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Business Information Competencies

The organization of the future is held together by information – working in such an organization will require literacy to obtain the necessary internal and external information to do our jobs”. --Peter Drucker

Each Discipline has a set of core competencies. All information competent students should master the basic competencies.

  • Define the reserach topic
  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one's knowledge base
  • Use Information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information ethically and legally

Likewise students should have a basis understanding of the body of literature in their chosen filed of study.

This brief guide provides core sources of the body of literature for conducting business research. Core business research compentencies specific to Business include business management, business enterprises, industries and the economy--national and internationally..

Company Information

Background & History

  • International Directory of Company Histories, Ref HD2721 .D36 --Includes indepth background information.
Other printed sources that will provide brief summaries of companies:
  • Hoover's Handbook of American Business Ref  HG 4057 .A28617 1991-  2008 v.1 
  • Hoover;s Handbook of Private Companies Ref HG 4057 A28616 2008
  • Hoover's Handbook of World Business REf HG 4009 H66
  • Mergent's Handbook of Common Stocks , Ref HG 4501 .M59
  • Mergent's Handbook Of Nasdaq Stocks , Ref HG4501 .M58
  • Value Line Investment Survey, (On Reserve)

Company history may be found in the 10-k reports and/or annual reports via Lexis-Nexis Universe R, Edgar Database for public companies. For retrospective annual and 10k-reports, see the microfiche collection file in microfiche cabinets alphabetically by company names. Some company web sites may provide company history. The databases below also provide company type and information ranging from a profile of the company to in-depth information.

Fnancial Reports

  • EDGAR Index Must register for free membership. Free real-time SEC filing alerts delivered to your desktop.
  • Edgar Database
  • Lexis-Nexis Universe R Company Financial Reports  Detailed financial data about companies Company Profiles-- Company information including executives, revenue and competitors  Compare Companies -- Find companies based on a variety of criteria; EDGAR filings, annual & quarterly reports & proxy statements
  •  Factiva R (formerly Dow Jones Interactive) [No proxy service for remote access; user must be on campus network proper] -- Factiva provides information on private companies and detailed information on tens of thousands of publicly quoted companies in 72 countries, including the following: Ratio Comparison Report: Compares key financial ratios of this company against its industry, sector, and the S&P 500 Index aggregates. Detailed Company Profile Report: A detailed outline of this company's primary activities, top officers and executives, competition, history, products, services, and key financial ratios. Detailed Company Profile Report with Financial Results Report: A detailed outline of this company's primary activities, top officers and executives, competition, history, products, services, key financial ratios, and full balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statements
  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage R is a comprehensive source of business and investment information, offering on-line access to Standard & Poor's research products such as Industry Surveys, Stock Reports, Corporation Records, The Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives, The Outlook, Mutual Fund Reports among others.
  • U.S. Securities and exchange Commission EDGAR.
  • Value Line Investment Survey --> This service is available for on-campus use only, in Business Library. R The Value Line Investment Survey is a comprehensive source of information and advice on approximately 1,700 stocks, more than 90 industries, the stock market, and the economy.
  • For retrospective 10-K reports see: Disclosure Microfiche Collection, filed alphabetically in the microfiche cabinets by company's name.
See also:

Industry Information

Industry Classification

To research a company's industry, it is important to identify the industry. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and NAICS codes provide a mechanism for classifying like businesses together. These codes may be used to identify a company’s competitors and to determine industry financial norms. These industry codes transcends national borders. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) has replaced the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. SIC numbers are still useful; to locate correspondence between 2002 NAICS and 1987 SIC, see: 1997 NAICS and 1987 SIC Correspondence Tables, http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/naicstab.htm.

Industry Structure

  • The Structure of American Industry. Located on Reserve. Offers a kaleidoscopic view of American industry--a collection of case studies illustrating different types of structural organizations, different behavior patterns, and different performance records. 
  • Encyclopedia of American Industries vol. I, Manufacturing Industries Vol. II, Services and Non-manufacturing industries.   Ref HC 102 E55.4--Volume I provides coverage of 460 manufacturing industries, each discussed in its own essay. Manufacturing industries covered in this volume range from large ones, such as the automotive industry and the pharmaceutical industry, to smaller business sectors, such as the porcelain electrical supplies industry and waterproof outerwear industry.

