Cohere is an experimental knowledge mapping tool that runs on the web, connecting you and your ideas to other learners with common interests.

Author(s): The Open University

There are times when management problems seem too complicated and â€˜messyâ€™ to analyse. A technique, the fishbone diagram, can be used by both individuals and groups to help to clarify the causes of a difficult problem and capture its complexity. The diagram will help provide a comprehensive and balanced picture and show the relative importance and interrelationships between different parts of the problem.

Author(s): The Open University

â€˜The whole is more than the sum of its partsâ€™ is a good place to start thinking about systems. A car is more than its individual components. We can think of a football team as being more than a collection of individual players or a family being more than a group of people who share the same name.

Each of these examples â€“ the car, the football team and the family â€“ can be seen as systems. Individual parts of a system are connected together in some way for a purpose.

Example
Author(s): The Open University

An input-output diagram shows the inputs to a system or to an operation and the outputs from it.

Author(s): The Open University

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
Author(s): The Open University

In time series line graphs, data are plotted or organised along a time dimension. Time series graphs are used for displaying data that show cyclical fluctuations or changes, such as growth, over time. Suppose that you wanted to present the data shown in Table 2 as a gra
Author(s): The Open University

The slope (or gradient) of the line describes its steepness. The steepness is measured by considering two points on the graph, A and B. The vertical distance between the two points is 20; the horizontal distance between them is 10. The steepness of the line is the ratio of these two distances:

Â Â Â Â
Author(s): The Open University

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

Author(s): The Open University

Ajzen, I. (1985) in Chaiken, S. and Stangor C. (1987) â€˜Attitudes and attitude changeâ€™, Annual Review of Psychology, vol. 38, January, pp.575â€“630.
American Marketing Association (2004) Marketing News, 15 September, p.3.
Andreasen, A. (1995) Marketing Social Change â€“ Changing Behaviour to Promote Health, Social Development and the Environment, San Fr
Author(s): The Open University

Greenley and Foxall (1998) emphasise that the marketing literature typically focuses on only two stakeholder groups (consumers and competitors), arguing that this should be extended to include other key stakeholders. Freeman (1984) highlights the interdependence of organisations and their stakeholders, i.e. â€˜any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organisation's objectivesâ€™ (p. 46). This definition emphasises the wide range of individuals, groups an
Author(s): The Open University

Never before have social issues been more at the centre of public and private debate than at the present. From concerns about sustainability and the future of the planet to the introduction of smoking bans, from actions to combat â€˜binge drinkingâ€™ and childhood obesity to programmes designed to prevent the spread of AIDS in developing countries, there is a growing recognition that social marketing has a role to play in achieving a wide range of social goals. In the UK, for example, the Nat
Author(s): The Open University

Anderson, E.S., Grude, K., Haug, T. and Turner, J.R. (1990) Goal directed project management, London, Kogan Page.
Anthony, R.N., and Young, D.W. (1999) Management Control in Non-profit Organizations, 6th edn, Boston, MA, Irwin/McGraw-Hill.
Elbeik, S. and Thomas, M. (1998) Project Skills, Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann.
Author(s): The Open University

Scheduling is about deciding the time that each task will take to do and the sequence in which the tasks will be carried out. There are a number of approaches to estimating the time and effort (and, therefore, cost) required to complete a project. Some estimates may be based on past experience but, because each project is essentially unique, this alone may not be sufficient. A clearer picture can be obtained by measuring each task in terms of the content of the work, the effort required to ca
Author(s): The Open University

The project brief will identify the goals of the project and may express some of these as key objectives. At an early stage of planning you will need to identify all of the project objectives and the deliverables that are implied or required from each objective.

Each objective will identify a clear outcome. The outcome is the deliverable. In some cases, the outcome will be some sort of change achieved and in other cases it will be the production of something new. In either case, the pro
Author(s): The Open University

Once the project brief has been agreed by the project sponsors and approved by the main stakeholders, you can move into the detailed planning phase. The project plan can become a working tool that helps to keep the project team focused on the project's tasks and activities and points them towards completion. It enables managers to keep track of resources, time and progress towards achieving objectives.

All projects are different and the planning for each will be different. The difficult
Author(s): The Open University

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Author(s): The Open University

A very useful way of gaining insight into a religion and seeing how it works is to examine its sources of authority: for example, whether authority is vested in scriptures, in religious specialists, in tradition, in personal experience or a combination of these. Even in traditions where there is some agreement on what counts as an authoritative text, there are still contested issues of how that text is to be interpreted, by whom, with what degree of literalness and in what context. Similarly,
Author(s): The Open University

One of the more visible parts of the service many consultants offer is the model or models on which they base their work. When consulting, activity always needs to be related to the local situation. The consultant will normally start by trying to understand the client perspective, but then seek to expand that perspective, using theory and experience from elsewhere.

So you will probably need information on the theoretical models used by any consultants you are considering. In addition to
Author(s): The Open University

Choosing a service provider tends to be far more difficult than choosing a supplier of goods. While there may be tangible components in the service an HR consultant offers, what HR consultants provide is largely intangible. As a starting point the following activity asks you to consider the issues likely to be involved in the initial decision to use a consultant.

Author(s): The Open University

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.

Author(s): The Open University