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businessballs - business and management terms
Category: Management > business and management
Date & country: 13/09/2014, USA
Words: 1681

Top quality rating, applicable to various business situations, e.g., credit-worthiness, and more general references to quality and fitness for purpose.

Above The Fold
Originally a newspaper editorial/advertising term referring to the upper-half of the front page ('above the fold') in terms of its immediate and optimal viewing viewing position. More recently 'above the fold' has been adopted and adapted for use in internet terminology, where it refers to the upper section of a webpage that is viewable without scrolling down the page. 'Above the fold' is therefore a reference to the best (most read) position in online/printed media such that it commands highest demand/prices for editorial/advertising. It is by its nature a rather loose term, dependent on the publication itself, and especially given the different screen sizes and page layouts for content viewable online using PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc

Above The Line
Marketing and advertising through mass-media, such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, Internet, etc., which is less personal than Below The Line Marketing. Companies usually use advertising agencies for ATL marketing. See marketing

Abram's Law
Construction industry theory relating to concrete strength as determined by the ratio of water to cement

Absolute Advantage
Being able to produce goods more cheaply than other countries

A brief summary covering the main points of a written article or research project

A company which supplies office space, marketing services, etc., in exchange for payment, to help get new companies started

Acceptance Bonus
The amount paid to an employee who agrees to perform a difficult task

Refers to the ease by which an audience is able to receive, understand and act upon communications and services from businesses, big corporations, agencies, local and central government. Accessibility is a relatively modern concept, becoming increasingly prominent from the late 1900s, especially concerning state services, and particularly for disadvantaged, disabled, or minority groups of people. The concept and central principles of accessibility are however very relevant and important for all communicators, on a personal and organizational level. Major factors of accessibility include: language and grammar style, translation (where required), font/print size, typeface/font style, design, technical ease (relating to electronic media), media types/versions (web, print, audio, video, as required), timings and availability of information, detail and complexity, esoterica, gobbledegook, legalese. See writing tips.

Growth or increase in the value or amount of something. See financial terms

The accumulation of payments or benefits over time

Across The Board
The involvement of, or affect on, everyone or everything in an industry or company

Activity-Based Costing
An accounting/business term and method of profitability analysis which calculates and includes all business costs attributable to (used by) a particular business activity (typically a service provision of one sort or another for a given market). Conventional accounting tends not to allocate fixed/indirect costs per activity, which creates risks of overheads not being adequately recovered, or overheads being drained or over-burdened by one activity or another (the activity concerned thereby seeming a lot more profitable than it actually is, quite aside from the negative effects on other activities which may be starved of essential indirect support). The Activity-Based Costing (ABC) method analyses and allocates fixed/indirect costs according to usage by services, and so brings far greater transparency and clarity to inform strategic decision-making. In large organizations Activity-Based Costing tends to require quite complex computerized systems, and in very large organizations the allocation of overheads implicit within the ABC approach may generate significant political/departmental conflict, especially where staff productivity/profitability targets and rewards depend on the outcomes.

Ad hoc
Created or done for a particular purpose as necessary and not planned in advance

Ad Rotation
Describes the rotation of advertisements on a web page - each time a user clicks on a different page or returns to a page they've viewed previously in the same session, a different advert appears on the screen

Added Value
Enables and justifies a profit in business.

A thing which is added or attached as a supplementary, rather than an essential part of something larger or more important

Adoption Curve
A graph showing the rate at which a new piece of technology is bought by people for the first time. It is based on the idea that certain people are more open for adaptation than others

Adverse Event
Term used when a volunteer in a clinical trial has a negative or unfavourable reaction to a drug, etc

The promotion and selling of a product or service to potential customers. To announce publicly or draw attention to an event, etc.

