Absenteeism occurs when an employee of a company does not come to work due to scheduled time off, illness, injury, or any other reason. The cost of absenteeism to business, usually expressed in terms of lost productivity, is difficult to determine.

Absorption Accounting

Absorption accounting is a method of accounting where all the costs of manufacturing, (including fixed, variable and mixed costs) are allocated to the produced units. This method is in contrast to variable (or marginal or direct) costing, which attaches only variable costs to the manufactured output and charges the fixed costs to the accounting period.


Accounting has been defined as "the language of business" because it is the basic tool for recording, reporting, and evaluating economic events and transactions that affect business enterprises. Accounting processes document all aspects of a business's financial performance, from payroll costs, capital expenditures, and other obligations to sales revenue and owners' equity.

Active Management (Fixed Income)

Active bonds portfolio management attempts to take advantage of either superior bond selection or superior market timing. The former requires a bond portfolio manager who is capable of identifying mispriced bonds.


A medium through which sellers communicate with potential buyers, advertising constitutes a major component of an organization's marketing strategy, and is a $200 billion-a-year business in the United States.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action refers to a range of corporate and social policies that are intended not only to eliminate discrimination, whether in employment, education, or contracting, but also to redress the effects of past discrimination. The underlying motive for affirmative action is the principle of equal opportunity, which holds that all persons have the right to equal access to, self-development, such that persons with equal abilities come to have equal opportunities.

African Management Methods

An American professor asked an African CEO exactly how his firm was structured. The CEO said it had no structure.

Age and Employment

Historically, the issue of age has been a factor in employment in several ways. One is the minimum age for many kinds of employment, governed by state and federal child labor laws.

Agency for International Development (AID)

The Agency for International Development (AID) is responsible for administering economic as well as humanitarian assistance worldwide. Especially targeted are developing countries of the Third World as well as countries in Eastern and Central Europe and the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union.

Agency Theory

Agency theory suggests that the firm can be viewed as a nexus of contracts (loosely defined) between resource holders. An agency relationship arises whenever one or more individuals, called principals, hire one or more other individuals, called agents, to perform some service and then delegate decision-making authority to the agents.


Agribusiness is a broad concept used to describe corporate agricultural enterprises individually and collectively. Agribusinesses are companies involved in one or more stages of the production of crops and livestock.

AIDS in the Workplace

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease that impairs the human immune system and renders it susceptible to infections that would be repelled by a functioning immune system. AIDS, the terminal stage of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is transmitted by contamination of the blood-stream with HIV-infected body fluids, specifically blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluid.


The word "algorithm" comes from the name of an eighth century Arab mathematician, al Khuwarismi. In its most general usage, an algorithm is simply a set of steps to solve a problem.

Aliens, Employment of

U.S. law defines an alien as any foreign-born person living in the United States who is neither a citizen nor a national.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a revolutionary piece of civil rights legislation. The law is designed to protect the civil rights of people who have physical and mental disabilities, in a manner similar to the way that previous civil rights laws have protected people who are of various races, religions, and ethnic backgrounds.


Amortization, an accounting concept similar to depreciation, is the gradual reduction of an asset or liability by some periodic amount. In the case of an asset, it involves expensing the item over the time period it is thought to be consumed.

Andean Pact Nations, Doing Business in the

The Andean Pact is one of the world's oldest free trade movements. It was founded in 1969 by the Cartagena Agreement to encourage cooperation among members, and to improve their position in the international context.

Annual Reports

Annual reports are public statements of an organization's financial performance that are distributed to company stockholders and other interested parties. An annual report assesses the preceding fiscal year's operations and discusses the management's view of the upcoming year.

Antitrust Acts and Laws

The purpose of the various antitrust acts and laws is to ensure that the U.S. economy can reach equilibrium without being restrained, hampered, or obstructed by the undue influence of large companies or groups of companies engaging in anticompetitive behavior.

Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship programs are occupational training programs that combine on-the-job work experience with technical or classroom study. Such programs are designed to develop useful skills in individuals who are not planning to attend or have not attended college.

Arab Common Market

The Arab Common Market (ACM) was founded in August 1964 on the basis of a resolution passed by the Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU), an organization that the Economic Council of the Arab League had established in 1957. The ACM is not an independent organization and its implementation was overseen by the CAEU.

Arab Maghreb Union

The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) is a proposed economic integration of the five North African countries—Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia—which make up the Maghreb, the Arabic term for the western region of the Arab world. Collectively, the Maghreb countries have a gross domestic product of $300 billion, based on mid-1990s figures, which is similar in size to the economies of Argentina and Pakistan.

Arab Monetary Fund (AMF)

The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) was created on April 27, 1976, at Rabat, Morocco, by the Economic Council of the League of Arab States. The AMF Agreement went into effect on February 13,1977.

Arab World, Doing Business in the

Few areas have received more attention from businesspeople in the industrialized world in recent decades than the Arab World. While Europeans have long held an interest in the Arab World, the United States had been relatively unaware of the region until after World War II.


Arbitrage, within the context of financial markets, refers to the practice of trading on, and profiting from, a current or expected inconsistency in the pricing of an asset or group of assets. For example, consider a dual listed stock selling for $30 on one stock exchange and $40 on another.

Arbitration and Mediation

Arbitration and mediation are parts of the labor relations process. Arbitration is the procedure by which parties agree to submit their disputes to an independent neutral third party, known as an arbitrator.

Argentina, Doing Business in

Argentina is the third largest economy in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. Argentina has a gross national product (GNP) of roughly $326.4 billion.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (Al) encompasses a diverse number of computer applications, or components within applications, that use sets of rules and knowledge to make inferences. Unlike its roots as an esoteric discipline of trying to make computers emulate the human mind, modern Al—along with the technologies it has inspired—has many practical ramifications and delivers real benefits to users.