Outstanding Business Reference Sources 2018

BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee contributing members: Holly Inglis, selections editor; Felipe Anaya, Chair; Adele Barsh, nominations coordinator; Tom Diamond; Wendy Girven; Julia Martin; Lauren Reiter; Genifer Snipes; and Kendra Spahr.

Correspondence concerning this column should be addressed to Holly Inglis, Public Services Librarian, Milt Harris Library, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; email: holly.inglis@rotman.utoronto.ca.

Each year, the Business Reference Sources Committee of BRASS selects the outstanding business reference sources published since May of the previous year. This year, the committee reviewed twenty-one entries; of these, one was designated as “Outstanding,” seven as “Notable,” and two as a “Notable New Edition.” To qualify for the award, the title must meet the conventional definition of reference: a work compiled specifically to supply information on a certain subject or group of subjects in a form that will facilitate its ease of use. The works are examined for the following: authority and reputation of the publisher, author, or editor; accuracy; appropriate bibliography; organization; comprehensiveness; value of the content; currency; distinctive addition; ease of use for the intended purpose; quality and accuracy of index; and quality and usefulness of graphics and illustrations. Additional criteria for electronic reference titles are accuracy of links, search features, stability of content, and graphic design. Works selected must be suitable for medium to large-size academic and public libraries.


Routledge Companion to Business Ethics. Edited by Eugene Heath, Byron Kaldis, and Alexei Marcoux. New York: Routledge, 2018. $220 hardcover (ISBN: 9781138789562) Contact the publisher for e-book pricing. (ISBN 9781315764818).

This single-volume reference handbook covers the field of business ethics, describing key concepts and outlining its themes by placing them in their broader economic, political, legal and cultural contexts. In doing so, this handbook provides a current snapshot of global business ethics practices and scholarship, and highlights key trends. The intended audiences are students new to business ethics, scholars and the interested layperson. Its contents include 39 chapters that tell the history of business ethics as a discipline, its philosophical and economic underpinnings, core concepts and international perspectives. An international group of three editors and 46 contributors addressed the established principles, then went out of their way to author new content, specifically re-examining the canonic assumptions. This Routledge Companion easily becomes the latest entry among the respected one-volume reference works explaining business ethics, such as Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics (2010), Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility (2008) and Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management: Business Ethics (1997, 2005).

The Companion’s contents fall into eight thematic units: development of the discipline and its pedagogy; foundational theories about moral philosophies and business; business ethics theories; other key concepts influencing business ethics in organizations; economic institutions; roles and responsibilities within the firm; multinational corporations and globalization; and business ethics in emerging and transitional geographic regions. Across the eight themes, each individual chapters’ contents are detailed yet wide-ranging, and concludes with a bibliography that highlights essential readings and points to related topics contained within the Companion. It has a 27-page index, which is linked in the e-book format. The level of indexing is strong, and fits well the complexity of content, and most chapters also have well-indexed reference work elements, such as definitions, taxonomies and tables. Although this handbook is not arranged as a ready-reference collection of definitions, its indexing aids that function well.

Notable chapters include updated treatments of the impact of feminist ethics on the field, and business ethics through the lens of the major world religious beliefs. Emerging topics appear integrated within their larger thematic context, e.g., the ethical aspects of business innovation within the economics chapter, and the money and finance chapter goes beyond its expected focus on the ethics of markets to address the roles of financial intermediaries, crowdfunding and alternative finance. This Companion also covers the state of the business school curriculum debate (stand-alone ethics course vs. ethics integration throughout the curriculum) that has been ongoing for 20+ years, addressing current thinking in a useful way that brings the reader quickly up-to-speed.

What is outstanding is that this handbook achieves its goal to break ground by refreshing entries on the canon of business ethics, while offering a broad geographic and cultural context for understanding the field. There is a good mix of academic and applied material, but its point-of-view is decidedly academic in nature. The academic theory may not interest all public library patrons, but its succinct treatment makes its contents accessible to both academics and laypeople, making the Companion excellent for both academic and larger public libraries.—Adele L. Barsh, UC San Diego


The Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy. Edited by Evan Selinger, Jules Polenetsky, and Omer Tene. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 601 p. $150 hardcover (ISBN: 978-1-10718-110-6). Contact the publisher for e-book pricing. (ISBN: 978-1-316-85927-8).

The collecting, analyzing, and processing of consumer privacy information is leading policymakers to discuss the thorny and complicated legal, ethical, economic, and technological issues of protecting the public’s best interests and balancing the pragmatic and legitimate interests of businesses and governments to use this information. With the implementation of the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Framework, which streamlines the usage of individuals’ personal information by businesses, and the furor over Cambridge Analytica’s usage of users’ Facebook information, consumer privacy issues are now hot button discussion topics. Cambridge University Press’s The Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy is a welcome and much needed comprehensive review of consumer privacy issues.

The Handbook’s collection of thirty-two contributed chapters is carefully crafted by three consumer privacy scholars: Evan Selinger (Rochester Institute of Technology), Jules Polonetsky (CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum), and Omer Tene (International Association of Privacy Professionals). Selinger and Tene are also senior fellows at the Future of Privacy Forum.

The editors enlist the contributions of scholars, business leaders, and policymakers to tackle a wide variety of consumer privacy topics. Other topics discussed include big data analytics, student privacy, Do Not Track, consumer protection, privacy statements, privacy notices, the role of the Federal Trade Commission, and the EU’s Right to be Forgotten. Each chapter provides footnoted resources, including court cases, for the reader to pursue for additional information. The print source regrettably lacks a comprehensive index, but the electronic version does provide a keyword search tool.

The usage of personal information for political, economic, and socioeconomic purposes is fast becoming a mainstream issue and deserves greater scrutiny. The Handbook is an excellent and unique one-stop source for researchers, privacy advocates, and legal scholars to delve into these issues. The breadth and depth of topical coverage signifies the critical importance of consumer privacy in the digital age. This book would be an excellent addition to academic, law, and corporate library collections.—Tom Diamond, Louisiana State University

The Cambridge Handbook of Research Approaches to Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility. Edited by Patricia H. Werhane, R. Edward Freeman, and Sergiy Dmytriyev. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 322 p. $125 hardcover (ISBN: 9781107150690), Contact the publisher for e-book pricing. (ISBN: 9781108548670).

The Cambridge Handbook of Research Approaches to Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility is a compilation of overviews on a wide range of research approaches and methods used in business ethics scholarship. As a multidisciplinary and growing area of study, the editors note that business ethics does not have an established set of research approaches, and this text provides a starting point and reference tool for those embarking on research, as well as those interested in new methodologies to employ in the field of business ethics.

Strengths of The Cambridge Handbook of Research Approaches to Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility include the organizational structure and distinctive expert content, which allow this handbook to function well as a reference resource. The text’s twenty chapters are organized into three parts. Part I covers philosophical approaches, with chapters on historical and normative approaches; Part II introduces empirical methods, including chapters on qualitative, quantitative, mixed-method, experimental, and case study approaches; and Part III comprises chapters on the role of the business ethics researcher. In Parts I and II, each chapter provides an in-depth overview of a specific research approach and the chapter titles help clearly identify the research approach under discussion (ex. “Quantitative Content Analysis as a Method for Business Ethics Research”), which, along with the index, make the resource easy to navigate and explore.

The Cambridge Handbook of Research Approaches to Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility is an excellent addition to an academic business library. It would be most useful for advanced students and researchers in business ethics and related fields.—Lauren Reiter, Penn State University

The Handbook for Market Research for Life Science Companies: Finding the Answers You Need to Understand Your Market. By Jean-François Denault. CRC Press, 2017. 201 p. $149.95 cloth (ISBN: 978-1138713574). $59.95 paper (ISBN: 978-1138713567). Contact the publisher for e-book pricing. (ISBN: 9781315198606).

