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MBAB 5P81: Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Tips on finding an innovative company, finding in-depth information from primary and secondary sources, and citing these sources in APA style.

Dig Deeper for Evidence

Dig DeeperThere are many primary and secondary research sources that you can use to find evidence for your entrepreneurial audit. Here are key links and research tips for each type of source.

Find Information on Company Websites

Research Tip:

Most companies will have a web presence, but keep in mind that many will have both a "public" web site and a "private" web site (e.g. a password-protected intranet or internal site) so you may or may not be able to find out much this way.

What kinds of documents are you after? You want to answer the 5Ws (who, what, where, when, why).

  • Start with the section that says "Our Company" or "About Us".
    • Look for a description of the company's vision, mission, and values.
    • Look for a history of the company, which may include a timeline of key events.
    • Look for an organizational chart or list of key officers/executives, which may include brief biographical sketches.
  • Look for a link that says "News" or "For the Media".
    • Look for press releases or official statements (e.g. written documents, audio recordings, podcasts, webcasts, or transcribed speeches, or corporate videos).
    • Note: corporate videos may be also archived on YouTube or another type of site.
  • Look for a "Human Resources" or "Careers" section for information for prospective employees. This is also a good place to find company policies.
    • If the company web site lacks such information, look at job hunting sites such as Monster or CareerBuilder for insight.
    • There may be career recruiting videos on Youtube (e.g. 3M Careers) as well as the official ones on the company's  careers site.
  • You may need to use the company web site's Site Map to find some of this information, which is typically linked at the header or footer of the home page.

Find Public Company Annual Reports

Research Tip:

  • Annual reports, quarterly reports, and other securities filings for public companies (e.g. management information circulars) are usually posted on a company's web site in an area labeled "Investor Relations". However, companies usually only archive the most recent few years of their reports.
  • If you require access to older annual reports or financial statement data, you should consult one of the following sources:

Research Tip: Finding Corporate Earnings Call Transcripts

Another valuable, but seldom thought of, information source are the transcripts of corporate earnings conference calls. 

  • Corporate earnings conference calls  (generally held quarterly with financial & investment analysts) may be transcribed and archived on the company website.
  • These transcripts are also available through other sources including Fair Disclosure Wire in ABI/Inform Trade & Industry or FD (Fair Disclosure) Wire in LexisNexis Academic Universe. This is useful if you want to search within the full text of several years worth of transcripts for a particular word, phrase or name.

Find Articles & Other Sources about your Company

Research Tip:

You can find in-depth information on your company, or on key executive suite or top management team members,  as reported in secondary sources such as newspaper, magazine, or journal articles and TV or radio transcripts, by searching in one or more of our Library Databases:

Omni (Library Search Engine)

Omni is now your key research tool for finding books, book chapters, DVDs, streaming video content, journal articles, and many other types of publications across all subject areas. For best results, use the Advanced Search option.  

  • Enter your search terms where indicated, but leave the search set to Any Field. This allows you to search the titles, subject headings, table of contents, and abstracts for each source (but not the full text). 
  • You can also find company histories and /or executive biographies by searching by keyword using the Company Name (e.g., Tesla Motors) or an executive's name
  • If you need to narrow your search strategy (to focus the results), try adding additional search terms, or take advantage of the filters available on the Modify Your Results screen.

Find Video Content About Your Company

Research Tip:

Additional information may be gathered from interviews with key executives on television channels such as BNN, CNBC, or via recorded speeches (TED Talks), conference keynotes, etc. Some documentaries are also available as streaming video via our Kanopy database.

Company Financial and Investment Research Sites

  • There are many free and fee-based financial and investment research sites that can provide additional information on your company's financial performance, as well as analyst opinions.
  • Some sites (e.g., Reuters) include information on Mergers & Acquisitions (Deals). Lexis Nexis Academics's Company Dossier also includes Mergers & Acquisitions information.
  • OSIRIS and Factiva are good sources for Ownership data.

Here is a very selective list of mostly-free sites:

Recommended Library Databases: