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Definitions A – E

Leadership and Business Dictionary

Numbers A  B  C  D  E  F G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


A1 – Top quality rating, applicable to various business situations, e.g., credit-worthiness, and more general references to quality and fitness for purpose.

Absolute Advantage – Being able to produce goods more cheaply than other countries.

Abstract – A brief summary covering the main points of a written article or research project.

Acceptance Bonus – The amount paid to an employee who agrees to perform a difficult task.

Accounts – An individual’s or company’s financial records. Also an arrangement to keep money with a financial institution, i.e., a bank, building society, etc.

Accretion – Growth or increase in the value or amount of something. See financial terms.

Accrual – The accumulation of payments or benefits over time.

Across The Board – The involvement of, or affect on, everyone or everything in an industry or company.

Actual– Real costs, sales, etc., that have occurred, rather than estimations or expectations.

Addendum – An added section of information in a letter or report.

Ad hoc – Created or done for a particular purpose as necessary and not planned in advance.

Adjunct – A thing which is added or attached as a supplementary, rather than an essential part of something larger or more important.

Adoption Curve – A graph showing the rate at which a new piece of technology is bought by people for the first time. It is based on the idea that certain people are more open for adaptation than others.

Ad Rotation – Describes the rotation of advertisements on a web page – each time a user clicks on a different page or returns to a page they’ve viewed previously in the same session, a different advert appears on the screen.

Adverse Event – Term used when a volunteer in a clinical trial has a negative or unfavorable reaction to a drug, etc.

Advertising – The promotion and selling of a product or service to potential customers. To announce publicly or draw attention to an event, etc.

Advertorial – An advert in a magazine or newspaper that is written like an article giving facts rather than appearing as an advertisement for a product.

Affiliate – A company or person controlled by or connected to a larger organization. In web marketing an affiliate normally receives a commission for promoting another company’s products or services.

Ageism – Unfair prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age.

Aggregate – A whole consisting of the combination of smaller separate elements.

Aggregate Planning – The process of planning and developing the best way of producing the right amount of goods, at the right time and at the minimum cost, based on the total number of items which need to be produced, and the amount of materials, equipment and workers necessary for production.

Aggressive Growth Fund – A high risk investment fund in which shares are expected to increase in value very quickly in the hope of making large profits.

Agile Development Method – A type of business development which gets things moving quickly and adapts during the development, as distinct from conventional planning and project management implementation.Added Value – Enables and justifies a profit in business.

A-list – A list of the most celebrated or sought-after companies or individuals, especially in show business and entertainment.

Alpha Test – The first stage of testing a new product, especially computer software or hardware, carried out by a developer under controlled conditions.

Amalgamate – When two or more companies combine or unite to form one large organization.

Amortize – To gradually reduce and write off the cost of an asset in a company’s accounts over a period of time.

Anchor Tenant – The first and most prestigious tenant, typically a store in a shopping center, that will attract other tenants or shoppers.

Ancillary Staff – People who provide necessary support to the primary activities and work of an organization, e.g: schools, hospitals.

Annuity – Often used to provide a pension. An annuity is a fixed regular payment payed over a number of years to a person during their lifetime.

Antitrust law – regulates fair competition between companies, including the control of monopolies and cartels.

Arbitrator – An independent person or body officially appointed to settle a dispute.

Articles Of Incorporation – The document which lists the regulations which govern the running of a company, setting out the rights and duties of directors and stockholders, individually and in meetings.

Aspirational Brand – A brand or product which people admire and believe is high quality, and wish to own because they think it will give them a higher social position.

Assets – Anything of value which is owned by an individual, company, organization, etc.

Attrition – The process of reducing the number of employees in an organization by not replacing people who leave their jobs.

Autocratic – Offensively self-assured or given to exercising unwarranted power. Expecting to be obeyed and not caring about the opinions and feeling of others.

AV – Anti-Virus – A common abbreviation referring to virus protection software/services for computer and internet use.

Avatar – An identity, often in cartoon form, which can be chosen from a selection or created by the person using it to represent themselves in a website chat room, etc.


Back-End Load – A fee or commission paid by an individual when they sell their shares in an investment fund.

Back Shift – A group of workers or the period worked from late afternoon until late at night in an industry or occupation where there is also a day shift and a night shift.

Bait-and-Switch – In retail sales, when customers are lured by advertisements for a product at a low price, then find that the product is not available but a more expensive substitute is.

Balance Sheet – A financial statement of an individual, company or organisation, which shows assets and liabilities (money owed) at a specific date.

Balloon – Describes a long term loan in which there is a large final payment when the loan matures.

Bandwidth – In computing, the amount of information that can be transmitted through a communication channel over a given period of time, usually measured in ‘bits per second’ (bps).

Bancassurance – The selling of both insurance and banking services, usually by a major bank.

Bankers Hours – A short working day, often with a long lunch break.

Bank Loan – A loan made by a bank to an individual, company, etc., for a fixed term, to be repaid with interest.

Bank Run – Lots of sudden and heavy cash withdrawals at the same time from a bank or banks, because customers believe the banks may become insolvent.

Base 2 – Also known as the binary system, which is the basis of computer logic. Normal counting is based on 0-9. Binary just has 0-1, which means a new column is started after two, not nine. Binary counting does not go 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. It goes 0, 1, 10, 11, 100, 101, etc. Other than for computing it’s not very practical.

Bean Counter – An informal derogatory term for an accountant, especially one who is perceived or suggested to be overly concerned about expenditure detail.

Bear Market – In the stock market a period of declining prices in which investors continue selling shares, expecting the prices to fall further. Came from the downward strike of bears claws.

Bear Raid – The practice, in the stock market, of attempting to push the price of a stock lower by selling in large numbers and often spreading unfavorable rumors about the company concerned.

Behemoth – A large and powerful organization. (originally from Hebrew, behemot – beast)

Bells and Whistles – Extra features added often more for show than function, especially on computers, cameras, etc., to make the product more attractive to buyers.

Below The Line – BTL. Describes marketing which has a short-term duration, such as non-media advertising, direct-mail, e-mail, exhibitions, incentives, brochures, etc., which is targeted directly at the consumer/customer. Often used by companies on a limited budget.

Benefit Principle – A taxation principle which states that those who benefit more from government expenditure, financed by taxes, should pay more tax for the product or service than those who benefit less.

Beta Test – The second test of a product, such as computer hardware, software, or even a website, under actual usage conditions, before the final version is used by or sold to the public. See Alpha Test.

Bid Bond – A sum agreed to be paid by a company that wins a contract if the work is not carried out.

The Big Board – An informal name for the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.

Biometrics – The biological identification of human features, such as eyes, voices and hands, increasingly used to identify individuals, e.g., in laptop computers, entry systems and passports.

Black Economy – Money earned in private cash transactions, which is untraceable, and therefore untaxable.

Black Knight – A company which makes a hostile takeover bid for another company that does not want to be bought.

Blind Test – Research method in which people are asked to try a number of similar products which are not identified by brand name, to decide which product is the best.

Blind Trial – A trial, with two groups of people, to test the effect of a new product, especially in medicine. One group is given the real product while the other group is given a placebo or “sugar pill”, which does not contain any medication.

Bloatware – In computing, software that needs so much computer memory that it takes a long time to load and therefore does not function properly.

Blue Chip – On the stock market, shares of a large company with a good reputation, whose value and dividends are considered to be safe and reliable.

Blue-Sky Law – In the US, a law designed to protect the public from buying fraudulent securities.

Blue-Sky Thinking – Open-minded, original and creative thinking, not restricted by convention.

Bluetooth – Wireless technology which allows data to be transferred over short distances between laptop computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, etc.

Bona Fides – Credentials showing someone’s true identity. (Latin – with good faith)

Bonded Warehouse – A warehouse in which imported goods are stored under bond, until the import taxes are paid on them.

Bonus – An extra sum of money given to an employee on top of their salary, often for achieving targets.

Bonus Culture – Term used when companies give their executives huge bonuses in addition to their large salaries, even if their performance has been poor, especially leaders of financial institutions.

Book Depreciation – A decrease or loss in value of a company’s assets, as recorded in the company’s finances.

Boomlet – A small period of rapid growth in trade and economic activity.

Bookkeeping – The recording of a business’s transactions, such as sales, purchases, payments, income, etc.

Bootstrapping – Starting a business from scratch and building it up with minimum outside investment.

Bossnapping – Believed to have started in France, the unlawful imprisonment of a boss, in the offices of a company or on the site of a corporation, by employees who are protesting against redundancy, closure of the company, etc.

Bottom Fishing – Buying the cheapest investments available which are unlikely to fall much further in value.

Bracket Creep – Slowly moving into a higher tax bracket with small pay increases over a period of time.

Brain Drain – The loss of highly skilled people to another region, country or industry, where they can work in a better environment and/or earn more money.

Brainstorming – Problem solving in small groups, contributing ideas and developing creativity.

Brand – A unique identifying symbol, trademark, company name, etc., which enables a buyer to distinguish a product or service from its competitors.

Brand Association –  Something or someone which make people think of a particular product.

Brand Loyalty – When a consumer repeatedly buys a particular brand of product and is reluctant to switch to another brand.

Bread and Butter – The main or basic source of income of a company or an individual.

Break Even – To make enough money to cover costs. In business, the point at which sales equals costs. To make neither a profit or loss.

Bubble Economy – An unstable boom when the economy experiences an unusually rapid growth, with rising share prices and increased employment.

Budget – Allocation of funds or the estimation of costs for a department, project, etc., over a specific period. The management of spending and saving money.

Bullet Point – A symbol, e.g. a dot or a square, printed at the beginning of each item on a list.

Bull Market – On the Stock Market, a prolonged period in which share prices are rising and investors are buying.

Business Angel – Also known as Private Investor. A, usually wealthy, individual who invests money in developing (often high risk) companies, and who provides their advice, skills, knowledge and contacts in return for an equity share of the business.

Business Plan – A written document which sets out a business’s plans and objectives, and how it will achieve them, e.g. by marketing, development, production, etc.

Business To Business – B2B. Commercial transactions or activities between businesses.
Business To Consumer – B2C – Transactions in which businesses sell goods and/or services to end consumers or customers.

