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MGT2000: Principles of Management: Basic Company Research

What Kind of Company?

In general, it's easier to find information companies that trade on a stock exchange (public companies) or companies with large public profiles. The business databases will include articles about all types of companies.

Public companies and subsidiaries

  • Consider the public company Yum Brands. You are probably more familiar with its subsidiaries, KFC, Pizza Hit and Taco Bell. There should be plenty of articles about these subsidiaries with their large public profiles.
  • Public companies issue annual reports to shareholders. These reports are usually posted on company websites and at Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Subdiaries don't usuallly offer separate reports

Private companies

  • Private companies don't have to issue annual reports and often can be more difficult to research. An example of a large private enterprise is Perdue Farms, Inc.

Non-Profit Organizations

  • There are sources that track non-profit organizations such as GuideStar
  • It is easier to find information on non-profit organizations with large public profiles such as S. G. Komen for the Cure


Searching Corporate Webpages

For large companies, the corporate webpage should provide many ways to explore the organization and its culture. You may not always find these, but look for

  • Information directed at investors
  • Management structure
  • Management Discussion ( in the 10-K report)
  • Employee information and ethics
  • Social responsibility statements and activities
  • Partnerships with community and civic groups
  • Press releases, videos


Company Databases

Use these sources for a quick overview of a company. Brief descriptions are good places to start along with a company's website. Expect find a brief description of a company's business, the names of executives and occasionally competitors. Each source below also has some unique features as noted.

Selected Websites