Teaching Introduction to Business

Bovee and Thill offer innovative ideas and resources for teaching introduction to business, so instructors can spend less time preparing and more time teaching.


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From the gig economy to workforce analytics to artificial intelligence in the hiring process, human resource management is undergoing some radical changes. Make sure your course stays on top of these developments with Business in Action, 9th Edition, by Bovee and Thill (Pearson).

"Google announced, in an email from Google Ads sent to some advertisers on Thursday, that it will handle 'campaigns, so you can focus on your business.'” 

"Automation is increasingly an area of focus for Google, slowly taking the responsibility from the advertiser and agency. 

"In this case, the initiative is part automation and part human intervention. Google will bring in “Google Ads experts” to manage campaigns."

"The secret to attracting more followers and customers is to tap the expertise of the existing ones you have," writes Josh Spector at his blog – For the Interested.

The simplest way to do this is to ask your audience five simple questions.

"You may be able to get a small loan from family or friends, and you can always apply for a credit card. But, there's another option to consider that comes with certain advantages — and that option is a personal loan. While personal loans have gotten a bad rap, they can offer a predictable way to borrow money," writes Holly Johnson (photo, left) at BusinessInsider.com

"After 130 years, it can be hard to come up with new flavors, so the world's largest spice company is becoming the latest food producer to turn to artificial intelligence for help."

"McCormick — the maker of Old Bay and other seasonings, spices and condiments — hopes the technology can help it tantalize taste buds. It worked with IBM Research to build an AI system trained on decades worth of data about spices and flavors to come up with new flavor combinations."

The business world is experiencing a wave of digital disruptions that are reshaping what it’s like to launch, lead, and work for companies. Consider this stunning change: In a 2015 survey, fewer than 1 percent of executives believed digital technology would disrupt their industries. Only two years later, more than 75% said digital would have a “major” or “transformative” impact on their industries.

In a fundamental way, virtually all businesses are becoming digital enterprises, regardless of what they produce, because digital systems are essential to how they create value and connect with customers. This digital transformation is affecting every aspect of business, from HR to finance to marketing.

Many companies in the past two or three decades were “born digital,” but many others have learned that digital competency has become key to their survival. Even a business as small as an espresso stand can use social media to expand sales, for example, and it can live or die based on the reviews it gets on Yelp. And in industries that might seem as far from the digital world of cloud computing and mobile apps as it’s possible to get, thousands of companies are turning to digital. Sectors ranging from agriculture to mining to heavy manufacturing increasingly rely on these technologies to improve productivity, manage operations, and market their products.

The Exciting—and Unsettling—Prospect of Digital Transformation

Students need to be ready for this new world of business for two key reasons. First, executives who are scrambling to implement their own digital transformations are looking for employees who are tuned into these concepts and technologies. New graduates aren't necessarily expected to be experts in these fields, naturally, but all business graduates should be aware of the basic concepts, particularly those that are prominent in their chosen career field.

Second, students can’t afford to set their sights on traditional career paths without understanding how those paths are changing—or in some cases, disappearing. Many of today’s jobs are vulnerable to disruption from artificial intelligence and related technologies, and many graduates will be working in jobs we can’t even envision today.

Predicting the eventual impact of a disruption this profound is also challenging. Artificial intelligence (AI) is finally going mainstream as a business tool after many decades of hopes and hype, but its long-term impact is difficult to gauge at this point. Millions of jobs involve tasks and decisions that AI could conceivably do (and is now doing in many cases), but it’s impossible to pin down how disruptive it will be to the job market. AI will redefine many jobs, eliminate some, and create some—and people in most professions should be prepared to learn new skills and adapt as opportunities and expectations change.

Integrating Digital Concepts in the Introduction to Business Course

Of course, the last thing any intro to business instructor wants to hear about is another topic that needs to be covered in a course that already covers so many.

To make it as easy as possible to introduce your students to these vital ideas without adding to your workload, the new Ninth Edition of Business in Action offers a unique approach called Thriving in the Digital Enterprise. Each chapter concludes with a section that explores one aspect of the digital enterprise, from general concepts such as big data and virtual reality to more specialized tools such as marketing analytics. These brief, nontechnical introductions help students understand the basic ideas and be more prepared if one of these topics appears in a job posting or comes up during a job interview.

To learn more about this new edition, please visit explorebia9.info.


Image credit: Jeremy Keith

"But the struggle doesn't end with finding available warehouse space. Companies are in need of space that can handle the needs of a large-scale e-commerce model. However, only 11% of warehouse space was built in the last decade, and the remaining space might not be up to snuff for modern day demands."

"Buy online, pick-up in store is often heralded as the future of retail: Customers shopping on their own terms, as efficiently as possible. But it might end up being a bigger lift than expected for retail stores."

"We needed to find a way to turn the page. We set about defining the company culture: who we are and how we show up for one another. Unsurprisingly, since we’re a tech company that makes it easy to conduct surveys, we sent a survey to ask what our employees thought. The result was a list of five employee values: Be accountable. Trust the team. Prioritize health. Listen to customers. Celebrate the journey. These are aspirational, but it was important that they align with how people at SurveyMonkey actually work together. They had to be more than just slogans we painted on the wall."

". . . In my study, many top performers were able to maintain a healthy work-life balance and not burn out on the job. That's because they embraced smarter ways of working, practices that allowed them to extract more value out of every hour on the job. They got more done, yet had more time outside of work to rest and recharge."

Author bio – "Morten T. Hansen is a professor in the school of information at the University of California – Berkeley. His latest book, Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More is out now."

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