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BA 265: Business 265: Management and Organizational Behavior

Questions to Ask

Before you begin company research, you should know a little bit of information about your company. 

  1. Is the company public or private?
  2. Is the company a subsidiary?
  3. Is the company American or international?

Image Source:  Ben Schumin.   CC By-SA 2.5.  Wikimedia Commons.

  • Private companies are more difficult to research because they are privately owned; they do not have to disclose any information to the public.
  • Public companies are easiest to research. They are regulated by the government (in the U.S., it's the SEC), sell shares to the general public, and must publically report company and financial information.
  • Subsidiary companies will not have their own annual reports, and you may not find information on them in the resources listed on this page. You'll need to determine who the parent company is and research the parent company.  Journal articles will be a major source for information on subsidiaries.
  • International companies also may not be included in databases, such as Business Source Complete.

Company Information

Company profiles provide succinct overviews of a company.  The often include company history, key facts, top executives, major products and services, competitors, and locations/subsidiaries.

Compare Multiple Companies in LexisNexis Academic

  • On the Search by Subject or Topic drop-down, Select Company Dossier to navigate to the Company Dossier product.
  • Click on the Compare Companies tab at the top.
  • Type in the names of the companies you would like to compare. 
  • Click the compare button. You are able to compare up to five companies at a time.

Annual Reports

"Publicly traded companies that meet certain criteria are required to file financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

One of those reports is the 10-K, a document filed annually that  is sometimes referred to as a company's annual report. 

Because the 10-K includes a tremendous amount of detail and legal jargon, most companies also produce a more reader-friendly annual report that typically contains product information, photographs, charts,  a letter from the CEO, and other company and financial data." Source: IRIN

SEC filings

A 10-K, which is a report filed by publicly owned companies with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), provides information such as company history, organizational structure, executive compensation, equity, subsidiaries, and audited financial statements.

Following are resources that will help you find company 10-K reports.