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1.6 Evaluation matrices

When there are several courses of action, then one way of thinking clearly about the advantages and drawbacks of the different courses is to compile an evaluation matrix.

Box 1: Six steps to creating an evaluation matrix

  1. List the various opti
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1.4 Bar charts

A bar chart is another way of presenting data. It is designed to show frequency distribution, for example, the number of staff in each of four categories in an organisation. You could present the data given in Table 6 in a bar chart as shown in Author(s): The Open University

The communications mix – a few points to note

The above classification raises a few points which it may be useful to bear in mind:

  • Communication tools change over time and particularly as a result of technological developments.

  • Related to the above point is a blurring of distinction between ‘promotion’ and ‘place’ (method of distribution). This is particularly true as direct marketing and subsequently internet/interactive marketing have been included as separate communica
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1.5 Cross-listing

For many companies, particularly MNCs, there are attractions in having a share listing on more than one stock exchange. The last decade has witnessed an increase in such cross-listings globally.

Chouinard and D'Souza (2004) noted that the proportion of non-US listings on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) doubled from about 8.5 per cent in 1994 to 17 per cent at the start of 2003. This period also saw a rise from 7 per cent to 10 per cent in the non-US listings on NASDAQ. Author(s): The Open University

1.1 Equity instruments

Both public and private incorporated companies can issue shares in order to finance their operations. Those who invest in shares expect a return blended from dividend yield and capital growth – although the expectations of investors vary from country to country. In the USA, for example, many companies rarely, if ever, pay dividends, with the result that investors seek their returns through share price growth. You will have learnt from earlier finance studies that investors require higher re
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References

Baker, M. (2006). Private communication, Business in the Community, 29 March.
Brewster, D. (2004). ‘CalPERS wave-making brings flak’, Financial Times Fund Management, 9 August.
Business Week (2004). ‘Special report: corporate governance, investors fight back’, 17 May.
Butz, C. (2003). Decomposing SRI Pe
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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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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying Business & Management. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


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2.4 Shareholder activism

Shareholder (investor) activism can also force better corporate governance. Historically, individual shareholders, whether institutions or private persons, have had little chance of influencing the board or management given the fragmentation of ownership.

Shareholders can ask questions at the annual general meeting, but they would need a majority of votes in order to pass a motion that was binding on management. Even institutional shareholders do not, in most countries, hold as much as
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Keep on learning

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There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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3.1 Codes of conduct

One of the principles of the European Union Emissions Trading System discussed by Schultz and Williamson (2005) is that an organisation accepts responsibility for the performance of their suppliers. In an age where multinational corporations are able to reduce the production costs of their goods and services by offshoring it to whoever can meet the specification at the lowest cost, what responsibility do they have for the conditions under which production actually occurs?

One of the fir
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2.2 Regulatory initiatives

Box 2 Political will

‘We know the solution: sustainable development. The issue is political will.’

Prime Minister Tony Blair, World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, 2 September 2002


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3.8 Following up the report

The evaluation report will often contain recommendations for further actions and these may lead to new project ideas. Recommendations may relate to processes and procedures within the organisation. Project evaluation and debriefing can be a learning experience for the organisation as a whole, as well as for individuals. For example, British Petroleum gathers the lessons learnt from post-project appraisals in a series of booklets that are then used as guidance for writing project proposals. In
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3.7 Analysing and reporting the results

When planning what data to use in the evaluation it is helpful to consider how the data will be analysed. Usually, there are a lot of data, perhaps in several different forms. If you have set clear objectives, it should be possible to identify the data that are relevant to each issue. It is usual to follow the steps below:

  • consider numbers, for example how much has been achieved at what cost;

  • consider quality, whether appropriate and not
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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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Closure checklists

It is helpful to consider closure as, in effect, a mini-project, and to plan for it as a distinct set of activities. We have seen that, once the project has been recognised as successful and all of the key milestones have been achieved, reaching the final milestone – closing the project – can seem an anticlimax. One way to focus attention on the work that still needs to be done is to prepare a detailed checklist.

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2.2 Closure tasks

The closing stages of a project need as much, if not more, attention as the early stages. Many of the final tasks in a project may seem rather tedious ‘housekeeping’ once the project's main purpose has been achieved. Nevertheless, there are a number of actions that must be taken to close the project and ensure that any necessary maintenance arrangements have been made.

  • Make sure that all project staff actually stop work on the project.


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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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