Introduction to Business

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Introduction to Business Course Outline

Role of Business

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Role of Business
  • Getting Down to Business
  • Profits and Purpose
  • Factors of Production
  • Functional Areas of Business
  • Business Stakeholders
  • External Forces
  • Putting It Together: Role of Business
  • Discussion: The Stakeholders of Salty Pawz
  • Discussion: External Factors = Internal Pressure
  • Assignment: What Does a Business Look Like?
  • Assignment: What Is Killing Our Business?

Economics Environment

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Economic Environment
  • What Is Economics?
  • Economic Systems
  • The Law of Demand
  • The Law of Supply
  • Equilibrium
  • Health of the Economy
  • Stages of the Economy
  • Putting It Together: Economic Environment
  • Discussion: Supply and Demand at Salty Pawz
  • Discussion: Supply and Demand in Your Life
  • Assignment: Supply and Demand for Salty Pawz
  • Assignment: Price Inelasticity of Demand

Global Enviroment

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Global Environment
  • Globalization
  • Measuring Global Trade
  • Global Business Strategies
  • Global Trade Forces
  • Global Trade Agreements and Organizations
  • Putting It Together: Global Environment
  • Discussion: Sending Salty Pawz Global
  • Discussion: Made in America
  • Assignment: Taking Salty Pawz to the Global Market

Financial Markets and System

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Financial Markets and System
  • Money
  • Banks
  • Capital
  • Putting It Together: Financial Markets and System
  • Discussion: Why Wanda Cares About the Federal Reserve—or Does She?
  • Discussion: Do You Have Change for a $20?
  • Assignment: Show Wanda the Money
  • Assignment: The Most Powerful Person in the World

Legal Environment

Concepts Covered:

  • Introduction to the Meaning and Purpose of Law
  • The Meaning and Purposes of Law
  • Statutory vs. Common Law
  • Tort Law, Liability, and Damages
  • Intellectual Property
  • Warranties
  • Contracts
  • Consumer Protection and Antitrust Laws
  • Putting It Together: Legal Environment
  • Discussion: They Don’t Sue Dog-Treat Companies, Do They?
  • Discussion: The Product-Liability Debate
  • Assignment: Your Dog Treats Made Fluffy Sick!
  • Assignment: Who Is Suing Whom?

Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Ethical and Legal Behavior
  • Building Business Ethics
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Putting It Together: Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Discussion: It’s Not Stealing if You Pay For It, Is It?
  • Discussion: Are They Simply Guidelines?
  • Assignment: What They Don’t Know Won’t Hurt Me
  • Assignment: Corporate Social Responsibility

Business Ownership

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Business Ownership
  • Choosing an Organizational Type
  • Sole Proprietorships
  • Partnerships
  • Hybrid Forms of Ownership
  • Franchises
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Putting It Together: Business Ownership
  • Discussion: Business Structure Does Matter
  • Discussion: Entrepreneurs and Business Ownership
  • Assignment: Wanda’s Business-Ownership Options
  • Assignment: Franchising—an Alternative to Start-up


Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Entrepreneurship
  • Small Business
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Pros and Cons of Owning a Small Business
  • Ten Steps to Starting a Business
  • Create Your Business Plan
  • Putting It Together: Entrepreneurship
  • Discussion: Wanda’s Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Discussion: Am I an Entrepreneur?
  • Assignment: Dear Wanda’s Mom
  • Assignment: Today’s Hottest Entrepreneurs


Concepts Covered:

  • Management
  • Managers
  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Leading
  • Controlling
  • Putting It Together: Management
  • Discussion: How Does Wanda Manage?
  • Assignment: One Owner, Many Hats
  • Assignment: Are Leaders Born or Made?

Motivating Employees

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Motivating Employees
  • The Hawthorne Studies
  • Need-Based Theories
  • Process-Based Theories
  • Motivational Strategies
  • Putting It Together: Motivating Employees
  • Discussion: Why Isn’t Jamie More Motivated?
  • Discussion: Motivate Me!
  • Assignment: Motivating with Dog Treats?
  • Assignment: What’s Empowerment Got to Do with It?

Teamwork and Communication

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Teamwork and Communication
  • Team Development and Success
  • Effective Communication and Barriers
  • Communication Channels, Flows, Networks
  • Electronic Communication
  • Putting It Together: Teamwork and Communication
  • Discussion: What You Heard Was Not What I Meant
  • Discussion: The Ultimate Cost of Poor Communication
  • Assignment: Teamwork at Salty Pawz
  • Assignment: Multicultural Virtual Work Teams

Managing Processes

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Managing Processes
  • Operations Management
  • Production Processes
  • Mining, Warehousing, and Sharing Data
  • Production Planning
  • New Technologies
  • Supply Chain Management and Logistics
  • Producing for Quality
  • Putting It Together: Managing Processes
  • Discussion: More Than Just Baking Treats
  • Discussion: How Things Are Made
  • Assignment: From Kitchen Baker to Operations Manager

Marketing Function

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Marketing Function
  • The Role of Customers in Marketing
  • Segmentation and Targeting
  • Marketing Mix Introduction
  • Putting It Together: Marketing Function
  • Discussion: Customer Value Perception
  • Discussion: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • Assignment: Customers and Marketing at Salty Pawz
  • Assignment: Hit Your Target

Marketing Mix

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Marketing Mix
  • Product Marketing
  • Pricing Strategies
  • Place: Distribution Channels
  • Promotion: Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)
  • Putting It Together: Marketing Mix
  • Discussion: The Four Ps of the Competition
  • Discussion: Marketing Mix
  • Assignment: I Can See the Four Ps of Marketing
  • Assignment: The Four Ps of Gourmet Dog Treats

Human Resource Management

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Human Resource Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Employment Legislation
  • Recruitment and Hiring
  • Training, Development, and Rewards
  • Terminations
  • HR Challenges
  • Putting It Together: Human Resource Management
  • Discussion: People Won’t Work for Dog Treats!
  • Discussion: Are Interviews a Waste of Time?
  • Assignment: Wanda’s Hiring Approach, or How to Be Sued in One Easy Lesson
  • Assignment: Career Choices

Accounting and Finance

Concepts Covered:

  • Why It Matters: Accounting and Finance
  • What Is Accounting?
  • Financial Statements
  • Financial Ratio Analysis
  • Ethics in Accounting
  • Putting It Together: Accounting and Finance
  • Discussion: Cooking More Than Dog Treats
  • Discussion: CPAs and Financial Crisis
  • Assignment: Bison Are Biting into Wanda’s Break-Even Point
  • Assignment: Claire’s Cuttery

About the book

Introduction to Business 


This ready-to-adopt Introduction to Business course develops students’ understanding of business fundamentals with learning design structured around timely, real-world case studies and examples. Key topics include the role of business, the global economic and legal environment, ethics, marketing, accounting and finance, and managing processes and operations. Enriched content orients students to the shifting business landscape and prepares them for success in business program curriculum and the workplace.

About the authors:

Senior Contributing Author

Linda Williams, Tidewater Community College

Contributing Authors

Tina Lance, Germanna Community College
Wendy Wright, Cerritos College
Betty Fitte, Tidewater Community College
Bob Carroll, Montgomery Community College
Andrea Foster, Montgomery Community College

Charlene Barker, Spokane Falls Community College

Supplemented by content from OpenStax Principles of Economics and Boundless Business

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