Button Ad – A small advertisement on a website, typically measuring 120 x 90 pixels.

Buy-in – Purchase of a company where outside investors buy more than 50% of the shares, so they can take over the company.

Buzzword – A word or phrase which has become fashionable or popular, or sounds technical or important and is used to impress people.


Cafeteria Plan – A system which allows employees to choose from a selection of benefits which may be tax-advantaged, such as retirement plan contributions, health benefits, etc., in addition to their salary.

Calculated Risk – A risk which has been undertaken after careful consideration has been given to the likely outcome.

Callable – Usually applies to bonds or convertible securities which can be bought back, at an agreed price, before maturity, by the company or government which sold them.

Call Account – A bank account, which usually pays a higher rate of interest, from which investors can make instant withdrawals

Campaign – A Marketing term used to identify the ideal progression of direct mail, email, phone calls and personal visits to generate sales opportunities from the marketing effort. Usually covers several months and the process is automated to insure proper execution..

Candlestick Graphs or Charts – Invented by a Japanese rice trader, it has become a key indicator of when technical traders buy or sell commodities or stock.

Cap And Collar – The upper and lower limits of interest rates on a loan, usually fixed for a specific period of time.

Capital – The net worth of a business, including assets, cash, property, etc., which exceeds its liabilities (debts). The amount of money invested in a business to generate income.

Capital Allowance – Money spent by a company on fixed assets, such as buildings, vehicles, machinery, which is deducted from its profits before tax is calculated.

Capital Flight – The sudden movement of money from one country or investment to another in order to reduce risk, such as high inflation, or to increase profit.

Capital Gains Tax – Tax payable on profits made on the sale of certain types of assets by a company or individual.

Capitalism – When an economic system of a country is controlled and profited by private individuals and corporations, rather than the government.

Capitalization Issue – When a company converts its spare profits into shares, which are then distributed to existing shareholders in proportion to the amount of shares they already hold.

Capital Outlay – Money which is spent for the acquisition of assets, such as land, buildings, vehicles, machinery.

Capped-Rate – Interest rate, usually on a loan, which cannot rise above the upper set level but can vary beneath this level.

Cartel – A group of separate companies or nations which together agree to control prices and not compete against each other. Also known as a Price Ring.

Cash Call – A request by a company to its shareholders to invest more money.

Cash Cow – A steady dependable source of income which provides money for the rest of a business.

Cash Flow – The movement of money into and out of a company, organization, etc.

Cash Flow Forecast – a.k.a. Cash Flow Projection. An estimate of the amounts of cash outgoings and incomings of a company over a specific time period, usually one year.

Casting Vote – The deciding vote cast by the presiding officer to resolve a deadlock when there are an equal number of votes on both sides.

Catch-22 – Much misused expression, it refers properly only to a problem whose solution is inherently self-defeating. Wrongly it is used to describe any insurmountable or difficult problem. It’s from Joseph Heller’s book of the same name; see cliches origins.

Category Killer – Large companies that put smaller and less efficient competing companies out of business.

Cattle Call – Term used in the entertainment industry for a large number of actors, etc., who are all auditioning for the same job.

Caveat Emptor – When the buyer takes the risks and is responsible for checking the condition or quality of the item purchased. (Latin – Let the buyer beware)

Carbon Credit – Allows the right to emit a measured amount of harmful gases, such as carbon dioxide, into the air, and can be traded between businesses and countries.

Chain Of Command – A system in a business, or in the military, in which authority is wielded and delegated from top management down through every level of employee. In a chain of command instructions flow downwards and accountability flows upwards.

Chamber Of Commerce – A group of business owners in a town or city who form a network to promote local business.

Channel Of Distribution – Also known as Distribution Channel. A means of distributing a product from the manufacturer to the customer/end user via warehouses, wholesalers, retailers, etc.

Class Action – A lawsuit in which one person makes a claim and sues on behalf of a large group of people who have similar legal claims, usually against a company or organization.

Class A Spot – In the media, commercials which are run on a prime time network.

Clicks And Mortar – Also known as Clicks and Bricks. Refers to businesses which trade on the Internet as well as having traditional retail outlets, such as shops.

Clickstream – A record of an internet user, including every web site and web page which have been visited, and e-mails sent and received.

Click-Through – When a person clicks on an advertisement on a web page which takes them to the advertisers website.

Clip-Art – Ready made pictures of computerized graphic art which can be copied by computer users to add to their own documents.

Code-Sharing – An arrangement between different airlines in which they all agree to carry passengers on the same flight using their own flight numbers.

Combined Ratio – In insurance, a way of measuring how much profit has been made by comparing the amount of money received from customers to the amount paid out in claims and expenses.

Commercial Monopoly – The control of a commodity or service by one provider in a particular market, virtually eliminating competition.

Commercial Paper – An unsecured and unregistered short-term agreement in which organizations can borrow money from investors who cannot take the assets from the organization if the loan is not repaid.

Competitive Advantage – A position a business gains over its competitors.

Competitor – A business rival, usually one who manufactures or sells similar goods and/or services.

