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Consider the types and functions of businesses, which are entities created for the purpose of making money by producing or buying and selling products, such as goods and services. Businesses can be organized both informally and formally, ranging from modest enterprises, like a child selling lemonade in her front yard, to a multinational company that employs thousands of workers. Regardless of size, the primary goal of every business is to generate profit. The income generated by a business is known as revenue or earnings.

Many use the term business interchangeably with the word company, although they are different from a legal standpoint. A company is a separate legal entity that is more complicated and expensive to set up, but also offers more protections and benefits for the owner(s).

Businesses are subject to systems of law governing contract and exchange, property rights, and incorporation. Businesses can be owned by an individual, a group of two or more people, or by another business, known as a parent company. They can also be public or private: a public business (and public company) is traded publicly on a stock exchange; a private business (and private company) does not have publicly traded shares. A business is known as a corporation when it is owned by stockholders (or shareholders) and has a legal existence similar to a person. A corporation can buy, sell, own, enter into a contract, and sue or be sued by others. Corporations exist separately from their owners, allowing for limited liability in bankruptcy and lawsuits as well as continuity of existence—meaning their existence can live beyond the life spans of their owners.

The administration of formally established business can involve many functions, including accounting and finance, marketing, technology, research and development, sales, and manufacturing. Some employees of businesses, particularly in manufacturing, join to form a labor union in order to better advance their interests in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions through collective bargaining.


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Business Resources

Gale provides scholarly resources to advance the study of business including databases, digital servicesprimary source archives, and eBooks.



Ideal for school, academic, and public libraries, Gale databases offer researchers access to credible, up-to-date content from business publications, including full-text articles from business journals, peer-reviewed journals, business magazines and trade publications. Content included in Gale databases covers economic data, financial data, and market research, telecommunications, project management, and more.


Digital Services

Gale provides tools for academic institutions and public libraries to support business students, academic professionals, and small business owners and entrepreneurs in their community. 


Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources offers business archives and collections that provide researchers with firsthand content, including editorials, news, surveys, statistics, and reports that can be used to examine and analyze the evolution of businesses and industries over time. 


Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of eBooks covering a wide range of business topics, including history, communication, financials, economics, leadership, sales, and risk management. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content. 


  • Burstiness Management for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth: Emerging Research and Opportunities, 1st Edition​​​​​​​

    Burstiness Management for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth: Emerging Research and Opportunities, 1st Edition

    Business Science Reference | 2019 | ISBN-13: 9781522554431

    Intervals of high activity alternating with long, low-activity periods can be found in many areas of daily life, with researchers coining the phenomenon as "bursts." As burstiness becomes prevalent in many fields, understanding and knowing how to manage it is crucial to receive the benefits associated with it. This eBook provides innovative insights into the role of bursts in decision-making and its function as a predictor of performance in business. The content within this publication covers topics such as burstiness in business and e-business applications, consumer behavior, and sustainable development. It is a vital reference source for business managers, business professionals, academic professionals, researchers, and graduate-level students interested in understanding how burstiness and its consequences are processed in diverse and dynamic environments.

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  • A Great Place to Work for All, 1st Edition

    A Great Place to Work for All, 1st Edition

    Berrett-Koehler | 2018 | ISBN-13: 9781523095100

    Today’s business climate is defined by speed, social technologies, and people’s expectations of values. As a result, leaders must create an outstanding culture for all, no matter who they are or what they do for the organization. This groundbreaking eBook, from the creators of the gold-standard Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list, shows how it’s done. Through inspiring stories and compelling research, the authors demonstrate that great places to work benefit the individuals working there and contribute to a better global society—as they outperform in the stock market and grow revenue three times faster than less-inclusive rivals. This eBook is a call for organizations to lead and develop every ounce of human potential.

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  • The Millennial Myth: Transforming Misunderstanding into Workplace Breakthroughs, 1st Edition

    The Millennial Myth: Transforming Misunderstanding into Workplace Breakthroughs, 1st Edition

    Berrett-Koehler | 2017 | ISBN-13: 9781626569577

    Millennials have been deemed lazy, entitled, disloyal, disrespectful, and needing constant handholding. But Crystal Kadakia—a millennial herself, as well as an organizational development consultant and two-time TEDx speaker—shows that not only are these negative stereotypes dead wrong, but each one conceals a positive workplace practice that forward-looking companies must adopt if they are to endure. Kadakia illuminates how the advent of digital technology is the root cause of many millennial behaviors and offers a guide for what our traditional workplace needs to do to attract, engage, and retain modern talent.

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  • Small Business Sourcebook, 36th Edition

    Small Business Sourcebook, 36th Edition

    Gale | 2018 | ISBN-13: 9781410364784

    Small Business Sourcebook covers over 340 specific company profiles and 99 general small business topics; small business programs and assistance programs in the U.S., its territories, and Canadian provinces; and U.S. federal government agencies and offices specializing in small business issues, programs, and assistance. 

    This latest edition of Small Business Sourcebook includes:


    • More than 18,600 digital and print sources of information for 340 industries of interest to small businesses, ranging from accounting to word-processing services.
    • More than 23,300 entries for 99 general small business topics, including management, marketing, business trends, and labor relations.
    • A complete Guide to Publishers, covering more than 1,300 companies, associations, institutions, and individuals that publish periodicals, directories, guidebooks, and other publications.
    • A Glossary featuring common business terms in Volumes 1 through 6.

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  • Encyclopedia of Associations®: Regional, State and Local Organizations: An Associations Unlimited Reference, 31st Edition

    Encyclopedia of Associations®: Regional, State and Local Organizations: An Associations Unlimited Reference, 31st Edition

    Gale | 2019 | ISBN-13: 9781410385765

    This business encyclopedia provides comprehensive information on more than 96,000 U.S. regional, state and local nonprofit organizations. This business encyclopedia covers associations and societies that are organized and function at the regional (both interstate and intrastate), state, county, city, neighborhood, and local levels.

    Each of the 5 print volumes of this business encyclopedia is devoted to a specific geographic region of the U.S.: Vol 1. Great Lakes States; Vol 2. Northeastern States; Vol 3. Southern and Middle Atlantic States; Vol 4. South Central and Great Plains States; Vol. 5 Western States. The geographic scope of each volume takes into account factors such as shared regional characteristics or interests, and geography, allowing users to acquire only those volumes that will meet their information.

    This business encyclopedia covers trade and professional associations, social welfare and public affairs organizations, labor unions, fraternal and patriotic organizations, religious, sports, and hobby groups and many other types of nonprofit organizations. Entries feature a wealth of information, including year founded, membership, budget, purpose and activities, publications, conventions/events and scholarships, fellowships and awards bestowed by the organizations. Provides multiple points of contact, such as addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, websites, and social media handles, allowing for quick connection with organizations that meet their interests and needs. Entries are updated for each edition, making the information in this business encyclopedia accurate and reliable.


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