Archive for the ‘General Business’ Category

Toqueville 2.0 ?

French economist Thomas Piketty is getting rock star treatment as he visits the U.S., says an article in the New York Times.  Or, at least as much rock star treatment that a practitioner of ‘the dismal science’ can realistically expect. Piketty’s new book Capital in the 21st Century is making waves, particularly among political liberals, for its thesis about the increasing concentration of wealth that he says is the outcome of free market economies. But not an inevitable outcome — Piketty is no fatalist. If governments intervene, who knows what may happen? It will be interesting to see if Piketty’s work spawns political action. Meanwhile,  fans are hailing him as a new Alexis de Toqueville … or Karl Marx.

Industry research: Beyond the usual suspects

If you’re looking for industry data and overviews, your first stop should be our page of databases at  You’ll find great general sources like Standard & Poors (be sure to click the Industry tab), IBISWorld and FirstResearch, plus a spectrum of specific resources in the areas of Healthcare, Banking, Energy, and Technology.

But why stop there? If coverage is scant or you’re interested in a subset of an industry such as online but not commercial radio, or barber shops but not beauty salons, industry reports may not be granular enough.  Other sources include:
- an article search.  Sometimes a reporter has already compiled just the data you need.
SearchWorks, the campus-wide library catalog of datasources both print and electronic.
- Business Source Complete (first journal source on our article page), in addition to articles,  provides full text PDFs of Barnes Reports,with comprehensive analysis of many industries.
- Check the web for an association, such as the National Association of Broadcasters or the National Association of Barber Boards.  If they don’t have data posted on their site, contact them and ask for suggestions.
Questions?  Ask Us.

Burberry meets Apple

Burberry’s current CEO, Angela Ahrendts, will become Apple’s new senior vice president of retail in spring of this year. She will become one of the few women inside the “inner circle” of Apple and will bring according to the email Apple CEO Cook sent out announcing her hiring, [she] “places the same strong emphasis as we do on the customer experience.” But he also added, significantly, that “she cares deeply about people and embraces our view that our most important resource and our soul is our people.” Read about Apple’s “new rock star” in the current issue of Fast Company.

Also if you’d like to read other articles on executive women’s careers, check out the library page, Hot Topics: Women Executives and Career Tracks.

SWOTs that you say?

A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) is one of the most popular tools used in developing business strategy.  Whether you want to create your own or review one developed elsewhere, the GSB library can help:

To create: Research guidelines/best practices/critiques via article search in Business Source Complete or ABI-Inform. Just type “SWOT analysis” in the search field. Look for books on topic in SearchWorks by searching “SWOT decision making”.

To review by Country/Industry:  In Business Monitor, select Service and Geography. Click on Industry Forecast and scroll down to the SWOT Analysis.

To review by Company: In Business Source Complete, search SWOT and Company name (or just SWOT to see a variety of available analyses). In OneSource North American Business Browser, look for  SWOT Analysis under News and Analysis in the left menu  on the company landing page.

Not sure how to find the info you seek?

Here’s a nifty resource to try: The Library FAQ.  At the library’s home page, click on the “How Do I” link just below the photo, and enter a search term, such as “investment” or “SWOT.”  This will lead you to a page with info on that topic, including previously asked questions and custom research guides recommending which of our resources to use — and how.  If you see an answer that meets your needs well, you can make this resource even more useful, just click on the thumbs up icon to “like” it.  You can also pick from a menu of topics at right to find related info.  If you still have questions, go back to the home page and click the Ask Us button to chat with a reference librarian during business hours.

Business Web Sites!

Time to highlight our Business Web Sites list, a great compendium of sites on business and related topics that we have built up over the years, often from the process of doing research support for our Stanford customers. Not all the information on all the sites is available to us, nor is all the information necessarily free — but enough free, useful data is there to make them worth listing. Topics covered range from accounting to housing to corporate reports to private equity to the toy industry. Sometimes serendipity leads us to a site, other times it might be something recommended by a friend or customer. At any rate, when you are looking for good information on the Internet, it may be well worth your while to check here first – the data you want may be just a few clicks away!

Searching for articles

A tip from your local librarian … When searching for individual journal articles, if you already know the “basics” — author name, date, journal title — one of the quickest ways to get the full text article is to search for eJournals. The eJournals search box is in the center of our Library home page. If the journal is not in the area of business or management, but perhaps in engineering or the social sciences, you might try searching the Stanford campuswide eJournals list. To access that, go to the upper left of our home page and click on ‘Articles, Books, Databases’, then select eJournals; you’ll want to pick ”Other eJournals”.

If, on the other hand, you have no specific article in mind but want a set of articles on a particular business topic, your best bet is to turn to our online business literature databases, such as Business Source Complete. You can find these databases under the “Articles” tab on our Database by Topic  page. And if you need to search more broadly, e.g. in the sciences, go again to ‘Articles, Books, Databases’ but this time select ‘more databases’ to get to the full array of databases available at Stanford.

Make sense? Doesn’t make sense? Just contact our friendly staff and we’ll be happy to explain anything and everything in detail.

Business leadership reads

Searching the online Stanford catalog SearchWorks, and using the keywords business leadership,  I created a list of current titles (2013) carried by the GSB Library.

Among the titles are:

The end of competitive advantage : how to keep your strategy moving as fast as your business. Author/Creator: McGrath, Rita Gunther.

The first 90 days : proven strategies for getting up to speed faster and smarter. Author/Creator: Watkins, Michael, 1956-

Global tilt : leading your business through the great economic power shift. Author/Creator: Charan, Ram

Harder than I thought : adventures of a twenty-first century leader. Author/Creator: Austin, Robert D. (Robert Daniel), 1962-

Farm Facts

Did you know that there is a Census of Agriculture? It is the leading source of facts and figures about American agriculture. Conducted every five years, the Census provides a detailed picture of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. It is the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the United States.

So go ahead and count those chickens before they hatch!

Calling all news junkies

For those who want to keep up on global news every day, recall that in Factiva the latest edition of several publications are available for quick reference. The following titles are included in this service: the Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal Asia, the New York Times, Barrons, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, American Banker, Forbes, and the London Times. Like news?  Knock yourself out!


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