Competitor Analysis – Also called Competitive Analysis. A company’s marketing strategy which involves assessing the performance of competitors in order to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

Compliance Officer – A corporate official whose job is to ensure that a company is complying with regulations, and that its employees are complying with internal policies and procedures.

Compound Interest – Interest which is calculated on not only the the initial loan, but also on the accumulated interest.

Compulsory Purchase – When an organization has the legal right to force the sale of land, property, etc., usually to build motorways or railways.

Concept – A thought or notion. An idea for a new product, advertising campaign, etc.

Concierge – An employee of e.g. an hotel who provides a service to guests, such as handling luggage, delivering mail and messages, making tour reservations, etc.

Conciliation – To bring two disputing sides together to discuss the problem with the aim of reaching an agreement.

Conditional Sale – A purchasing arrangement, usually where the buyer pays in installments but does not become the legal owner of the goods until the full purchase price has been paid.

Conference Call – A telephone call which allows three or more people to take part at the same time.

Conglomerate – A corporation which consists of several smaller companies with different business activities.

Conservator – In law, a guardian or protector appointed by a court to manage the affairs, finances, etc., of someone who is too ill or incapable of doing so themselves.

Consortium – A group of businesses, investors or financial institutions working together on a joint venture.

Consultant – An expert who is paid by a company, individual, etc., to give advice on developing plans and achieving goals.

Consumer – An individual who uses goods and services but who may not have been the purchaser.

Consumer Credit – Also called Personal Credit or Retail Credit. Loans given to consumers by financial institutions for household or personal use.

Consumer Debt – Money owed by people in the form of loans from banks or purchase agreements from retailers, such as ‘buy now pay later’.

Consumer Panel – A group of selected people, usually a cross-section of a population, whose purchasing habits are monitored by an organization, in order to provide feedback on products, services, etc., which are used.

Consumer Price – The price which the general public pays for goods and services.

Consumer Price Index – CPI. A measure of inflation which involves regularly monitoring the change in price for everyday goods and services purchased by households.

Consumer Protection – Laws which protect consumers against unsafe or defective products, deceptive marketing techniques, dishonest businesses, etc.

Consumer Watchdog – An independent organization that protects the rights of individual customers and monitors companies to check for illegal practices. Ralph Nader was one of the first high profile consumer watchdogs as he attacked the automobile industry concerning design flaws.

Consumption Tax – Tax paid which is based on the price of services or goods, e.g. value added tax.

Contingency Fee – In law, a fee that is payable to the lawyer out of any damages which have been awarded to the client by a court. There is no payment if the case is unsuccessful.

Contingent Liability – This is recorded as a debt on a company’s accounts which may or may not be incurred, depending on the outcome of a future event, such as a court case.

Contraband – Goods prohibited by law from being exported or imported. Smuggling.

Contract Of Employment – A contract between an employee and an employer which specifies terms and conditions of employment, such as hours to be worked, duties to perform, etc., in return for a salary, paid benefits, paid holiday, etc., from the employer.

Contract Of Purchase – Also called Purchase Agreement. A legal document which states the terms and conditions, including price, of the sale of an item.

Contractor – An individual, company, etc., who agrees to provide goods and/or services to another individual or company under the terms specified in the contract.

Contract Worker – A person who is hired by a company (but not as an employee), often through an employment agency, for a specific period of time to work on a particular project.

Contra Entry – In accounting, an amount entered which is offset by another entry of the same value, i.e., a debit is offset by a credit.

Control Account – An account which a company keeps in addition to its official accounts, in order to cross-check balances, etc., to ensure that the official accounts are accurate.

Controlling Interest – The ownership of more than 50% of the voting shares in a company, which enables the owner of these shares to make decisions, direct operations, etc.

Convene – To gather together for an official or formal meeting.

Convention – A large formal meeting of politicians, members, delegates, sales people, etc.

Convertible – Refers to a security (bonds or shares) which can be exchanged for another type of security in the same company.

Convertible Currency – Currency which can be quickly and easily converted into other countries currencies.

Cookie – On a computer, coded information that an Internet website you have visited sends to your computer which contains personal information, such as identification code, pages visited, etc., so that the website can remember you at a later time.

Cooling-Off Period – A period of time after the exchange of contracts, purchasing agreements, etc., during which the purchaser can change their mind and cancel the contract, and usually get any deposit paid reimbursed.

Cooperative – An organization or business which is owned and run by its employees, customers and/or tenants, who share the profits.

Cooperative Marketing – Also known as Cooperative Advertising. When two companies work together to promote and sell each others products. A manufacturer or distributor who supports, and often pays for, a retailers advertising.

Copyright – An exclusive legal right to make copies, publish, broadcast or sell a piece of work, such as a book, film, music, picture, etc.

Core Earnings – A company’s revenue which is earned from its main operations or activities minus expenses, such as financing costs, asset sales, etc.

Corporate Advertising – Also called Institutional Advertising. Advertising that promotes a company’s image, rather than marketing its products or services.

Corporate Hospitality – Entertainment provided by companies in order to develop good relationships with its employees, customers, other businesses, etc.

Corporate Ladder – The order of rank, position, etc., in a company from junior to senior, which can be progressed or ‘climbed’ by employees.

