Business Essentials, Eighth Canadian Edition 8
Welcome to the eighth Canadian edition of Business Essentials. If you’re like many students, you may be starting this term with some questions about why you’re here. You may be taking this course at a community college, CEGEP, or university, and you may be taking it in a traditional classroom setting or online. Whatever the case, you may be wondering just what you’re supposed to get from this course and how it will benefit you—in short, “How will this help me?”
This is a survey course designed to introduce you to the exciting and challenging world of business, both in Canada and elsewhere. It is designed to fit the needs of a wide variety of students. You may be taking it as the first step toward earning a degree in business, or you may be thinking about business and want to know more about it, or you may know you want to study business but are unsure of the area you want to pursue. You may plan to major in another field but want some basic business background and are taking this course as an elective. Or you may be here because this course is required or a prerequisite for another course. Whatever your situation, this course will be helpful to you. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, you might be uncertain regarding what the business world is all about. If you have a lot of work experience, you might be a bit skeptical about what you can actually learn from an introductory course. One of our biggest challenges is to write a book that meets the needs of such a diverse student population, especially when we acknowledge the legitimacy of your right to ask, “How will this help me?” We also want to do our best to ensure that you find the course challenging, interesting, and useful. To achieve this goal, we think it is helpful to use the old metaphor about people wearing different “hats” as they go through life. Every individual has different roles to play in different settings. For example, your roles might include student, child, spouse, employee, friend, and/or parent. You can think of each of these as requiring a different hat—when you play the role of a student, for example, you wear one hat, but when you leave campus and go to your part-time job, you put on a different one. From the perspective of studying and interfacing with the world of business, there are at least four distinct “hats” that you might wear:
The employee hat. One hat is “worn” as an employee working for a business. Most people wear this hat throughout their working career. To wear it successfully, you will need to understand your “place” in the organization—your job duties and responsibilities, how to get along with others, how to work with your boss, what your organization is all about, and so on. You’ll begin to see how best to wear this hat as you learn more about organizing business enterprises in Chapter 7 and how organizations manage their human resources in Chapter 8, and as in several other places in this book.
The employer or boss hat. Another business hat many people wear is as an employer or boss. Whether you start your own business or get promoted within someone else’s, people will be working for you. You’ll still need to know your job duties and responsibilities, but you’ll also need to understand how to manage other people—how to motivate and reward them, how to lead them, how to deal with conflict among them, and the legal parameters that may affect how you treat them. Chapters 3, 6, 8, and 9 provide a lot of information about how you can best wear this hat, although information about the role of employer is found throughout the book.
The consumer hat. Even if you don’t work for a business, you will still wear the hat of a consumer. Whenever you fill your car with Petro-Canada gasoline, purchase something on Amazon, buy clothes at Zara or Reitmans, or download a song from iTunes, you’re consuming products or services created by businesses. To wear this hat effectively, you need to understand how to assess the value of what you’re buying, your rights as a consumer, and so on. We discuss how you can best wear this hat in Chapters 1, 3, 12, and 13.
The investor hat. The final business hat many people wear is that of an investor. You may buy your own business or work for a company that allows you to buy its stock. You may also invest in other companies through the purchase of stocks or shares of a mutual fund. In order for you to invest wisely, you must understand some basics, such as financial markets, business earnings, and the costs of investment. Chapters 4, 11, 14, and 15 will help you learn how to best wear this hat.
Most people wear more than one of these hats at the same time. Regardless of how many hats you wear or when you may be putting them on, you will interact with many different businesses in different ways. Knowing how to best wear all of these hats is what this book is all about.
The world is populated with a breathtaking array of businesses and business opportunities. Big and small businesses, established and new businesses, broad-based and niche businesses, successful and unsuccessful businesses, global and domestic businesses––regardless of where your future plans take you, we hope you will look back on this course as one of your positive first steps. Keep in mind that what you get out of this course depends on at least three factors. One is this book, and the information about business you will acquire as a result of reading it. Another is your instructor, a dedicated professional who wants to help you grow and develop intellectually and academically. The third is YOU. Learning is an active process that requires you to be a major participant. Simply memorizing the key terms and concepts in this book might help you achieve an acceptable course grade, but true learning requires that you read, study, discuss, question, review, experience, evaluate––and wear the four hats—as you go along. Tests and homework are necessary, but we hope you will finish this course with new knowledge and increased enthusiasm for the world of business. Your instructor will do his or her part to facilitate your learning. The rest, then, is up to you. We wish you success.
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|January 16, 2019|
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