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Managerial Ethics - Oakland Campus

Designed to assist students in BUSENV 0060: Managerial Ethics and Stakeholder management, taught by Prof. Ron Magnuson

Company Profiles and Histories

Use the tabs above to find company profiles and histories.first page of a mergent company profile

There are many places you can find information about a company and its history. Try the following approaches:

  • Company's website
    • Websites often include an "about us" section that sometimes detail their history. Remember, the company will explain its history the way it wants to be seen.
  • Annual report
    • Public companies are required to file an annual report to the U.S. government, known as a 10-K. These reports will often include a section on the company's history. Again, remember this is a self-reported history.
  • Find books/ebooks that contain corporate histories
    • Books about a company often include historical background.
    • Do a keyword search in PittCat+ to find any books in the University Library System which cover your company's history.
  • Search for articles
    • Newspaper, trade/magazine, and scholarly articles that mention or are about specific companies might provide some historical information.

Accompanying image is from a company report in the Mergent Online database.

Although it might take some digging and persistence, searching for articles that refer to your company can prove helpful. Try the below databases, along with Google and Google Scholar.

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SWOT and Five Forces Analysis Reports

Below are SWOT reports and above are Five Forces analysis reports.

The following databases are great places to find SWOT reports, which provide additional insight into a company.SWOT Analysis chart

SWOT : Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

"...A framework for identifying the internal strengths (S) and weaknesses (W) of a firm, and the external opportunities (O) open to it and the threats (T) it faces, which can be used by corporate planners in formulating the firm's competitive strategy and marketing strategy in individual product markets and its overall business strategy." - Collins Dictionary of Business

Use the information found in SWOT reports to search for additional articles that might go into more depth.

Image by Xhienne, CC-BY.

Michael Porter claims that "the state of competition in an industry depends on five basic competitive forces" (1980, p.3). The five forces are: threat of new entry, threat of substitution, bargaining power of buyers, bargaining power of suppliers, and competitive rivarly.

*Porter, Michael E. 1980. Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. The Free Press. New York.

While you will often need to conduct your own Five Forces Analysis, you can find some pre-made reports in the following databases.

NOTE: Thomson ONE only works with Internet Explorer. View troubleshooting options.

1. Select the Screening Analysis tab at the top of the page, then click Research.

2. Go to More Options and do a search for "five forces" and add the name of a company.

3. Select the Report Type to Company.

You can sometimes find Five Force Analysis Reports in journal and magazine articles.

1. Type your industry in the first search box, and "five forces" in the second.

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