Corporate Raider – A term used for an individual or company who purchases large numbers of shares in other companies, against their wishes, in order to gain a controlling interest in the other companies, or to resell the shares for a large profit.

Corporate Social Responsibility – CSR. An obligation of a company to adhere to legal guidelines in order to meet the needs of its employees, shareholders and customers, and also to be concerned about social and environmental issues.

Corporate Veil – A term which refers to the fact that a company’s shareholders are not liable for the company’s debts, and are immune from lawsuits concerning contracts, etc.

Corporation – A large company or a group of companies which is legally authorized to act as a single entity, separate from its owners, with its liabilities for damages, debts, etc., limited to its assets so that its shareholders and owners are protected from personal claims.

Corporation Tax – A tax which limited companies and other organizations, such as societies, clubs, associations, etc., pay on their profits after adjustments for certain allowances.

Correspondence Course – A study course using written correspondence, books, etc., which are sent to you by post from learning institutes.

Corruption – Lack of honesty or integrity. Illegal behaviour, such as bribery, by people in positions of authority, e.g. politicians.

Cost Accounting – Managerial accounting which calculates, records and controls the operating costs of producing goods or services.

Cost Control – A management process which ensures that departments within a company or organisation do not exceed their budget.

Cost Cutting – Reducing an individual’s, company’s, etc, expenditure.

Cost Effective – Producing a product, offering a service, etc., in the most economical way to the benefit of the company and the customer.

Cost Leader – A company which has a competitive advantage by producing goods or offering services at a lower cost than its competitors.

Cost Of Living – The standard cost of basic necessities which people need to live, such as food, housing and clothes.

Cost Of Living Allowance – COLA. A salary supplement which a company pays to employees because of an increase in the cost of living.

Cost Of Sales – Also known as Cost Of Goods Sold (COGS). The cost of providing a service or manufacturing a product, including labour, materials and overheads.

Cost Overrun – The amount by which the actual cost of a project, etc., exceeds the original budget.

Cost Per Click – CPC. The amount of money an advertiser pays to a website publisher every time a visitor clicks on an advert displayed on the publisher’s website which links to the advertisers website.

Cottage Industry – A small business in which production of goods or services are based in the home rather than in a factory or on business premises.

Counterbid – To make a higher offer than someone else in a bid to buy something.

Counterclaim – In a court of law, a claim made against you (plaintiff) by the person (defendant) you are making a claim against.

Countersign – To add a second signature, where required, to a document or check, in order to make it valid.

Courier – A person who carries and delivers messages, documents, packages, etc., often between companies. A person employed by a travel company as a tourist guide.

Courseware – Computer software designed to be used in teaching or for self-learning.

Covenant – A written promise, sometimes part of a contract, to perform, or not to perform, a particular action.

Cover Charge – A fixed fee charged by a nightclub or a restaurant with live entertainment, which covers, or part covers, the cost of musicians, DJs, etc.

Cowboy – A dishonest, often unqualified, business person, especially one who overcharges for bad quality work. Not to be confused with the cowboy of top-shelf publications.

Creative Director – A person who usually works in the advertising or entertainment industry and is responsible for planning and managing the creative aspects of an advertising or promotional campaign.

Credit – An arrangement in which an item for sale is received by the purchaser and paid for at a later date. A loan. The positive balance in a bank account. An amount entered in a company’s accounts which has been paid by a debtor.

Credit Analysis – The process of analyzing a company’s financial records and assessing its ability to repay a loan, etc.

Credit History – A record of an individual’s or company’s debt repayment, used by lenders to asses a borrowers ability to repay a loan, mortgage, etc.

Creditor – A person, business, etc., to whom money is owned.

Credit Rating – Information based on a person’s or company’s financial history, which determines their ability to repay debts, loans, etc. Lenders use this information when making a decision regarding a loan approval.

Credit Repair – The process of helping to improve a person or company’s credit rating, sometimes by disputing or correcting credit history discrepancies.

Credit Union – A financial institution, similar to a bank, whose members create the funds from which they can obtain loans at low rates of interest.

Crisis Management – Actions taken by a company to deal with an unexpected event which threatens to harm the organization, such as a loss of a major customer, bad publicity, etc.

Criterion – A principal or standard by which other things or people may be compared, or a decision may be based.

Critical Mass – The minimum amount of customers, resources, etc., needed to maintain or start a business, venture, etc. The point at which change occurs e.g., when a company is able to continue in business and make a profit without any outside help.

Cross Guarantee a.k.a. Inter Company Guarantee – A guarantee by a group of companies to be responsible for the debts, etc., of another company in the group if it fails to repay them. The group also use the guarantee to raise capital or take out multiple loans.

Cross Merchandising – Also known as Cross Selling or Add-On Sales. In retailing, the practice of putting related products together on display in order to encourage customers to purchase several items.

Crowdsourcing – Term first coined by Jeff Howe in 2006 in Wired magazine. Describes when an organization delegates a task to a large number of individuals via the Internet, thereby using the general public to do research, make suggestions, solve a problem, etc., usually without being paid.

Crown Jewel – The most valuable and profitable asset of a company or business.

C-Suite – The Chief Officers or most senior executives in a business or organization.

Cube Farm – An open office which is divided into cubicles.

