Business: The Key Concepts

Business: The Key Concepts

Business: The Key Concepts

Business: The Key Concepts


This is a practical and accessible guide to the essentials of business. This book provides everything you need to know about the key concepts and terms, from accountability to zero-sum game.


This book is a resource. It provides an explanation and exploration of the key concepts in the study of business. The list includes subjects from the areas of management, marketing, finance, economics, organizational behaviour and operations. Care has been taken to present an international viewpoint, to consider contemporary perspectives on business such as strategic approaches, and to balance theory and practice. The exciting though often hyped developments associated with e-business and ethical business are also assessed. Throughout, I have endeavoured to apply the ethic of transparency to the business of writing, that is to provide clarity.

The book is written to be used. Three groups of people in particular have been held in mind. The first are students of business, whether beginners looking for an introduction or those who are more advanced and need a resource to extend their studies. The second are practitioners of business who could do either with a desktop reference book to help them understand their work more thoroughly, or simply with a resource to provide them with material, say for that presentation next week. The third group of people are interested general readers who hear words like 'innovation' or phrases like 'neoclassical economics' bandied around and wonder quite what is meant by them.

The entries in this book cover the subjects that would be included in most business studies or MBA courses. When a subject is fundamental the entry aims to explain it. When a subject is more controversial the entry provides a critique and balanced viewpoint. Each entry begins with a definition, followed by a description and discussion of the concept that is designed both to ground the subject firmly and outline avenues in which it is being developed.

Entries are of different lengths, reflecting the relative importance of the subject. For example, utility has a short entry since whilst it is a word employed in business studies it is also more generally used. Alternatively, zero-based budgeting has a short entry since, in terms

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