Jean-François Denault’s handbook is an excellent resource for health science researchers who are new entrepreneurs and unfamiliar with market research. It is designed to help scientists see the importance of product markets and link market needs to product success. First, primary and secondary research are explained. In the chapter on primary research, designing a data collection tool (including defining context, building a question bank, and building the questionnaire), validating the tool, formulating questions (including how to use close-ended, open-ended, projective, and choice modeling questions), things to watch for, and incentives are discussed. Data collection methods such as in-depth interviews, focus groups, traditional surveys, online surveys, the Delphi method, observation, and mystery shopping are explained.

Next, both straightforward secondary information sources such as government information and more circuitous ways to glean information, such as from companies and online communities are suggested. The following chapter discusses analyzing data using traditional statistical methods for quantitative and qualitative research. Perhaps new to scientists, but familiar to those in business, the following chapter describes common business models (SWOT, SCORE, TAM-SAM-SOM, Kano, and the strategic triangle) as a framework for telling the market’s story. He concludes with tips on presenting information, especially to potential financial supporters, rather than scientific colleagues. The book is very well organized with information divided into easily digestible sections with helpful tables and figures to illustrate concepts. Mr. Denault’s fifteen years of working with innovators and entrepreneurs in the life sciences has resulted in a handbook that any scientist taking on market research for the first time will find helpful.—Julia Martin, University of Toledo

Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership. Edited by Susan R. Madsen. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2017. 496 p. $290.00 hardcover (ISBN: 9781785363856), $65.00 paperback (ISBN: 9781788119740). Contact the publisher for e-book pricing. (ISBN: 9781785363863).

Despite the progress in increasing the number of women in leadership positions, women are still underrepresented at the top in all types of organizations. The Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership, edited by Susan R. Madsen, Orin R. Woodbury Professor of Leadership and Ethics at Utah Valley University, provides new insights as to why challenges remain with providing women leadership opportunities and proposes new solutions to advancing women in organizations.

Organizationally, the handbook is divided into five parts. The first section reviews the current status of women leaders and describes why this work remains an important subject. Next, women and leadership theories are examined through six viewpoints: overarching, social psychology, sociology, sociolinguistics, organizational behavior, and human resource development. Part three looks at women’s aspirations and motivations to take leadership positions, while the next section examines some of the unique challenges and barriers women face. Each of these four parts leads to the final section, “Developing Women Leaders,” which provides guidance for preparing and supporting women for leadership positions. This section covers the importance of fostering developmental relationships and networks, the place of women-only leadership programs, and future strategies for developing women leaders. In addition, these strategies can be applied across a variety of organizations, from the corporate setting to nonprofits and academia. While this handbook succeeds in providing an overview of the issues surrounding women and leadership, it could be better at addressing the unique challenges women of color face in gaining leadership positions and provide solutions. The twenty-seven chapters of this handbook are written by over fifty contributors at institutions both within the United States and abroad. References at the end of each chapter and an index are also included.

While there is a growing body of scholarship on the subject of gender and leadership, there remains a need for additional thinking and solutions. The Handbook of Research on Gender and Leadership provides scholars and practitioners with the tools to begin new conversations and seek answers for improving the status of women in leadership. This work is a noteworthy resource for inclusion in business collections at academic libraries.—Felipe Anaya, Seattle University

Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship and Leadership. Edited by Richard T. Harrison and Claire M. Leitch. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2018. 512 p. $240 Hardcover (ISBN: 9781783473755). Contact the publisher for e-book pricing. (ISBN: 9781783473762).

The authors of the Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship and Leadership state that the handbook “for the first time produces a systematic overview of the entrepreneurial leadership field,” intended to bring together existing theory and encourage new thinking in this area. It is divided into six parts, including the introduction and the future directions that the book closes with. In between are sections on theoretical perspectives on leadership and entrepreneurship, leadership in entrepreneurial contexts, applications of entrepreneurial leadership, and entrepreneurial leadership and learning.

