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Business and Management Research Guide

Use this guide for help doing general business research, including searching for credible articles, doing company and industry research, and writing a literature review

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Dan Hoiland

What To Think About Before Doing Company Research

Is the company public or private? Public companies are required to report information about their company to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available to the public, giving you access to large amounts of data. Private and non-profit companies have less information published about them, you may need to speculate based on information on competitors or the industry as a whole.

Is it a parent company or a subsidiary? When researching a subsidiary or division you may need to research the parent company in addition to the individual subdivision.

Is the company based in the U.S. or internationally? Determine the location of your company early in your search; this will determine which information resources will best suit your needs.

Newsworthiness – consider any big events that have occurred recently in your company. Use newspapers, magazines, and other popular publications to find out if they have hired a new CEO, produced a new product, or introduced new strategies.

Consider alternative sources of information – Government agencies, trade associations, competitors, suppliers, labor unions, or the company itself (annual reports, websites, or contacting the company and asking well-informed questions).

Company Profiles

Other Sources of Company Information

Company profiles are a great place to find all the information you need when researching companies. Each resource listed below offer something a little different, so try a few and see what you can find.

Current Events about your Company

Learn more about your company's public face, how it is presented by the media, and public opinion about your company. Search for the company name or top executives in newspapers, magazines, blogs, and trade journals