Currency Bloc – A group of countries that use the same currency, i.e. the Euro.

Current Account – A bank account which can be used to make deposits, withdrawals, cash checks, pay bill, etc.

Current Assets – Also called Liquid Assets. A company’s cash or assets which can be converted into cash usually within one year, including shares, inventory, etc.

Current Liability – In business, a liability or debt which must be paid within one year from the time of the initial transaction.

Crapola – Slang term. Items of little importance or poor quality. Rubbish.

Credit Crunch – Also known as Credit Squeeze. This usually precedes a recession. A situation in which loans for businesses and individuals are difficult to obtain when a government is trying to control inflation, because of the fear of bankruptcy and unemployment.

Credit Rationing – When a bank or money lender limits the amount of funds available to borrowers, or interest rates are very high.

Cronyism – In business and politics, showing favouritism to friends and associates by giving them jobs or appointments with no regard to their qualifications or abilities.

Current Ratio – A financial ratio which gives an indication of whether or not a company can pay its short-term debts.

Customer – An individual, company, etc., who purchases goods and/or services from other individuals, companies, stores, etc.

Customer Loyalty – Describes when a customer prefers to buy a particular brand or type of product, who prefers a particular shop, or who stays with the same company, such as a bank, insurance company, phone company, etc.

Customer Relations – The relationship a company has with its customers and the way it deals with them. The department in a company which is responsible for dealing with its customers, i.e. complaints, etc.

Customs Duty – A tax which must be paid on imported, and sometimes exported, goods, to raise a country’s revenue and to protect domestic industries from cheaper foreign competition.

Customs Union – A group of nations which have agreed to promote free trade, i.e., not to charge tax on goods which they trade with one another, and to set taxes for nations which are not members of the group.

Cutover – Also known as ‘Going Live’. The point in time a company or organization, etc., replaces an old program or system with a new one. Also used with website development – going from test sites to live.

Cut-Throat – Ruthless and intense competition. An unprincipled, ruthless person.

Cyberspace – Term credited to author William Gibson in 1984 which describes the imaginary place where e-mails, web pages, etc., go to while they are being sent between computers.

Cybersquating – The illegal activity of buying and registering a domain name which is a well-known brand or someone’s name, with the intent of selling it to its rightful owner in order to make a profit.


The Daily Official List – The daily record setting out the prices of shares that are traded on a stock exchange.

Damage Limitation – The process of trying to limit or curtail the amount of damage or loss caused by a particular situation or event.

Daughter Company – A company that is controlled partly or completely by a holding or parent company.

Dawn Raid – A sudden planned purchase of a large number of a company’s shares at the beginning of a days trading on the stock exchange.

Day Trader – Usually an individual who trades shares of stock during the day. Looking for violatily in share prices with major ups and downs during the day. Key is to buy low and sell high – multiple times a day if possible.

Deadbeat – A person or company who tries to avoid paying their debts.

Dead Cat Bounce – A derogatory term used on the stock exchange to describe a huge decline in the value of a stock, usually a share, which is immediately followed by a temporary rise in price before continuing to fall. From: “Even a dead cat will bounce if it falls from a great height”.

Debenture – Unsecured certified loan over a long period of time with a fixed rate, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future.

Debt – Money owed to another person or organisation, such as a loan, mortgage, etc., which is required to be paid back, usually with interest.

Debt-Equity Swap – An arrangement between a lender and a debtor, usually a company, in which the lender agrees to reduce the debt in exchange for newly issued shares from the borrower.

Debt Exposure – Money that a lender risks losing if the borrower fails to pay it back.

Decision Consequence Analysis – A process for helping decision makers, usually in the pharmaceutical and petroleum exploration industries, decide where resources such as time, money, etc., should be invested.

Decision Tree – A diagram which starts with an initial decision, and possible strategies and actions are represented by branches which lead to the final outcome decided upon.

Deep Throat – In business, an anonymous source of top secret information.

De Facto – Latin Existing in reality or fact, with or without legal right.

Defense Document – A document that a company’s shareholders receive which explains why an offer to buy the company should be rejected.

Deficit Financing – When a government borrows money because of a shortage of funds from taxes. This usually results in pushing up interest rates.

De-leveraging– An attempt by a company to reduce its debts, i.e. by selling off assets, laying off staff, etc.

Demographic Profile – Used in marketing to describe a particular segment of the population, i.e. social class, age, gender, income, etc.

Demographic Segmentation – The process of identifying and dividing consumers into groups according to their race, age, gender, religion, etc.

Deregulate – The reduction or removal of government regulations from an industry or business.

Desk Jockey – An informal term for someone who spends their working day sitting behind a desk, and who is concerned about administration.

Desktop Publishing – Producing printed documents, magazines, books, etc., using a small computer and printer.

Digerati – People who consider themselves to be experts of the Internet and computer industry.

Digital Wallet – Computer software used to store a persons bank account details, name, address, etc., to enable them to make automatic payments when they are making purchases on the Internet.

Direct Marketing – The marketing of products, services, etc., directly to individual potential customers by sending them catalogs, leaflets, brochures, etc., by mail (including e-mail), calling them on the telephone or calling door-to-door.

