar design was actually quite widespread in other bridg
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