A sworn signed statement of fact used as evidence in court whose signature has been witnessed by a commissioner of oaths or other authorised officer, for example a notary. Medieval Latin for 'he has stated on oath', from affidare, meaning to trust

A company or person controlled by or connected to a larger organisation. In web marketing an affiliate normally receives a commission for promoting another company's products or services

Unfair prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age

A whole consisting of the combination of smaller separate elements

Aggregate Planning
The process of planning and developing the best way of producing the right amount of goods, at the right time and at the minimum cost, based on the total number of items which need to be produced, and the amount of materials, equipment and workers necessary for production

Aggressive Growth Fund
A high risk investment fund in which shares are expected to increase in value very quickly in the hope of making large profits

Agile Development Method
A type of business development which gets things moving quickly and adapts during the development, as distinct from conventional planning and project management implementation

The percentage charged by a bank for exchanging one form of currency or money, into another that is more valuable

Political propaganda (published ideas designed to motivate people into certain political views or actions) typically in art, music, literature, etc., a portmanteau word combining the original Russian words agitsiya (agitation) and propoganda, where the term grew from the state department responsible for disseminating communist ideas and information to its people in the 1930s. In the west the term is more associated with publication of left-wing or socialist ideas, often targeted against a governing right-wing authority.

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action - an early and fundamentally useful model/process for effective communications. Also called the 'hierarchy of effects' - we all buy things, and decide to change something, after passing through these four key stages. (See AIDA in sales training materials)

Alpha Test
The first stage of testing a new product, especially computer software or hardware, carried out by a developer under controlled conditions

When two or more companies combine or unite to form one large organisation

To gradually reduce and write off the cost of an asset in a company's accounts over a period of time

Anchor Tenant
The first and most prestigious tenant, typically a store in a shopping centre, that will attract other tenants or shoppers

Ancillary Staff
People who provide necessary support to the primary activities and work of an organization, e.g: schools, hospitals

Often used to provide a pension. An annuity is a fixed regular payment payed over a number of years to a person during their lifetime

An interesting and humorous metaphorical description of something (for example a product or service or concept) that is obsolete, old-fashioned or primitive, or devised a long time ago. 'Ante' is Latin for 'before', and 'diluvian' is from Latin 'diluvium' meaning 'deluge', so the overall literal meaning is 'before the flood', being the biblical flood and Noah's Ark, etc. Antediluvian is therefore a clever way to say that something is (so old as to be) 'out of the Ark'

A person appealing to a higher court against a decision of a lower court or other decision-making body

Apple Box
Used in films, TV, etc. Wooden boxes of various sizes which are used to elevate actors and celebrities

A review of performance, capability, needs, etc., typically of an employee, in which case the full term is normally 'performance appraisal'

A person who settles a dispute or has the ultimate authority to decide the outcome of a matter

An independent person or body officially appointed to settle a dispute

A collection of records no longer active. Also pluralised - archives - meaning the same, and referring to the place of storage

Articles Of Association
The document which lists the regulations which govern the running of a company, setting out the rights and duties of directors and stockholders, individually and in meetings

Aspirational Brand
A brand or product which people admire and believe is high quality, and wish to own because they think it will give them a higher social position

Asset Stripping
Buying a stricken company and selling off its assets with no thought for the future of the company or its people, customers, etc

Anything of value which is owned by an individual, company, organisation, etc

In films, TV, etc., a general crowd of people, extras

The process of reducing the number of employees in an organisation by not replacing people who leave their jobs

A qualified person who officially examines the financial records of a company to check their accuracy

An artist or creative, for example a film director, whose personal style is recognizable because he/she keeps tight control over all aspects of the work

Offensively self-assured or given to exercising unwarranted power. Expecting to be obeyed and not caring about the opinions and feeling of others. See X-Y Theory

Anti-Virus, a common abbreviation referring to virus protection software/services for computer and internet use

Avant Garde
New or original and often unconventional techniques, concepts, products, etc, usually associated with the arts and creative areas

An identity, often in cartoon form, which can be chosen from a selection or created by the person using it to represent themselves in a website chatroom, etc.

Average Daily Rate
In the hotel industry a calculation of the average price at which a hotel room is booked each night based on total daily revenue divided by the number of rooms sold. The term may have more general meanings in other contexts

Back Shift
A group of workers or the period worked from late afternoon until late at night in an industry or occupation where there is also a day shift and a night shift

Back with Music
In the entertainment business, films, TV, etc., dialogue which is spoken over music

Back-To-Back Loan
A loan in which two companies in separate countries borrow each other's money at the same time for a specific period at an agreed upon interest rate

Informal term for reciprocity or returning favours, as in the term 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours'

In retail sales, when customers are lured by advertisements for a product at a low price, then find that the product is not available but a more expensive substitute is

Balance Sheet
A financial statement of an individual, company or organisation, which shows assets and liabilities (money owed) at a specific date.

