Don’t Know Much About ‘Corporate’ History: Historical Company Research

Many times the type of company information we are seeking is current. Current information can be easier to locate because new strategies and innovative business models are written about extensively in the news, business journals, and on the web. Researching a company’s history requires a slightly different strategy. Below are some resources to help you locate historical company information.

A good starting point is in the International Directory of Company Histories. This e-book (also available in print) covers 11,000 companies. Each concise company profile is between four and six pages long and covers statistics, dates and key players, as well as other important information like expansions and company strategies. The information is gathered from reliable sources such as academic journals, books, magazines, annual reports, and the company’s archives.

Pages from jc penney annual report

Annual Reports are a good source for historical company information. The Management Discussion & Analysis (MD&A) section of the annual report provides an overview of the previous year’s operations and often includes a discussion on future prospects like goals and strategies for the upcoming year. Annual reports are available in several subscription databases. Use our Business FAQ “Where can I find current and historical annual reports?” for access. Also, take a look at our previous post, Gimmie that Old Time Financial Statement for a detailed overview on finding annual reports.

Applied Science & Business Periodicals Retrospective (1913-1983) covers a wide range of historical trade journals (e.g. Journal of Retailing) and business magazines (e.g. BusinessWeek, Fortune, etc.). Search within this database by company name. For a company like J.C. Penney, whose name often appears differently, search for variations on the spelling/punctuation (e.g. j.c. penney OR j. c. penney OR penney stores OR penney, j.c. etc.). Continue reading

Thomson One & Browser Compatibility: The Case of IE9 and above

Thomson One only works with Internet Explorer (IE).  And it only works properly in versions IE8 and below.There are some problems for Penn users accessing materials in Thomson One using newer versions of the browser.  Some functionality, including downloading analyst reports, may not work properly. Fortunately, there is a work around.

Downgrade to an older version of IE.

If you are using a more recent version of IE it is easy to switch to Compatibility View.

Use the Findit box at the top of the Library homepage to access Thomson.  Type Thomson into the Findit Search box and then click the link to the database on the left of the screen. Authenticate with your Penn Key information. Once in the database, click on the Tools bar at the top of the screen. Scroll down to Compatibility View and click open.

Once you have clicked on the tab you will see where you can add sites to the Compatibility View.



Once you click Add you will see that Thomson One is now in Compatibility View.


Click on Close.  A small message box will appear.  Click OK.

ClickOKThomson One will reload. Begin your search. Thomson Reuters is aware of this problem and is working on a solution.

Also check out our post on: Thomson One and Browser Compatibility:  Using Chrome and Firefox. 


Refereed? I Thought You Said Peer-Reviewed – Finding Scholarly Articles

MGMT 100 is a course that all Wharton undergraduates have to take, usually during their freshman year. One of the components of the class is finding a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal article. For those of you currently in MGMT 100 or just looking to search the business literature for articles, we’ve recreated the steps for finding scholarly articles.

When you are looking for scholarly, peer-reviewed articles, a good place to start is in Business Source Complete. This is a key resource for scholarly business information, such as Academy of Management Review, Journal of Finance, and Journal of Organizational Behavior. The database also includes business weeklies and trade journals.  Let’s say you were looking for articles on character strengths. You could start with a search for:

(character or personality) AND strength* AND leadership

BSC Search

Search for your terms keeping the drop-down menu in the default setting. The default setting searches within the article’s bibliographic information (e.g. title, abstract, subject headings, etc). Use the asterisk, which is a truncation symbol, to search variations on a term. In this case, a search for strength* will find strength, strengths, strengthening, etc.

When you are viewing the search results, it’s a good idea to sort by Relevance. Sorting by Relevance will put articles at the top which have the search terms appearing most frequently. To view only peer-reviewed articles, select the Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals option from the left-hand menu under the heading “Refine your results”. Note that this filter is not 100% accurate, you will need to verify that the journal is Peer-Reviewed using Ulrich’s.


Let’s take a look at a record: Continue reading