Director – A person appointed to oversee and run a company or organization along with other directors, In the entertainment industry, the person who directs the making of a film, TV program, etc.

Direct Overhead – A portion of the overheads, e.g. lighting, rent, etc., directly associated with the production of goods and services.

Dirty Money – Money made from illegal activities which needs ‘laundering’ so that it appears to be legitimate.

Disburse – To pay out money from a large fund, e.g. a treasury or public fund.

DISC – A model for understanding behavioral types in the workplace. Pinpoints communication styles and can be an excellent tool for team building, reducing conflict and improving communication.

Discount Loan – A loan on which the finance charges and interest is paid before the borrower receives the money.

Discount Window – In the US, when banks can borrow money from the Federal Reserve at low interest rates.

Discretionary Income – The amount of income a person is left with after taxes and living essentials, such as food, housing, etc., have been deducted.

Discretionary Order –  Permits a broker to buy or sell shares on behalf of an investor in order to get the best price.

Discriminating Duty – A variable tax levied on goods depending from which country they were imported.

Distributor – An individual or company who buys products, usually from manufacturers, and resells them to retail outlets or direct to customers. A wholesaler.

Diversification – The act of growing a business by enlarging or varying its range of products, services, investments, etc.

Dividend – A portion of profits paid by a company to its shareholders.

Docking Station – A device to which a notebook computer or a laptop can be connected so it can serve as a desktop computer.

Document Sharing – Used in video-conferencing. A system which allows people in different places to view and edit the same document at the same time on their computers.

Dollar-Cost Averaging – The practice of investing a fixed amount of money at fixed times in particular shares, whatever their price. A higher share price means less shares are purchased and a lower share price means more shares can be purchased.

Double-Blind – A method of testing a new product, usually medicine, in which neither the people trying the product nor those administering the treatment know who is testing the real product and who has been given a placebo containing none of the product.

Double-Entry Bookkeeping – An accounting method which results in balanced ledgers, i.e., for every transaction a credit is recorded in one account and a debit is recorded in another.

Double Indemnity – A clause in a life insurance policy where the insurance company agrees to pay double the face value of the policy in the event of accidental death.

Drayage – The fee charged for, or the process of, transporting goods by lorry or truck.

Drip Advertising – An advertising campaign in small amounts over a long period of time to ensure that the public is continually aware of a product or service.

Drum-Buffer-Rope – A method, usually in manufacturing, which ensures an efficient flow of work in a production process by taking into consideration any possible delays or problems which may occur.

Duopoly – Two companies, or a situation, in which both companies control a particular industry.

Dutch Auction – A type of auction which opens with a high asking price which is then lowered until someone accepts the auctioneers price, or until the sellers reserve price has been reached.


Earnest Money – Money paid in good faith as a deposit, usually for a property, to show that the buyer is serious about doing business with the vendor.

Earn-Out – An arrangement in which an extra future conditional payment is made to the seller of a business in addition to the original price, based upon certain criteria being met.

Easy Monetary Policy – A policy which enables the public to borrow money easily, at low interest rates, in order to expand the economy by investing the money in business activities.

E-Business – Electronic Business. Using the internet to conduct business or enable businesses to link together.

E-Commerce – Electronic Commerce. The buying and selling of products and services over the Internet.

Econometrics – Using mathematics and statistics to study the economy.
Economic Growth – An increase in a region’s or nation’s production of goods and services.

Economic Life – The period of time during which an asset, e.g. property, vehicle, machinery, etc., is expected to be usable, including repairs and maintenance, before a replacement is required.

Economies Of Scale – In manufacturing, the more units being made the cheaper each unit costs to produce.

Economy – The management of money, currency and trade of a nation. The efficient management of resources.

Ecotourism – Nature based travel to unspoilt places in the world with a view to conservation and to bring economic benefit to the local people. Also known as Ecological Tourism.

E-Currency – Electronic currency. Used on the Internet for making and receiving payments. Companies which provide this service include Paypal and E-Gold.

Edutainment – Products or media which both educate and entertain at the same time, such as TV, books, computer software.

E-Enabled – Being able to communicate and/or conduct business using the internet.

Egalitarian – Believing that everyone is equal and should all have the same rights and opportunities in life.

E-Lance – Freelance working using the Internet to sell services or goods anywhere in the world.

Elasticity Of Demand – The measure of whether people require more or less of a product or service after a price change.

Electronic Cottage – A home which has the necessary electronic equipment, such as telephone, computer, etc., from which to run a business.

Electronic Data Exchange – A means of exchanging documents between businesses using electronic equipment such as computers.

Electronic Purse – A type of micro-chipped smartcard which stores small amounts of money to enable payment for purchases, especially on the Internet, instead of having to use cash.

Embezzle – To dishonestly appropriate goods or money, with which one has been entrusted, from one’s employer.

Emoticon – Used in e-mails, internet chat rooms and text messages, symbols which represent facial expressions, e.g. 🙂 = smile.

Emotional Capital – Emotional experiences, values and beliefs of a company’s employees that make good working relationships and a successful business. Low emotional capital can result in conflict between employees, low morale and poor customer relations.

Emotional Intelligence – The ability or skill of a person to understand and control their emotions, and to understand and asses the feelings of others. Appears to link to high performance in a direct way.