The selling of both insurance and banking services, usually by a major bank

In computing, the amount of information that can be transmitted through a communication channel over a given period of time, usually measured in 'bits per second' (bps)

Bank Loan
A loan made by a bank to an individual, company, etc., for a fixed term, to be repaid with interest

Bank Run
Lots of sudden and heavy cash withdrawals at the same time from a bank or banks, because customers believe the banks may become insolvent

Bankers Hours
A short working day, often with a long lunch break

A person who is a professional speciality coffee maker, for example, cappuccino, latte, espresso, etc

Base 2
Also known as the binary system, which is the basis of computer logic. Normal counting is based on 0-9. Binary just has 0-1, which means a new column is started after two, not nine. Binary counting does not go 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. It goes 0, 1, 10, 11, 100, 101, etc. Other than for computing it's not very practical

Bathtub Curve
A U-shaped graph, often long horizontally - resembling a bathtub - representing high incidence or measure at the beginning and finish (far left and far right of graph) of a life-cycle or lifetime or period, with much lower incidence over a relatively long middle period (middle of graph), for example when measuring engineering failures in a product over time, in which early development teething problems produce high failure rates, tending to reduce to lower failure rates due to uncommon random faults, with failure rates again peaking at the end of product life, due to natural 'wear and tear'/exhaustion/erosion of components and construction. A Bathtub Curve may also equate to a U-shaped graph, for example in describing a type of recession which contains a prolonged period at the lowest point, i.e., a U-shaped recession. See also 'bell curve' below

Bean Counter
An informal derogatory term for an accountant, especially one who is perceived or suggested to be overly concerned about expenditure detail

Also known as a beano - an annual party, dinner, or outing given by an employer for its employees.

Bear Raid
The practice, in the stock market, of attempting to push the price of a stock lower by selling in large numbers and often spreading unfavourable rumours about the company concerned

A large and powerful organisation. (originally from Hebrew, behemot - beast)

Below The Line
BTL. Describes marketing which has a short-term duration, such as non-media advertising, direct-mail, e-mail, exhibitions, incentives, brochures, etc., which is targeted directly at the consumer/customer. Often used by companies on a limited budget

Bench Warrant
An order issued by a judge for an absent defendent to be arrested and brought before a court

Benefit Principle
A taxation principle which states that those who benefit more from government expenditure, financed by taxes, should pay more tax for the product or service than those who benefit less

Benefits Realisation
Also Benefits Realisation Management, or if you prefer the US English it would be Benefits Realization. This refers to the translation of projects into real and perceived positive effects, seemingly a concept devised originally in the field of IT and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) project management, where projects are notoriously difficult to manage successfully and generate clear end-user appreciation. The term, abbreviated to BRM, is increasingly applied more widely to change management and project management of all sorts, representing an additional final stage of project management process, for which a manager is sometimes specifically responsible.

Beta Test
The second test of a product, such as computer hardware, software, or even a website, under actual usage conditions, before the final version is used by or sold to the public. See Alpha Test.

Big Bang
Occurred (UK) on 27th October 1986, when major technology changes took place on the London Stock Exchange chiefly to replace manual systems with electronic processes

The biological identification of human features, such as eyes, voices and hands, increasingly used to identify individuals, e.g., in laptop computers, entry systems and passports

