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Free PDF Book: Encyclopedia of Business and Finance

Encyclopedia of Business and Finance

Encyclopedia of Business and Finance

Business is the backbone of American society and is one of the keys to making our system work as well as it has for over two hundred years. Yet as a body of knowledge, business is much younger, and in its brief history, there have been few attempts to present the discipline of business in a single place. The major purpose of the Encyclopedia of Business and Finance, Second Edition is to summarize the body of knowledge that we know as business in one place and in language appropriate to the layperson.

This two-volume collection of over 315 articles presents a wealth of information about the major functional areas of business: accounting, economics, finance, information systems, law, management, and marketing. Articles vary in length and depth, in bibliographic support, and in writing style. Thus, the reader will encounter a variety of approaches to and perspectives about business. Some articles are quantitative, since some aspects of business are numerically based. Other articles tend more toward the qualitative to accommodate the more descriptive aspects of business.

Some of the articles present an historical perspective, incorporating long-validated knowledge, while other articles focus on current concepts and more recent data. Other articles provide “how-to” advice. Regardless of the approach, avail- able data are accurate to the best of each writer’s knowledge as of 2006. All articles have the same goal: to provide useful knowledge about the business and financial world.

Because of their importance, special treatment has been given to two subject areas: careers and ethics. In each area, an overview article is followed by an article about that topic in each functional area of business. Thus, there are articles about careers in accounting, careers in economics, and so forth. There is a similar series of articles about ethics.

There is also a strong emphasis on organizations in the fields of business and govern- ment. Wherever an organization is discussed, the article provides contact information about it, including a Web site.

Relevant business-related federal legislation is included in this work. Articles on all acts that have had a major impact on business and the government agencies that regulate them are included in the Encyclopedia.

Encyclopedia of Business and Finance, Second Edition includes 32 new articles. The major areas of these new contributions are in the applications of technology to business (such as cyber crime, e-marketing, identity theft, and online education), new areas of business knowledge (including agency theory, earnings management, forensic accounting, green marketing, intellectual capital, and social marketing), international topics (such as international business and international marketing), and new organizations and legislation. Further, all articles in the Encyclopedia have been thoroughly reviewed and updated in content and references to 2006.

Entries are arranged in alphabetical order. The Encyclopedia includes extensive cross- referencing of two types: “See” and “See Also” references. “See” references fall within the body of the work and refer the reader to articles discussing that topic. For example, if one wanted to find information about bait-and-switch advertising and looked under “Bait and Switch,” there would not be an article, but rather the instruction to “SEE Ethics in Market- ing; Ethics in Law for Business; Government Role in Business.” “See Also” cross-references fall at the end of articles and direct the reader to one or more other articles that may shed more light on the topic. At the conclusion of the article on Insurance, for example, you will find “SEE ALSO Investments; Personal Financial Planning.” At the end of Volume 2, there is an extensive Index to terms and concept in the articles.

Is the knowledge contained in this work the definitive and final word on each topic? The answer is “most certainly not!” In this day and age of dynamic and rapidly growing knowledge, a positive answer would be quite inappropriate. However, this is not necessarily a negative. The information contained in this edition of Encyclopedia of Business and Finance is valid and reliable and enables readers to do further research by going to easily accessible sources. Today’s technology offers a unique opportunity to extend one’s knowledge of every topic presented, an opportunity not available so easily to previous generations.

This work was designed for different types of users. The middle school student may be looking for a starting point for a paper on careers. The high school student may be seeking background information on a major research topic, such as international trade. The businessperson may be seeking a summary of antitrust laws. The business teacher may be preparing a lesson on the history of computing. The interested layperson may simply want to learn something new about such topics as the No Child Left Behind legislation or investments.

Encyclopedia of Business and Finance, Second Edition can serve as a survey document for the many aspects of business or as a guide to those aspects. It can be the starting point for a lengthy secondary research project, or the ending point for a specific item covered within its pages. It can be used to help ask questions or to find answers. It can be used as a summary of existing knowledge or the basis for acquiring new knowledge.

A number of individuals deserve special mention for their contributions to this project. First I must thank the four associate editors: Dorothy Maxwell, Jim Maxwell, Mary Ellen Oliverio, and Allen Truell. Without their tireless efforts at securing quality writers, we would have a very small work. Second, great appreciation goes to Miranda Ferrara, the editor at Macmillan Reference USA/Thomson Gale in charge of this project, for her organization, efficiency, and human kindness throughout this entire project. In addition special thanks go to Mike Weaver and Luann Brennan also at Thomson Gale, who handled many of the technical details of the Encyclopedia.

Business Finance & Accounting

Lastly, I must thank all of the contributors for the best effort that each put forth to codify and record knowledge in each article. Writing for an encyclopedia is hardly a financially rewarding activity; however, it is a contribution to posterity, so what each contributor has written is of great value to current and future scholars. And, speaking for all of us, thanks to our families for their encouragement and support.

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