The research throughout includes experiences of female entrepreneurs; a step outside of Euro-American concepts of entrepreneurial leadership to look at Islamic entrepreneurship leadership; strategic leadership; leadership in developing a venture; and developing leadership in sustainable organizations.

Part 6, Future Directions, discusses the issues in entrepreneurship leadership that focus on a masculine leadership style and outline a research agenda for a gendered analysis of entrepreneurial leadership that could also be used for additional diversity studies.

There are two chapters that will be of particular interest to post-secondary researchers studying entrepreneurship leadership. Chapter 14 is a review of entrepreneurship leadership learning in universities, looking at student leaders of university entrepreneurship clubs and projects and chapter 18 analyses issues of entrepreneurial universities for not only universities, but policy-makers and other stakeholders.

The index could be more in-depth (for example, it is missing university but does have entries for entrepreneurial university) but users should be able to navigate to find what they need.

The global scope of the contributors, primarily from the UK as well as Switzerland, the US, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, adds to the appeal for researchers looking for an international perspective. Recommended for academic libraries interested in entrepreneurship research related to leadership, both in theory and in practice.—Holly Inglis, University of Toronto

The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research Methods. Edited by Catherine Cassell, Ann L. Cunliffe, and Gina Grandy. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2018. 2 vols. 1056 p. $325 hardcover (ISBN: 9781473926622). Contact the publisher for e-book pricing. (ISBN: 9781526430243).

In the introduction to The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research Methods, the editors state that it is their intention to provide a comprehensive overview of the traditions that inform qualitative research in business and management as well as to highlight contemporary methods that are being used by researchers today. Interest in qualitative research in business and management is growing, and qualitative methods are now used by scholars in sub-disciplines of business, such as accounting and finance, that have typically been associated with quantitative analysis. The editors have put together a collection of chapters that address common debates around qualitative research (i.e., philosophical approaches and quality criteria) as well as represent the diversity of methods, both traditional and innovative, that are being used by researchers. Quality criteria debates around qualitative research in business and management have focused on how quality is defined and whether standardization of criteria by journal editors will inhibit creativity. Methodological developments covered by the Handbook include sewing, collages, ethnographic documentaries, netnography, and fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis.

The Handbook is arranged into two thematic volumes: “History and Traditions” and “Methods and Challenges.” Volume one covers the foundations of qualitative research in business and management and is divided into four parts: “Influential Traditions,” “Research Designs,” “The Researcher,” and “Challenges.” Volume two is focused on methods and arranged into three parts: “Contemporary Methods,” “Visual Methods,” and “Methodological Developments.”

The Handbook would be valuable for a range of researchers, from advanced undergraduate or graduate students who want to familiarize themselves with foundational philosophies and commonly used qualitative methods in business to experienced researchers who are interested in emerging trends and innovative methods. Each chapter has an extensive reference list for readers who want to explore a topic further. This book would be an excellent addition for academic libraries with business programs.—Kendra Spahr, Kansas State University

The SAGE Handbook of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Edited by Robert Blackburn, Dirk De Clercq, and Jarna Heinonen. London: SAGE Publications, 2018. 680 p. $175 hardcover. (ISBN: 978-1-473-92523-6)

Within the fast-moving evolution of entrepreneurial studies, the strong established link between entrepreneurship and small business remains relevant. As noted by the editors in the introduction of The SAGE Handbook of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, “the field of entrepreneurship and small business studies has been one of the most vibrant and expansive in business and management.” Breaking down the literature into topics, the Handbook is divided into four parts comprising People and Entrepreneurial Process, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Organization, Entrepreneurial Milieu, and Researching Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Each section of the volume explores the existing and future research directions, while also detailing the topics and subfields linked to entrepreneurship and small business that have emerged and developed over the last decade.

The goal of the Handbook is to take stock of past research and push the research agenda forward, while also giving a foundational base for the multidisciplinary researchers who engage with the discipline as it grows in both practice and within the higher education curriculum. The Handbook has an impressive and diverse international panel of academic contributors, each of whom bring expert knowledge and global perspective to this evolving discipline.

