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A current awareness resource for students & faculty members in Business & Economics

On meal kits and primary market research...

Published by Mark Bodnar

Line drawing of a bowl with chopsticksOur intrepid BUS 345 students are embarking on a primary market research project focused on meal kits this term, so I thought I'd repost (with updates) a mini-guide I created to support a similar assignment a couple years ago. Even if you aren't in BUS 345, this post might give you a sense of the secondary resources available to establish the context for efficient & effective primary market research.

The students have a huge amount of flexibility when it comes to choosing the research questions they want to explore, so it would be difficult to suggest specific resources and search strategies for them. Instead, I thought I'd try a different approach:

Simple line drawing of two people with a light bulb above them to indicate creative ideasI'll highlight just a few of the possible research questions to give you a sense of the range of research that goes into marketing (section A below). I'll aim to demonstrate the amount of lateral/creative thinking that a market researcher has to do, but my list won't be anywhere near as detailed as that of a real marketer.

Then I'll list the guides and blog posts that cover the sorts of resources I'd normally use to answer such questions (section B).

Finally, I'll return to the target product and talk about research resources that are specifically about meal kits (section C).

Here we go...   <Read on!>

Learn about financial markets... and earn a certificate! BMC is now online at SFU

Published by Mark Bodnar
​​Bloomberg Market Concepts certificateIs it possible to excel in any area of business or economics without a basic understanding of financial markets... of how bonds, equities, and currencies are valued, and of how those values are affected by changes in major economic indicators such as GDP? I'd argue it is not.

I'm not saying someone focused on, for example, human resource management needs to be an expert in all the esoteric inner workings of finance, just that an awareness of the jargon and the underlying structure of financial markets will undoubtedly be useful and even required at some point.

And if you need to learn such things anyhow, why not get a certification you can proudly list in your CV and your LinkedIn profile? All SFU students can now complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) certification program online with no charge!

<Read on for details!>

New research starting point: Management section in Oxford Bibliographies Online

Published by Mark Bodnar
When I'm starting to research a topic that is new to me, I usually hope to quickly get a sense of the topic overall, answering such questions as...
  • How is the field of research structured? What are the major subtopics and how do they interrelate?
  • What have we learned so far, and what are the gaps in our knowledge on the topic?
  • What are the major articles and books about the topic — the ones that confirmed long-suspected theories or broke new ground and that now serve as the foundations upon which new research is building?
  • What are the key journals and who are the key people? That is, where should I start searching for newer information on the topic? 
These are, of course, easy questions to ask, but they are often much harder to answer!

<Read on to learn about a new solution to such simple-but-complex needs!>

Making of the Modern World (Part IV): Deep coverage of the "Age of Capital"!

Published by Mark Bodnar
I'm pleased to report that SFU researchers now have access to Part IV of the Making of the Modern World online resource. We already owned the first three parts, covering 1450-1945. This new module expands and deepens the content available from the 1800-1890 period. ​ <Read on for details about Part IV's "definitive coverage of the 'Age of Capital,' the industrial revolution, and the High Victorian Era"!>

Spread the word! Special pre-construction request period (Apr. 1-30) for books from the 5th floor of our Bennett/Burnaby library!

Published by Mark Bodnar
As you may have heard, the 5th floor of WAC Bennett Library has been closed since November 2022 when asbestos-containing debris was found in the area. The university is now moving forward with an asbestos abatement project, which means that the 5th floor books will continue to be inaccessible for approximately one year. 

We are taking several steps to provide access to our 5th floor collections, including opening a requesting period for 5th floor books (April 1-30, 2023)

<Read on for all the important details!>

Never miss an issue: setting up email alerts for The Economist

Published by Mark Bodnar
Earlier this week I wrote about an expansion to our archive of The Economist. I've since had a flood of questions (okay, two) about the more recent Economist issues — specifically about how to get alerted each time a new issue is available.

I'm avoiding other work right now, so I thought I'd have some fun and share the good news with you all: email alerts about new issues of The Economist are both feasible and super easy to set up!  Here's the shortest possible route...

<Read on for the 3 simple steps!>

The Economist Archive: expanded to 178 years of economic goodness

Published by Mark Bodnar
Logo for The Economist magazineI'm pleased to report that SFU Library has expanded its online archive of The Economist. If I were asked about must-read news publications that cross the border between the realms of business & economics, The Economist magazine would probably be near the top of the list, so more is definitely better in this case! 

<Read on for details!>

Alert + workaround: Business articles (incl. HBR) not showing in Library Search results

Published by Mark Bodnar
​ About half of the articles in our Business Source Complete database are not showing up in Library Search or Catalogue results. This includes almost all of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) articles.

The articles are all still available in Business Source Complete — we haven't lost them entirely!

We're working on fixing this issue, but in the meantime please...

<Read on for simple workarounds and no loss of access!>

Slow down and read one of these new BUS/ECON ebooks!

Published by Mark Bodnar
Simple line drawing of robot running on a treadmill.I've found this term to be like a treadmill stuck on the super-fast-can't-stop-help! setting — but I finally managed to catch my breath over the last few days. (Thank you, Reading Week!)

Once I had a chance to slow down, I thought I'd take a quick look back at the many economics & business ebooks we've added to the collection recently. And, because the human brain is an amazing pattern-detection machine (which is both good & bad), I immediately starting seeing trends and categories...

<Read on for dozens of new titles on project management, corruption, innovation, and more!>