Business and management literature
Introduction — Transcript
Hi there — my name’s John and I’m one of the Teaching and Learning Librarians based at the University of Manchester Library. I also spend a fair amount of my time working within the Business Data Service based within the Eddie Davies Library at Alliance Manchester Business School. You’ll also hear from my colleague Phil Reed who is the Library’s data specialist and also spends a lot of time working on projects related to the Business Data Service and our Finance Zone within the Eddie Davies Library.
The Library provides a wide range of information resources which you will need to get used to using as part of your MSc in Marketing. In this resource we will look at the characteristics and functions of a number of different databases which you will be able to use to help you conduct the necessary research and analysis you will need to complete the various projects and research tasks which are assigned to you during your time at Manchester.
However, the Library also provides you with support in lots of other different areas which can help not just in this course, but in other areas of your studies too. Our My Learning Essentials skills development programme offers support in many areas such as academic writing, study strategies and critical reading and thinking. I hope you find this introduction to some of our resources useful. The Library is here to help you throughout your studies at Manchester and my final key message to you would be to ask us for help whenever you need it. There are lots of different ways to do this, and you will find details of this at the end of this section.
Types of information
You will likely be asked to write about a number of different topics and subjects during your Masters programme. For the purposes of this content we are going to imagine that you have been asked to research the fashion industry and look at different marketing trends and concerns which are currently affecting the industry, and influence its future development.
Areas you might want to explore could include:
- Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within a particular market
- Gaining a better understanding of the industry in general
- Exploring potential marketing channels which successful companies within the industry have used to communicate new product information to potential customers
There are a number of different types of information provided by the Library which would be useful in this exercise. We are going to look at each of these in turn, and provide some examples for you to work through:
- Academic literature
- Market research reports
- Trade and industry news
- Economic and demographic information
Before you start
You can find the subject databases for your subject through your Subject Guide. Once you have selected a subject click ‘Databases’ to view the Library’s curated collection of databases for your subject.
Tip : We will be providing individual links to useful databases in the individual sections which follow but you will find it useful to bookmark the guide now. You will need to use the databases we introduce below multiple times for this and other courses. The subject guide keeps them in one handy place for you which will save you time.
Management literature — podcast (Phil)
Now, there are quite a few words and phrases that would come to mind if I were asked to sum up business and management literature “There’s a lot of it”, “Expensive” and “fast-moving”, would probably all feature somewhere.
You will undoubtedly have already used many of these resources before. It might be a book you found in the Library (either on the shelves or online), or an article from a reading list that your lecturer recommended. You may even look at specific journals like the Harvard Business Review, or ones that are relevant to your specialism such as “The Journal of Marketing”.
For a Masters programme, you will likely need to consult a wide range of literature. There are lots of different literature sources to consider and we’ll talk about these in a bit more detail shortly. A key consideration for you to think about though is the type of literature you are going to need.
There’s an ongoing debate about the merits of the different types of research which are published in the Business and Management field and you will need to decide which better suits your project. Academic or research literature is very intensive and will usually report on the methods and results of a study. Raw data will usually have been collected in some way (via an experiment, a survey or a series of interviews) and the literature will provide analysis and conclusions that the authors have drawn from this activity.
For Business and Management, however, practitioner research is also of huge value. These will usually be written by a professional or expert in a field (such as Advertising). It will be based on real life experiences and observations and intended to support those working in specific industries by making note of discernible trends and helping to establish best practices. An analysis and reporting of a new method of performance measurement would be an example of something you might expect to find in a practitioner journal.
Let’s talk about the different types of literature available now and think about the best ways to access the different types of sources.
Books first — The Library has over 2 million of these, and close to a million available in electronic format. Using our Library search tool is the best method for identifying these, and making use of some of the limits and advanced searching features will help you to narrow down your search results. There’s extensive guidance available on this (and for all the other sources) available on the accompanying post on Business & Management literature which we would strongly advise you to read after you have listened to this podcast. For books as well you should also look around and talk to people (such as academics, students and librarians) about what they recommend.
New books are published all the time in the field of business so keep an eye out for reviews in media such as the Financial Times or Fortune magazine. If the Library doesn’t hold a copy, we can get hold of these for you and there’s lots of information on our website about how to do this.
Journal articles form the backbone of many postgraduate assignments and academic papers. Again, the Library can really help you here. We subscribe to over 38,000 titles in total and make sure that we have access to all the leading publications in your field. Searching for relevant articles does take a bit of work. Library Search and Google Scholar are both good options and are the quickest way to see if we have something specific. You can also use bibliographic databases. These allow you to enter more complex search strategies and apply limits to make sure that your searches are comprehensive, but that crucially you don’t get overwhelmed with a long list of irrelevant results.
There are lots of other types of literature available as well, including conference proceedings and unpublished academic papers which can be valuable sources of up to date information, giving you an insight into the latest research directions.