With the increased landscape of research on the field, distinct and nuanced areas have emerged. The Handbook explores areas including leadership, family, business, entrepreneurial learning, and critical perspectives, which capture a comprehensive view of the scholarly developments. Exploring these topics from a variety of methodologies and contexts, the Handbook is an ideal book for researchers, analysts, and postgraduate students as well as others who seek to understand the foundation and future of entrepreneurship in the small business context.—Wendy Jo Girven, University of New Hampshire

Notable New Edition

A Dictionary of Finance and Banking. Edited by John Law. London: Oxford University Press, 2018. 511 p. $19.95 paperback (ISBN: 978-0-1987-8974-1). Contact the publisher for e-book pricing. (ISBN: 978-0-1918-3143-0).

In the five years since the 5th edition of A Dictionary of Finance and Banking was published in 2014, the global finance scene has undergone significant global expansion and seen the development of many new banking practices and technologies. Accordingly, the sixth edition of the Dictionary has been fully revised and updated with 150 new entries related to Brexit, international accounting terminology, and emerging finance and banking topics such as bitcoin, Pac-Man defense, and development banking. Due to these significant changes, the sixth edition of the Dictionary of Finance and Banking deserves recognition as a notable new edition.

The Dictionary is available in both print and online format through the Oxford Reference platform. The print edition is a basic alphabetically ordered dictionary with cross-referenced terms embedded in individual entries, but no other indexing system. The online version, as expected, offers more advanced discovery features including a complete A-Z index for easy browsing and searching. The Oxford Reference platform’s search algorithm allows for some automatic word variation and word stemming as well as full-text searching, increasing its usefulness for finance and banking terminology novices. Within individual entries, linked cross-references connect entries with other terms and concepts defined elsewhere in the dictionary.

Although the new edition still contains much of the same information as the previous edition, its value is significantly increased by its expanded coverage of global finance and development banking terminology just as these concepts are becoming more visible in the classroom and discussions of the field. Due to its concise definitions and non-technical examples, the Dictionary of Finance and Banking would be most useful in academic or public libraries looking to provide their undergraduate and public patrons with an expert and understandable introduction to the terminology of the banking and finance world.—Genifer Snipes, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

Encyclopedia of African American Business. Updated and Revised Edition. Edited by Jessie Carney Smith. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2018. 555 p. $198 hardcover (ISBN: 978-1-44085-027-1). Contact the publisher for e-book pricing. (ISBN: 978-1-4408-5028-8).

Entrepreneurial and leadership activities are integral components that weave their way throughout African American history. From the 18th century to the present, African American business owners, business leaders, and businesses owned by women played and are still playing an essential role in the development of the black community. This history needs to be continually written and shared with the global community. The Encyclopedia of African American Business performs this service in an admirable fashion.

Jessie Carney Smith, PhD, continues to serve as the editor of this updated and revised edition and assembles a stellar group of librarians, archivists, university professors, and business leaders who contribute entries.

Each entry includes references (e.g., books, articles, web pages) for the reader to obtain additional information. The electronic version includes a source citation in MLA 8th edition and links to other entries that relate to the entry being viewed. The updated and revised edition includes new biographical information such as fashion designer Zelda Wynn Valdes in the Fashion Industry entry, separate entries for new topics such as Social Media and Marketing, and an added emphasis on African American women entrepreneurs. A six-page Selected Bibliography at the end of the set provides an additional wealth of resources for the curious or the serious researcher.

The two-volume set is very well indexed. The indexes include an alphabetical list of entries for each volume, a guide to related topics (e.g., Financial Institutions/Investments; Religion, Philanthropy, Entrepreneurship; Women), and African American business leaders by occupation. An excellent comprehensive index rounds out the second volume; the electronic version provides links to the topics and subjects. The indexing is one of the strengths of this work.

The Encyclopedia of African American Business is an outstanding collection of stories that document the critical role of African American businesses, entrepreneurs, and especially women entrepreneurs. This is a perfect resource for academic and public library collections.—Tom Diamond, Louisiana State University


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