Exporting and Importing

Exporting is the act of producing goods or services in one country and selling or trading them to another country. The term export originates from the Latin words ex and portare, meaning to carry out.


A facilitator is a person who helps a group identify and solve problems by structuring the discussion and intervening when necessary to improve the effectiveness of the group's processes and outcomes. Facilitators, sometimes called moderators, maintain a neutral approach to topics and issues and serve the whole group in an unbiased manner.


Feedback is the return of information about the result of a process, activity, or experience, usually relating to an individual's performance within a company. Feedback can be upward or downward in the organizational structure.

Financial Issues for Managers

One of the most critical aspects of management pertains to the finances of running a firm. Although there are numerous issues facing modern managers with respect to financial management, the following sections will address three of the most ubiquitous—acquisition of outside capital for start-up and growth, management of working capital and cash flow, and the construction and implementation of a capital budgeting process.

Financial Ratios

Financial ratios are one of the most common tools of managerial decision making. A ratio is a comparison of one number to another—mathematically, a simple division problem.

First-Mover Advantage

The idea of first-mover advantage is similar to the old adage, "the early bird gets the worm." In business, being the first company to sell a new product may provide long-lasting benefits or competitive advantages. Most researchers use the term, "first mover" to refer to the first company to enter a market, not the first company to develop a product (the inventor).

Five S Framework

The 5S framework was originally developed by just-in-time expert and international consultant Hiroyuki Hirano. The 5S framework is an extension of Hirano's earlier works on just-in-time production systems.

Flexible Manufacturing

Business firms generally choose to compete within one or two areas of strength. These areas of strength are often referred to as distinctive competencies, core competencies, or competitive priorities.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs), sometimes called reimbursement accounts, are accounts set up by employers. These accounts allow employees to make annual, pre-tax contributions that can be used to pay for certain health care and dependent care expenses that are not paid for by insurance companies.

Focused Factory

The term focused factory, was introduced in a 1974 Harvard Business Review article authored by Wickham Skinner. Responding to what the popular press called a "productivity crisis," Skinner introduced his solution to the problem.


Forecasting involves the generation of a number, set of numbers, or scenario that corresponds to a future occurrence. It is absolutely essential to short-range and long-range planning.


When an individual has the desire and drive to run their own business but lacks a strong idea for a company, this person may look to franchising in order to be their own boss and run a proven business. Franchising is an agreement or alliance between two organizations—the franchisor and the franchisee.

Free Trade Agreements and Trading Blocs

Sovereign nations join together, usually on a regional scale, to create free trade agreements. Free trade agreements are created to lower trade barriers and to stimulate trade between member countries.


Futuring is the field of using a systematic process for thinking about, picturing possible outcomes, and planning for the future. Futurists are people who actively view the present world as a window on possible future outcomes.

Gap Analysis

Gap analysis generally refers to the activity of studying the differences between standards and the delivery of those standards. For example, it would be useful for a firm to document differences between customer expectation and actual customer experiences in the delivery of medical care.

Generic Competitive Strategies

Three of the most widely read books on competitive analysis in the 1980s were Michael Porter's Competitive Strategy, Competitive Advantage, and Competitive Advantage of Nations. In his various books, Porter developed three generic strategies that, he argues, can be used singly or in combination to create a defendable position and to outperform competitors, whether they are within an industry or across nations.


Globalization refers to the process of integration across societies and economies. The phenomenon encompasses the flow of products, services, labor, finance, information, and ideas moving across national borders.

Goals and Goal Setting

Goals and objectives provide organizations with a blueprint that determines a course of action and aids them in preparing for future changes. A goal can be defined as a future state that an organization or individual strives to achieve.

Government-University-Industry Partnerships

Since the 1970s the United States has seen the rise of various forms of collaboration among the sectors of government, academia, and industry. These forms include industry-specific inter-firm research consortia, government-industry technology transfer, and university-industry research centers.