Lecture Notes: General Business

The Need to Know About Technology (2009)

The breadth and depth of data and information regarding technology is, for all practical purposes, fathomless. It is probably impossible, and at least impractical, to know all there is to know.

There is, however, a set of data and information about technology that is highly relevant to one’s role and responsibilities in an organization in an industry.

The Need to Know About Technology (pdf, 349K)

The Context of Interest (2009)

Virtually all my classes use the Context of Interest as a unifying theme.

This note describes the origins and meaning of the context and how it can be used as a basis for thinking about business.

The Context of Interest (pdf, 691K)

The Value of Introspection (2009)

One definition of introspection is that it is “contemplation of one's own thoughts, feelings, and sensations; self-examination.”

Introspection comes into play in “Know what you know, know what you don't know, and know who knows what you don't know” and “When things are going really well you've probably missed something.”

Introspection is valuable, important, and perhaps even critical to successful business operations. A prominent case dealing with this that my students and discuss is “What went wrong at Cisco Systems?” More recently, we have difficulties in the global financial industry and the American automobile industry that also suggest the lack of introspection.

This note takes up this characteristic – introspection – in more detail with some comments on its value, how it can be developed and applied.

The Value of Introspection (pdf, 137K)

Ethics, Critical Thinking, and Communications (2009)

It matters little how well we know a subject if we lack an ability to think critically about it, and effectively communicate the results of that thinking. Ethics underpin and are essential to being able to do these two things.

These three items – ethics, critical thinking, and communications – are essential if we are to resolve the issues that we confront.

I write this note for two purposes.

  1. To satisfy myself that my appreciation of the importance of the three items, and the way in which can think about and apply them is reasonable. Assuming satisfaction, then
  2. To provide ideas for consideration to others, especially my students, on the subject in hopes they will find something of value they can pack in their survival kit.

While I make some points about the three major areas, the purpose of this is note is not give an exhaustive treatment of its three major themes. Others have done that. I want to focus a bit more on their interrelationship and sequencing.

Ethics, Critical Thinking, and Communications (pdf, 460K)

Managing the Business (2008)

Managing the Business is a paper I submitted to and was accepted by the Third Annual Conference on Cutting Edge Issues in Shipping, Maritime College, February 1, 2008.


The ebb and flow of global business and the compression of time converge to present a business environment of increasing complexity and uncertainty. Prior management principles and practices are continually battered by the global forces at play.

Transportation cannot escape these pressures inasmuch as it is a derived demand, the golden thread upon which the world relies for the free, fast, reliable worldwide exchange of items of value such as goods and services; money; information, ideas, and news; and culture.

This paper examines ideas for contending with these global forces.

IT Issues Within the Context of Globalization (2006)

I was invited by Professor Karl Lang of Baruch to discuss this issues with his graduate class on November 21, 2006.

Below is a link to the preparatory notes.

IT Issues Within the Context of Globalization.pdf  553KB

Taxonomy of a Corporation (2005)

This is a companion to Note on Building a Management System mentioned below.  It is intended to help my students in the development of descriptions of business management system.

Taxonomy of a Corporation.pdf 119K

A Small View of a Possible World (2004)

I recently was a guest lecturer in Prof. Karl Lang's Globalization and Technology graduate class at Baruch College.

A Small View of a Possible World.pdf 1683K

How to Use Computers and the Internet in Daily Transactions (2003)

This item is from a guest lecture to an Introduction to Information Systems and Technologies class at Baruch College. It encapsulates a view of transactions and technology, poses the questions of whether we are being changed by all this and, if so, whether this change is a good thing.

How to Use Computers and the Internet in Daily Transactions.pdf 509K