Finally, you may of course want to look for literature online. In a fast-moving field such as Business and Management this can be a viable strategy, but you need to be careful to properly evaluate any content which you come across online. Identifying reputable websites can be a useful way to do this and then searching these individually for relevant content.
The final point to make is that if you are struggling to identify relevant literature you can (and should) ask the Library for help! This is one of many things that Librarians are good at — helping people to find relevant things — so please do use the “Help” options on the Library website if you need them. Someone will be able to get in touch with you and help to get your research moving in the right direction.
Finding Management literature
Books, and journal articles (academic and practitioner focused), can likely help us with this task. If you are unfamiliar with the characteristics of these, you should take a few minutes to work through our My Learning Essentials resource on types of information. It will help you to discover more about the different information types and when they are likely to be useful:
PLEASE EMBED KNOW YOUR SOURCES HERE
Searching for Books using Library search
PLEASE EMBED 03–2–2.3 (LIBRARY SEARCH)
- Access our Library search system.
- Run a search for “social media marketing” using the link above
- Use the “Resource type” filter on the left and select books
- Browse through the titles — Books which are available “online” can be accessed electronically
Searching for journal articles using Google Scholar
PLEASE EMBED 03–3.0 GOOGLE SCHOLAR
- Run a search for “social media marketing” using Google Scholar
- Click the option for articles “Since 2019” (Top left of screen)
- Have a look through some of the articles
Searching for journal articles using a database
PLEASE EMBED 03–1.6 (Searching a subject database)
- For this activity we are going to use the Business Source Premier database which should provide useful results.
- Access the database using the link above
- The database allows us to enter multiple search terms and concepts.
- Try the following search — as you begin to enter the terms you should see the option to enter multiple related terms appear as an option:
“advertising or advertisement or ads or commercial or marketing”
“social media or facebook or twitter or instagram or snapchat or tumblr or social networking”
“demographic or age or gender or sex or ethnicity or education”
- Run the search
- You will now see a list of articles on the subject — some will be more useful than others! — you can use the Filters on the left hand side to narrow your focus
Market research reports
Market research is a very valuable commodity in the corporate environment, and there is a lot of it out there in the information landscape. As a quick example, if I were to run a search using the terms “market research vacuum cleaners” on a popular internet search engine that begins with G, I would be presented with over 6 million results!
You can try this yourself if you don’t believe us, but the other thing you would notice is that if you try to access this information, you are going to need a very healthy bank balance.
You will usually find a brief overview of what’s in the report, but access to the whole thing does not come cheap, potentially 1000s of pounds or dollars at least.
We’re assuming you don’t want to pay that much money for a report on vacuum cleaners (or whatever the market is you are researching)? If so, then you can use the Library’s databases to provide you with access to reports from top providers such as Mintel or Euromonitor (Passport).
We subscribe to several different providers, and our academic subscription package will give you access to thousands of different reports covering a wide range of sectors.
Typically a report will provide a range of quantitative and qualitative data which will be specific to a particular sector and region (such as Insurance in the UK), a particular product (such as Vacuum Cleaners), or sometimes around consumer behaviour patterns in various countries.
They are a really good source of information if you want to get a better understanding of how a market is behaving, and perhaps more importantly, how it is likely to behave in the future.
Companies such as Mintel have years of experience in the field of market intelligence. Their success comes from ensuring that their analytics are as accurate as possible by ensuring their analysts create the right sort of questions to ask, to the right sort of demographic of consumers.
Once the answers are collated and analysed, they will provide a real sense of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in your chosen market.
You’ll also find definitions of the market, its current size, and some descriptions of latest activities and strategies which are being worked on by leading companies operating within the sector.
Market research databases
Most people are familiar with the name Mintel; they are after all one of the world’s leading providers of market research! Our academic package mainly provides access to consumer industry focused reports such as Clothing and Footwear, Food and Drink or Financial Services; our package only provides access to UK focused reports, but the interface is simple and straightforward to use.
The strength here is the much greater range of focus. You will find reports from over 200 different countries with defined focus on various Industries, economies or consumer behaviours.
ACTIVITY — Search the Mintel database
- Access Mintel from the link provided (you will need to enter your university username and password).
- Type “fashion sustainability” in the search box.
- Access the report “Fashion & Sustainability Inc impact of COVID 19 — September 2020”.
- Scroll down to the “Report content” section — You can open up various sections of the report using the links — have a look through some of the content which is available.
Trade and Industry news — podcast (Phil)
Most people get their news sources online these days; I know we certainly do! However, I’m sure like us you often get frustrated by endless popup adverts, requirements to agree to “terms of service” and “privacy policies” and then more often than not you’ll eventually be invited to pay some sort of subscription fee (once you have read a certain amount of enticing content).
The most obvious example that springs to mind here is the Financial Times; you can’t easily read their journalism for free! However, in that individual case, you can get access to the full FT.com site from the AMBS school-wide subscription; there are instructions on how to sign up for access to that in Blackboard if you haven’t already taken advantage of it.
