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Getting Started

The Organization

The Organization

Office entryway

Company Websites

Companies often provide valuable information online, including annual reports, sustainability reports, press releases, etc. . Look for:
Investor Relations


These links are usually at the very top or very bottom of the company's home page


What if I Can't Find Anything?

  • Look for articles about the company in informal publications like Newspapers or Business Magazines for the city where the company was founded or is prominent.
  • Look for press releases or wire feeds related to the company.

ABI/INFORM, Business Source Premier, or Access World News are all good places to search for these types of sources

Organizational Structure

Organizational Structure


Helpful Reading

Organization Strategy

Organizational Strategy

Where is the Strategy Hiding?

Sometimes a company's strategy is easily found in an annual report, a strategic plan, or shareholder brochures.  When it isn't that easy information about a company's strategy can be found in:

  • Their vision or mission statements
  • Their 10-K and 8-K SEC filings or the international equivalent (for public companies)
  • In the About section of their website
  • In interviews with company executives
  • In articles by analysts for business news publications

What if I can't find anything!

Sometimes for small, private companies it can be very hard to find this information, especially if the business doesn't have a stated strategy.

  • Look at their growth. Where are they located?  What is their size? Have these factors changed over time? This may be a sign of a strategy.
  • Look at their branding, slogans, products, advertising, and web design, these may all be signs of a strategy.
  • Look at their recruitment language on job sites. This may be a sign of strategy.
  • Contact the company using the Can I contact the Company? rules under Internal Environment.

Internal Environment

Internal Environment

Coworkers in a meeting

Company Information and Websites

Use the resources under "The Organization" to locate internal documents.

Can I contact the company?

Yes!  However, if you are contacting a company that you have no relation with:

  • Be professional and polite.
  • Try to reach out to someone who regularly receives unsolicited emails like a public relations officer, administrative assistant, or customer service manager.
  • Use good business communication etiquette with a detailed subject line and a brief, but clear email.
  • Explain why you are contacting them and what information you hope they can provide.
  • Expect that they will say no. Be gracious and appreciative if they provide any sort of brochures, fliers, reports, etc. even if they don't ultimately meet your research need.

Public vs. Private

Public companies are required to disclose certain information that can make this topic easier.  Private companies are not required to disclose.  To locate information on private companies:

  • Check their website. Even though they are not required, they may still disclose the information you need
  • Check Mergent Intellect. Private companies are included, just not always with the same level of information
  • Look for newspaper articles, press releases, and news wires featuring your company.  ABI/INFORM Collection is good for press releases and news wires.
  • Check Indeed, Monster or other job sites that may provide employee reviews, company profiles, or a glimpse into things like benefit plans, recruitment, and retention.

External Environment

External Environment

Shipping port


Web Resources

Depending on your industry there may be governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGO), or trade websites that will help.  For example:

  • The Transportation Industry - National Transportation Library
  • Farming or Food Related Industry - Agricultural Research Service
  • Fitness or Sports Related Industry - Physical Activity Council

Reach out to your librarian for help identifying these types of sources for your specific industry.

Alternatives and Issues

Alternatives and Issues