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The Four Perspectives

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There are four different theoretical perspectives on communication (Psychological Perspective, Social Constructionist Perspective, Pragmatic Perspective and Cultural Studies Perspective). Consider each of these perspectives and answer the questions below as well as provide one example each about these perspectives.

1) Consider the psychological perspective. In what ways do you believe that what goes on inside people's heads (beliefs, values, attitudes, etc.) affects their communication?
2) Consider the social constructionist perspective. How do we "build worlds" through communication? Think of some ideas we talk about in our culture that may not exist in other cultures. How do these concepts contribute to our happiness or success (or lack of them) in our culture?
3) Consider the pragmatic perspective. How is communication like a game? How is it different from a game?
4) Consider the cultural studies perspective. What is the goal of a researcher who takes a cultural studies approach?
5) Which of these perspectives is closest to your own view of communication?

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1) An individual's beliefs, values, and attitudes have a definite effect on their communication, due to the fact that what goes on inside these individuals heads manifests itself in physical actions. It is common knowledge that the way that an individual thinks determines how the individual acts, which includes the way that they communicate with other individuals. An individual's attitudes or beliefs about the individual or individuals that they are communicating with will have a tremendous bearing on the way that they communicate with these individuals. An example of this perspective would be the negative thoughts that a police officer has towards ...

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Case Anaysis: Balanced Scorecard Approach in a Bank

** Please see the attached files for the tables **

Here's a review of a recent book by Kaplan and Norton, the gurus of the balanced scorecard, that discusses implementation strategies. While the review is interesting in its own right, even more interesting is the wide variety of reactions to it from readers that follow the review; read through them quickly to get a sense of the diversity of opinions surrounding this topic.

Silverthorne, S. (2008). Executing Strategy with the Balanced Scorecard. Retrieved May 17, 2010, from http://blogs.bnet.com/harvard/?p=397&tag=nl.e713

Armed with your new sensitivity to implementation, you're now better equipped to to look at an example. A few years ago, the journal Strategic Finance published a very interesting case describing the implementation of a balanced scorecard approach in a bank:


Basically, carry out the case analysis described in the article, with some slight modifications to the questions posed in the article, as follows. Your complete analysis should respond to the numbered points below.

Solution Expectations:

What's referred to as "Case A" in the article tracks the initial implementation of the balanced scorecard through the establishment of the first set of objectives for each of the perspectives. As you'll see, Table 2 in the article (p. 57) presents a list of performance measures suggested by bank personnel as intermediaries toward the achievement of the three main financial goals: loan balances, deposit balances, and non-interest income.

The first step is to categorize each of the performance measures in Table 2 as belonging to one of the four perspectives (to start you off, we've put the three financial goals in the table already). Here's a table that you can copy and paste into your solution that might be helpful toward this end (see attached doc 1):

Then, following the procedure described in Figure 1 of the article (p. 58), you are to connect these objectives and measures into two or more causal chains, indicating how the achievement of one objective leads to the potential achievement of another such that ultimately one or more of the financial performance objectives are achieved. You can do this by drawing arrows, or if this is too complicated, by simply specifying the chain in order. As noted, Figure 1 shows one chain; it is highly recommended that you find two others rather than including this one as one of your two. There are numerous possibilities.

For each chain, please include a brief paragraph describing the logic of the chain, and why you see the objectives as connected in the way you do.

Once you've accomplished Case A, then you can move on to the second part of the solution, Case B, which involves looking at the implementation of the balanced scorecard approach and its apparent consequences. There are two sources of information available to you here: Table 3 (p. 59), which lists the before and after performance of each of the branches of the bank, and the interviews with bank personnel in each of the branches where the system was implemented (pp. 57-59). Here's what you need to do to accomplish this part of the exercise:

Review Table 3 in a comparative way and try to decide if there is evidence for the effectiveness of the balanced scorecard approach in terms of improving the key financial measures. Remember, the balanced scorecard was implemented in branches A-E , and not in branches F-J. To help you make this comparison, I have attached Doc 2. The important part is to present a brief but cogent analysis of the relative performance of the balanced scorecard branches versus the branches that did not use the approach, using appropriate comparative numbers to support your argument.

Then, to finish the analysis, review the relative performance of the five implementing branches in relation to the information you have presented in the interviews about how the balanced scorecard was used in each of the branches -- apparently, there were significant differences in implementation, and there are significant differences in the relative performance of the branches (A-E). Briefly describe the relative performance of these branches, and any conclusions you can draw about how the system was implemented in each of them.

Conclude with a brief statement of advice that you might give to the board of the bank about the use of the balanced scorecard overall, and how it ought to be implemented to achieve maximum effectiveness, citing appropriate information and data to support your argument.

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