For other sources, you might want to look at such as the Wall Street Journal or the New York times you can access this content for free using one of our Library databases called Factiva which we look at in more detail in the next section.
Factiva contains articles from key media sources worldwide and you can filter your display to show the latest articles from top North American, South American, European and Asian publications. It’s a really useful feature if you want to stay informed without paying out countless monthly subscription fees!
In addition to the mainstream media sources you should also find the trade news feature within Factiva. Say you were researching “Airlines”; if you are looking for the latest commentaries on the impact of social, political and economic events these can be the place to go. You’ll usually find analysis of company announcements, financial results or the impacts of government legislation; the likely impact of recent events such as Covid-19 will also be featured here so it can be a really useful way to keep on top of industry developments.
We have another very useful source for your programme called WARC; short for World Advertising Research Centre. This is great for analysis of actual marketing strategies and analysis of new product launches and advertising campaigns. It’s also very easy to use.
As with all news sources caution is required, as often what you are reading will be informed speculation but there’s loads of advice available in the post below about this aspect as well. The first post discusses this in detail, while the second goes into more detail about how to use the specific databases to filter for various countries, industries etc.
Trade and industry news databases — Factiva and WARC
Factiva is a HUGE database! The key to creating an effective search is to make use of the many options to limit results, alongside the main search box.
You will find a demonstration of how the database works in the Business Data Service’s online guide which relates to finding specific publications within Trade and Industry news. Have a look at the section relating to Factiva to get a better idea of how the product works.
ProQuest have also produced a very comprehensive guide to Factiva and the various functions available. The Company and News pages in particular are great ways to quickly scan through for the latest news and developments in your area of interest.
World Advertising Research Centre (WARC)
WARC is an excellent choice of research tool as coverage is focused in the area of marketing and communications, and advertising. You can use the Latest feature to select News and Opinion. This gives access to stories from industry leading publications such as Admap. You can find out more about the level of coverage at the WARC ‘About us’ page.
The database also provides access to case studies related to various companies and the campaigns they have run.
ACTIVITY — WARC Database
- Access WARC from the link provided.
- Use the “Case Finder” link at the top left of the screen.
- You can now enter search terms, or use the drop down menus to build a set of criteria.
- Type “adidas” in the search box; Then click the “Find cases” button.
- This will give you an idea of the type of information you can find within cases.
- Return to the case builder and try out some searches using different companies.
Economic and Demographic information — podcast
You can find statistics everywhere and we are often bombarded by them on a daily basis from the news, twitter, our friends, the internet…“did you know that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the population?”
Anyone can publish statistics and this can range from the Government, International Agencies like the World Health Organisation and private companies like Coca Cola; this is not an exclusive list as stats can come from everywhere! Access to this information can be free as in the examples of the UK Government website, the Office of National Statistics but in general this information and the analysis that goes with it can be very expensive.
The important question is how do you as a student at Manchester find statistical sources which will answer your questions? And how do you find ‘quality’ information to back up your theory, your idea or your point of view?
The resources that the Library subscribes to contains both the data and the analysis of the data which you can then use for your coursework.
The Library has a very useful subject guide focused around statistical information —it provides you with links to resources which cover the UK, the EU and International datasets — we will provide you with a link to this in the following section. For our final activity we will explore one of the databases contained within the guide; Statista.
This describes itself as the “Global №1 Business Data Platform” including “Insights and facts across 600 industries and 50+ countries”. Its statistics coverage ranges from the number of active users of Facebook 2008–2020 to the global prices you’d pay to eat a Big Mac!
Accessing the Statistics subject guide and Statista
Statistics subject guide
The Data and statistics subject guide can be accessed from the link provided. Bookmark this page as it provides some useful information about how to understand and interpret data, alongside links to resources for UK, EU and International data sources.
For our finally activity we will have a look at a popular statistical data platform — Statista. This provides access to statistics and studies gathered by market researchers, trade organizations, scientific publications, and government sources on over 600 industries.
ACTIVITY — Statista
- Access Statista using the link provided
- Type “fashion industry uk” into the search box
- You will see the following screen
- Individual statistics can be accessed using the “Statistics” on the left hand side
- “Dossiers” marked in orange are a collection of statistics focused around a particular theme
- Access the dossier for “Apparel market in the United Kingdom (UK)” — it should appear in your initial list of results
- Have a look at the table of contents — dossiers can be downloaded in full as pdf
- Alternatively if you just want an individual statistic from the report you can access this using the search menu
- Copy and paste the text “Revenue growth of the apparel market in the UK 2013–2025” into the search box
- Click on the link provided — you should now be able to view the individual data
The Business Data service produced a series of more detailed guides on these topics during the summer of 2020 to support AMBS students who were conducting dissertation research. you may find it useful to consult these guides as you progress through your Masters programme. They go into more detail than we have here, and also include details of other useful databases.
PLEASE EMBED STANDARD CONTENT FOR REQUESTING HELP HERE