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Home » BUS 453: Business Policy & Ethics

BUS 453: Business Policy & Ethics

This course requires you to combine your knowledge of business concepts from multiple courses with primary source documents to complete a comprehensive strategic analysis for a specific company.

Company History
  1. Use Business Insights Global and search for your company.
  2. Read the Company Histories Section.
  3. Read the Industry Overview for the “primary Industry” listed on the company page (far right)
  4. Use the share feature to copy a link to the company page and for the citation URL
Screen shot of database page

BIG Citation Example:

Gale Cengage Learning. (n.d.). Microsoft Corporation (68489) [Company profile]. Business Insights: Global. Retrieved November 1, 2020, from

Vision & Market
  1. Open Business: Insights Global (BIG). From the top menu click Companies, and then choose SWOT reports. Search for the company name.
  2. Search for the Company in Business: Insights Global (BIG)
  3. Visit the company website, linked under the company name in (BIG).
    • Find the company vision, mission, and core values by searching the company website for “investor relations” or “investors”. The page for investors usually has this information.
  4. Explore the market, industry, and financial information provided in the company profiles and article links inside Business: Insights Global and Mergent Intellect to learn about the company.
  5. Search for articles in ProQuest Business Databases and Business Source Ultimate on “value chain”, “competitive advantage”, “core competencies”, “bench marking” on your company (or industry for smaller/newer companies).
screen shot of advanced search for: "competitive advantage" AND microsoft
Sample search for academic and professional articles.

Start looking at your company’s industry and competitors.

  1. Click on the “primary industry” link on the company’s profile in Business Insights Global. This will open the industry profile. Note the 6 digit NAICS code. You will need this later.
  2. Read the industry overview. This will give you a nice summary as well as industry leaders.
  3. Open Mergent Intellect and click on First Research under the search box on the homepage. Enter an email address. Search by your NAICS code. First Research provides an in-depth look at the industry environment and drivers.
  4. Open Mergent Intellect again and find your company profile. Under the Company Details tab, find the competitors list.

Citation Format for First Research:

Dun & Bradstreet. (2020, Nov 7). Computer Software [Industry profile].


Look more closely at company financials.

  1. Find your company’s profile in Business: Insights Global (BIG). Under Company Information,
    • Click on Investment Reports. Read the reports from Thomson Reuters.
    • Click on Financials. Review the Income, Balance Sheet, and cash flow. Use the options to compare your company to competitors.
Business insights global financials tab
(BIG) compare competitor option
  • Review Products & Services and Sales & Marketing to see new areas of diversification. Filter publication date to the last year.

2. Find your company’s profile in Mergent Intellect. Under Company Details, view the Annual Report. This will provide a summary of risks, operations, and possibly a letter to stakeholders.

Ethics & Responsibility

Combine your knowledge of the company on topics related to ethics and responsibility.

  1. Consider the companies values and operations and brainstorm some specific topics to explore. Topics might include: worker safety, charitable activities, sustainable sourcing, data privacy, fair competition, ethical outsourcing, or responsible waste disposal.
  2. Search for books, scholarly articles, and trade journal articles in ProQuest Business, Business Source Ultimate, PRIMO, or other business databases. Combine the company name with keywords for your topic. A sample search might be: Microsoft AND outsourc* AND ethics

Journal Article Citation Example

(Double spacing and hanging indent, not shown here)

Ridley, G. (2011). National security as a corporate social responsibility: Critical infrastructure resilience. Journal of Business Ethics, 103(1), 111–125.


These websites are good resources for short definitions of your weekly terms.

Entrepreneur Online Encyclopedia

Investopedia Online Dictionary

Strategic Management

These books are good general resources on the strategic planning process. (citation hint: the first title has a DOI).

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