A significant digital currency, divided into 100 million units called satoshis, created by the pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto, first described by the creator(s) in 2008, broadly as an anonymous, peer-to-peer, electronic payments system. The Bitcoin currency is increasingly traded and as treated as seriously as conventional fiat (national or state-issued) currencies by the world's major financial merchants and institutions. The Bitcoin currency is scheduled to attain a finite total volume. It is 'mined' using a time-linked computerised generation process, via linked mutually/self-protecting computer servers including equipment belonging to 'members' who in return receive payment in Bitcoins in return for the use of computer processing power. The Bitcoin is part of the future of money perhaps, which does not rely on state or federal constitution, operating instead peer-to-peer (rather than through an institutional issuer), and instead relying on computing and internet or equivalent means of administration and connection. The Bitcoin name is a pun or double-meaning alluding to computing and coinage, i.e., a bit in computing is a single unit of data expressed as either 0 or 1 in binary notation; and separately a bit is a very old slang word for a coin (see bit coin slang). Reports following media investigations into and cross-linking encryption patents, Bitcoin white paper documentation, and registration of the bitcoin domain name, suggested the identity of the 'developer' to be three people, Neal King, Vladimir Oksman and Charles Bry, although each (at 2013) deny the assertion. Here's what the Bitcoin website says about the concept (at 2013):

Black Knight
A company which makes a hostile takeover bid for another company that does not want to be bought

Black Swan/Black Swan Theory
A 'black swan' refers to a random unpredictable and highly influential event (upon economics, society, politics, life, etc) whose potential/significance is generally only appreciated after it has happened, and even then is commonly rationalized (by commentators and leaders, etc) to have been predictable and part of a predictable pattern of some sort, which actually is not so, or it would have been. The tendency for many people to be in denial as to the true nature of black swan event unpredictability and impact is an important part of the black swan theory itself. Examples of 'black swans' are events such as the September 11 attacks on the US by al-Qaeda; the 1986 Chernobyl disaster; and the 2008 global financial/credit collapse. Black swans can instead be of a more positive nature, for example, the invention of the internet, or the fall of the Berlin Wall. The black swan term/theory was introduced by Nassim Taleb, a highly regarded Lebanese-American professor, author and theorist, in his best-selling 2001 book Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, and reinforced by his follow-up 2007 best seller The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. The 'black swan' metaphor alludes to both to the rareness of black swans, and to early beliefs that the creatures did not exist - which relates to general attitudes towards the real nature of 'black swan' events. The word 'black' also suggests negative consequences, which commonly result from black swan events. 'Grey swan' is a related expression, also coined by Nassim Taleb in his books, which refers to a predicted or known event which has uncertain outcomes

Portmanteau term contrived from Brainstorming and Blame, referring to meetings or discussions seeking to allocate responsibility for a failure or disaster. Popularised in the late 1990s by viral emails which listed amusing office terminology

A person who talks at great length without saying anything useful. Originally a Scottish 16thC expression adopted into American slang from the song Maggie Lauder during the US War of Independence.

Blind Trial
A trial, with two groups of people, to test the effect of a new product, especially in medicine. One group is given the real product while the other group is given a placebo or 'sugar pill', which does not contain any medication

In computing, software that needs so much computer memory that it takes a long time to load and therefore does not function properly

Blue Chip
On the stock market, shares of a large company with a good reputation, whose value and dividends are considered to be safe and reliable

Blue Law
In the US, a law which regulates and limits activities for religious reasons, such as Sunday working or shopping

Blue-Sky Law
In the US, a law designed to protect the public from buying fraudulent securities

Blue-Sky Thinking
Open-minded, original and creative thinking, not restricted by convention

Wireless technology which allows data to be transferred over short distances between laptop computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, etc

From Buddhism, a person who seeks enlightenment for the good of, and motivated by a compassion for, other people. In Western thinking we could see this to be similar to Maslow's notion of 'trancendence' in the pursuit of self-actualization, notably helping others to self-actualize. Not an easy concept to explain; in the spectrum of human behaviour it's about as far away that can be imagined from the pursuit of a merchant banker's bonus or the Presidency of Europe, if you'll forgive the clich

Bold-Faced Names
Informal term for celebrities, used mostly in the USA

Bona Fides
Credentials showing someone's true identity. (Latin - with good faith)

Bonded Warehouse
A warehouse in which imported goods are stored under bond, until the import taxes are paid on them

An extra sum of money given to an employee on top of their salary, often for achieving targets

Bonus Culture
Term used when companies give their executives huge bonuses in addition to their large salaries, even if their performance has been poor, especially leaders of financial institutions

Book Depreciation
A decrease or loss in value of a company's assets, as recorded in the company's finances