Employee – An individual who is hired and paid by another person, company, organization, etc., to perform a job or service.

Employee Buyout – A transaction in which employees purchase all or most of a company’s shares, thereby gaining control of the company.

Employee Self Service – An Internet based system which enables an employee to access their personal records and payroll details, so they can change their own bank account details, contact details, etc.

Employee Stock Option –  Allows specified employees the right to purchase shares in the company at a fixed price.

Employer – A person, business, organization, etc., that pays for the services of workers.

Employment Equity – Promotes equal employment opportunities for everyone, regardless of gender, race, ability, etc.

Employment Law – Also known as Labor Law. The branch of the law that deals with the legal rights of employees, e.g. workplace safety, discrimination, compensation, etc.

Encrypt – Convert data into code which cannot be easily understood by people who have no authorization to view it.

End Consumer – An individual who buys and/or uses a product or service.

End Marker – Used at the end of a take in a film, TV program or audition to cover a mistake or to remind people who the person auditioning was during auditions.

Enterprise – A company or business. A business project, often one which is sometimes difficult and/or risky.

Enterprise Application Integration – Software technology that links computer programs, data bases, etc., within an organization, so that information can be shared.

Entrepreneur– An ambitious person who starts new business ventures in order to make a lot of money, often taking financial risks.

Environmental Impact Assessment – The effect that a proposed project, such as a new building or development, will have on the environment.

Environmentalist – An individual who is concerned about the protection, conservation and improvement of the natural environment.

E-Procurement – Electronic procurement. Businesses using the internet to purchase from, or sell goods and services to, other businesses.

Equilibrium Price – The price at which the demand of a particular product or service is equal to the quantity supplied.

Equity Accounting – When a company records, in its financial records, profits which can be claimed from an affiliated company which they part own.

Escape Clause – A condition in a contract which allows the contract to be broken in particular circumstances.

E-Tailer – An retailer who uses the internet to sell goods and/or services to the public.

Ethernet – Technology, invented by The Xerox Corporation, which connects computers in a local area network (LAN).

Ethics Committee – In medicine, an independent body which is appointed to examine and consider the rights and safety of people taking part in clinical trials.

Ethnic Monitoring – Recording and evaluating the racial origins of employees in a company to ensure that all races are represented fairly.

Euroland – Also known as the Eurozone. All the countries in the EU (European Union) that use the Euro as currency.

European Union – EU. Previously called the European Community. An international, economical and political organization which brought the nations of Europe together so that people, goods, money, services, etc., can move freely between member nations.

Exchange Rate – Also known as Foreign Exchange Rate. The rate, which can vary from day to day, at which a country’s currency can be exchanged for another country’s currency.

Exchange Rate Exposure – When a business risks losing money because of the need to change one currency for another of lower value.

Execution Risk – The risk that a company’s plans, or a project, will fail because of changes being made, e.g. entering a new market, bad management, etc.

Executive Director – Also called Internal Director. A person who usually works as a full-time senior employee for a company, and is responsible for the day to day running of the business, and is often a member of the company’s board of directors.

Ex Gratia – Something given or carried out as a favor or gift, rather than as a legal duty.

Exit Strategy –  A plan by an investor to dispose of an investment, such as shares in a company, to make a profit, or a business owner to dispose of their company, e.g., by selling the business, floating it on the stock market, ceasing to trade, handing it over to another family member, etc.

Ex Officio – Someone who has a right to be included because of their job or position, e.g. to sit on a committee. (Latin – by virtue of office or position)

Experience Curve – In business, when costs fall and production increases as a result of increase in workers skills and lower material costs.

Expert System – A computer software system which can provide expert knowledge for a specific problem when users ask a series of questions.

Export Credit – A loan taken out by an importer with a bank in an exporters country, so that the importer can buy foreign goods and pay for them at a later date.

Export Factoring – A facility offered by banks to exporters. The bank is responsible for collecting payments for exported goods, so that the exporter can borrow money from the bank before the goods have been paid for by the customers.

Exposition – A public event at which businesses, that produce related goods, can showcase their products and/or services.

Ex Stock – Goods which are available for immediate delivery because the supplier has them in stock.

Extension Strategy – A marketing strategy to stop a product going into decline by making small changes to it, reaching new customers or finding new uses for it, e.g. a drink which was sold as an aid to those recovering from illness is now sold as a sports drink.

External Competitiveness – Being able to sell goods and services to customers in foreign countries at a competitive price.

External Debt – Also known as Foreign Debt. Money that is owed by the government, organisations or individuals to creditors in other countries.

External Equity – A situation in which an organization’s employees receive similar pay for the same type of work as employees in other organizations, i.e. pay which is equal to market rates.

Extranet – A private computer network to which a company’s customers and suppliers can link and communicate using the Internet.

Ex Works – Goods which are delivered to the purchaser at the plant or place where they are manufactured. The purchaser then pays for transporting and insuring the goods from that point.

Eyeballs – Advertising term. A name given to the number of people who visit a website advertisement, which can be counted by the number of click-throughs.

E-Zine – An electronic magazine which is published on the internet, or delivered by e-mail.