Industry Overview, Outlook and Background

Financial Ratios

Industry Regulation

  • ADA Standards --"sets guidelines for accessibility to places of public accommodation and commercial facilities by individuals with disabilities. These guidelines are to be applied during the design, construction, and alteration of such buildings and facilities to the extent required by regulations issued by Federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990."
  • Federal Trade Commission --The FTC site includes news and alerts, consumer protection and anti-trust information. " The Bureau also conducts economic analyses of various markets and industries. This work focuses on the economic effects of regulation and on issues that are of importance to antitrust and consumer protection law enforcement. Many of these analyses are published as Economic Reports. "
  • Franchise and Business Opportunities Rule--Target business opportunity fraud and a guide to title 16 CFR Part 436.
  • Lexis-Nexis Universe R -- select Legal Research to search Federal Regulations and Federal Code.
The Economy

Overview, Research and Data

  • Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System--Provides, research and data pertaining to the economy and finance and banking. The Beige Book provides a summary of commentary on current economic conditions
  • Brookings papers on economic activity (Online: Project Muse
    )-- provides academic and business economists, policymakers , and members of the financial and business communities with timely research on current economic issues. Paper copies may be found at HC101 B785.
  • Conference Board Research Collection R --"Best known for the Consumer Confidence Index and the Leading Economic Indicators, The Conference Board has, for over 90 years, equipped the world's leading corporations with practical knowledge through issues-oriented research and senior executive peer-to-peer meetings."
  • Economic Report of the President:--An annual report written by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. It overviews the nation's economic progress using text and extensive data appendices.
  • Federal Reserve Bulletin via ABI/Inform Global R and EbscoHost R
  • NBER Working paper series (Online : NBER)--NBER researchers initially report their findings in scientific papers aimed at other professional economists in academic institutions, business, government, and the business media around the world. Nearly 700 NBER Working Papers are published each year, and many subsequently appear in scholarly journals.

The Economic Census is the major source of informatiom about the structure and workings of the nation's economy.

Business Census & Demographic Data

Economic Indicators

Local, State, Federal Laws & Regulations

  • HeinOnline: The Modern Link to Legal History R
    Description: Four centuries of research covering: history, law, political science, business, public policy, government, criminal justice-- * 650+ journals, with more than 1,000 periodicals under contract for inclusion * All U.S. Treaties and Agreements, whether inforce, expired, or yet-to-be published * Every published U.S. Supreme Court decision as it appears in the official U.S. Reports * U.S. Federal Register * Official Opinions of the U.S. Attorney General * Legal Classics Library: Presidential Library ~ Code of Federal Regulations Federal Legislative Histories Collection
  • Laws and Regulations – General Reference Resources: USA.gov
  • Lexis-Nexis Universe R Click on Congressional; select "regulations."

International Information  

: Body of Business Periodical Literature on business enterprises, Industries and the Economy

  • ABI/Inform Global R
    Description: In-depth coverage of business conditions, trends, corporate strategies and tactics, management techniques, product information and related topics. Number of simultaneous logons: Unlimited.
  • Conference Board Research Collection R --"Best known for the Consumer Confidence Index and the Leading Economic Indicators, The Conference Board has, for over 90 years, equipped the world's leading corporations with practical knowledge through issues-oriented research and senior executive peer-to-peer meetings."
  • EbscoHost R --A multi-disciplinary database that provides full text for nearly 4,000 scholarly publications, including full text for more than 3,100 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage spans virtually every area of academic study and offers information dating as far back as 1975.
  • Emerald Fulltext Journals R
    Description: Contains 35,000 articles from over 100 management journals, complete with full text archives back to 1994. Covers the major management disciplines including strategy, leadership, information management, marketing and human resource management.
  • Factiva (formerly Dow Jones Interactive) [No proxy service for remote access; user must be on campus network proper] R
    A Dow Jones & Reuters company, provides online global news and business information from over 8,000 sources, including Dow Jones and Reuters Newswires. It is the successor of the Dow Jones Interactive and Reuters Business Briefing.
    Description: Electronic access to a comprehensive archive of articles from journals in the arts, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, ecology and botany
  • Lexis-Nexis Universe R Provides news from major U.S. and world publications;combines key sources of profiles and reports on the world's major public and private companies.
    Description: Unlimited access to abstracts from the most frequently cited journals in the fields of science, technology and medicine, including browsable tables of contents as well as full text of journals to which the library subscribes. Includes the journals database formerly available from IDEAL.
  • Wiley Interscience R
    Description: A portal to the full-text content of Wiley's journal database. Covers over 300 journal titles in science, engineering, computer science, business, education, law and psychology.

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