Closely Held Corporations

Closely held corporations are those in which a small group of shareholders control the operating and managerial policies of the firm. More than 90 percent of all businesses in the United States are closely held.

Commercial Attaché

A commercial attache is a person posted to a foreign embassy to promote the economic interests of his or her home country. In service the U.S.

Commercial Credit Reporting

Commercial credit reporting agencies collect credit information on companies and financial institutions and sell this information to other companies, financial institutions, and individuals. Although this information is used for a variety of purposes, it is generally sold to individuals or financial institutions interested in the stock or bond offerings of a particular company or extending business credit to a particular company.

Commercial Law

Commercial law refers to the body of law that pertains to commercial transactions. Its wide-ranging scope includes many different areas that affect businesses and individuals who enter into commercial transactions.

Commercial Loan

In granting loans, the bank must balance the benefit of the additional interest income generated against the cost of a default on the loan. To estimate the probability that a borrower will pay, banks gather information on their potential customers.

Commission of the European Communities

The Commission of the European Communities—also known as the European Commission—is at the policy-making center of the European Union (EU). The EU is an organization of 15 western European nations joined together in the promotion of economic, political, and social cooperation and integration.


Commodities are basic or raw goods that are traded almost solely on price and whose prices are usually set through open market trading.

Commodity Exchanges

Commodity exchanges, or futures exchanges, are, like stock exchanges, membership organizations. Their mission is to provide a suitable place where members trade commodities (futures) or options on futures in a controlled, orderly manner.

Commodity Futures-Spreads

Commodity futures spreads, often simply called spreads, are one of several basic strategies that futures traders use to make a profit. (The term is also used generally to describe the difference between an asking price and a bid on securities and other financial instruments.) In its simplest form, a futures spread takes place when a trader buys one futures contract while simultaneously selling another, in hopes of making a profit through a favorable difference in prices during the coming weeks or months.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) was established with the passage of the Commodity Futures Trading Act of 1974. The CFTC, which began operating in April 1975, is an independent agency of the federal government authorized to regulate 11 U.S.

Common Stock

Common stock represents basic ownership of a corporation, whether a small privately owned company with a few shares held by a single owner and perhaps a few associates, or a giant publicly traded corporation with hundreds of thousands of stockholders. Common stock is by far the largest class of securities held and traded by general investors; when someone speaks of "owning stocks," usually common stock is implicit.

Communication in Organizations

Communication in organizations encompasses all the means, both formal and informal, by which information is passed up, down, and across the network of managers and employees in a business. These various modes of communication may be used to disseminate official information between employees and management, to exchange hearsay and rumors, or anything in between.

Comparable Worth

Comparable worth is an extremely complicated social, political, and economic issue dealing with gender-related wage scales in the workplace. Although both proponents and opponents of comparable worth claim that from a legal or legislative standpoint the issue of comparable worth is gender neutral, the social aspects of the issue are, however, driven by gender specificity in that they focus entirely on women's wages in relation to men's.

Compensation Administration

Compensation administration is a segment of management or human resource management focusing on planning, organizing, and controlling the direct and indirect payments employees receive for the work they perform. Compensation includes direct forms such as base, merit, and incentive pay and indirect forms such as vacation pay, deferred payment, and health insurance.


The notion of competition is very widely used in economics in general and in microeconomics in particular. Competition is also considered the basis for capitalist or free market economies.

Competitive Intelligence (CI)

According to the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, competitive intelligence (CI) is the legal and ethical collection, analysis, and distribution of information regarding the competitive environment and the capabilities, vulnerabilities, and intentions of business competitors. It is the process of monitoring the competitive environment for the purpose of supporting decision-making by senior management.

Compliance Auditing

Compliance auditing determines whether a process or transaction has or has not followed applicable rules. If rules are violated, the auditor determines the cause and recommends ways to prevent future deviations.

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 (Superfund)

In December 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, which is commonly called "Superfund." Superfund was passed in response to public concern about chemical contamination such as that revealed in connection with the Love Canal disaster in the state of New York, where health effects—including unusually high rates of cancer, miscarriages, and birth defects—were traced to chemical wastes from an abandoned chemical dumpsite. The 1980 Superfund law created a $1.6 billion fund to be used to identify and clean up hazardous waste sites over a period of five years.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) are a pair of often interdependent industrial computer applications that have greatly influenced the chain of processes between the initial design and the final realization of a product. Many would add to this duo a third technology, computer-aided engineering (CAE).

Computer Conferencing

Computer conferencing technology encompasses a broad class of software and hardware tools that facilitate real-time (or nearly so) interactions over computer networks, and in particular, the Internet.

Computer Fraud

Computer fraud describes a diverse class of electronic crimes that involve some form of electronic information theft and often monetary gains for the perpetrators.

Computer Networks

A computer network consists of two or more computing devices connected by a medium allowing the exchange of electronic information. These computing devices can be mainframes, workstations, PCs, or specialized computers; they can also be connected to a variety of peripherals, including printers, modems, and CD-ROM towers.

Computer Security

As the Internet has transformed business computing and communications, it has also given rise to unprecedented computer security threats. Whereas traditional computer security was concerned with limiting the physical access to corporate systems and the misappropriation or vandalism of data by internal users, the Internet has opened up diverse and complex security problems on a scale much greater than that previously known.

Computers and Computer Systems

A computer is a programmable device that can automatically perform a sequence of calculations or other operations on data without human aid. It can store, retrieve, and process data according to internal instructions.

Confidence Interval

The confidence interval is a tool of probability that is used to express the certainty or uncertainty of an estimated number. The lack of absolute certainty stems from the statistical method of using random samples or limited numbers of subjects from much larger groups when making statistical determinations and inferences.

Conflict of Interest

Conflicts of interest for individuals and organizations are not uncommon given the multitude of transactions and relationships that occur in politics, government, industry, science, commerce, research, education, and the professions. A conflict of interest arises from a connection between two or more individuals or organizations, or between an individual and an organization.

Conflict Management

Conflict management is the application of strategies to resolve incompatible objectives in a positive manner. Traditionally, conflict was seen as negative.


Goods that are offered for sale on consignment have been shipped to the seller by the owner, with the seller acting as agent for the owner. Generally the owner, known as the consignor, retains title to the goods and authorizes the seller, known as the consignee, to sell them.