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Home ยป 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. Gale Business: Insights and search for your company.
  2. Read the Company History section linked beneath the Company Overview paragraph.
  3. Scroll down to the Industry section, and click on the primary industry hyperlink. Read the Industry Overview on the linked page.
  4. Use the Get Link button in the top menu to copy a link to the company page and for the citation URL.

Business Insights Citation Example:

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

Vision & Market
  1. Open Gale Business: Insights. Search for the company name.
  2. Click on the Read Full SWOT Analysis button and read report.
  3. Visit the company website. 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 competitors, industry, and financial performance information provided in the company profile and article links inside Gale Business: Insights 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 Gale Business: Insights. 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 Gale Business: Insights. Under Financial Performance,
    • Find the Investment Reports section and click on All Reports. Search for and read the report from Reuters.
    • Review the Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement. Use the Compare Tool to compare your company to competitors.

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 and 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), 111โ€“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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