Definition of business study

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Definition of business study
Business study can provide a good basis for a career. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Business is the process of selling and buying. It also refers to the activities that begin with the production of products and services, and ends with the use or consumption of these by customers. Business study is the academic investigation of the practical and theoretical ways in which business works. This investigation develops business skills among students when they research relevant topics and conduct case studies.

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Topics

Business study covers a group of topics that vary according to the course a student undertakes. Examples of general topics are global business, business plans, financial management, information technology, employment relations and marketing. Specialist business study topics include business ethics, which examines the values of organisations, and e-business, which looks at the management of internet-based companies. Universities and other educational establishments that run business study courses give details of topics in their prospectuses.

Skills

The purpose of business study is to teach students business-related skills. These skills are wide-ranging and include communication techniques, project management, problem resolution, teamwork, leadership, critical thinking and decision-making. Students learn specific skills in each of the modules within a course. The courses also help with the process of learning by showing students how to write business documents such as reports, how to find and assess information, and how to gather and present data.

Research

A central element of business study is academic research. The goal of this is not just to learn through reading but to discover unresolved issues and inconsistencies that prompt thoughts and insights into how business and organisations function. Students conduct such research using strategies and designs. These include the concepts of qualitative and quantitative research. With qualitative business research students analyse relevant literature and conduct interviews. Quantitative research focuses on examining, measuring and analysing business statistics.

Case studies

In business study, qualitative and quantitative research often takes the form of case studies. Students use case studies to examine a specific business topic and gain insights into theories, situations and issues. This approach is common among students who are writing dissertations or theses. In line with qualitative and quantitative methods, research for a case study could take the form of collecting ideas and data from interviews, reports, budget statements and personal observation.

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