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IDCH: The past informs the future when it comes to strategic planning

Published November 21, 2014 by Mark Bodnar

It's been a while since we last highlighted our International Directory of Company Histories -- in fact, 10 more volumes have been added to the directory since our last post about it, making 154 volumes in total -- all online for SFU researchers. Each of the thousands of entries in the IDCH provides <deep breath>

... information on founders, expansions and losses, labor/management actions, NAICS codes, key dates, ticker symbol, principal subsidiaries, principal divisions, principal operating units, principle competitors and other significant milestones -- along with with statistics, dates and names of key players.

That's a lot of words. It might make more sense to just browse an entry or two and try to imagine all the ways you could use the information. (I've always been particularly interested in the descriptions of companies' growth strategies.)  Here are some of the organizations covered in the last few volumes:

As you might expect from the title, this directory is very much International in scope. However, the word Companies may be a bit less accurate: in addition to thousands of private and public corporations, the IDCH has entries on many government agencies, sports leagues & teams, and nonprofit organizations. It can be an amazing starting place for many business research topics. The word Histories in the title may also be a bit misleading... It's accurate (the entries are certainly all mini-histories), but it could lead you to think of old, outdated information that couldn't possibly be of value for the strategic decision you need to make today.  That's absolutely not the case! IDCH entries are the foundation upon which any new analysis is built -- how can you talk about where a company should be going if you don't understand where they've been and how they got to where they are now? -- MarkB ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Questions? Here's where to find your local Super Librarians...  :-)

  • Mark Bodnar (Business – Burnaby): mbodnar@sfu.ca
  • Megan Sorenson (Business – Vancouver): megan_sorenson@sfu.ca
  • Ania Dymarz (Business – Surrey): adymarz@sfu.ca
  • Carla Graebner (Economics – Burnaby): cgraebne@sfu.ca