Comprehensiveness rating: 4 read less
The book provides an extensive overview of many (if not most) of the relevant issues that would arise in the business law context. In fact, due to the comprehensive nature of the book, some of the chapters may in fact be redundant and could be streamlined (for instance, many of the issues that arise in Chapters 9-13 relating to agreements, assent and, consideration, could also be covered within the context of Chapter 53 – Contracts). One drawback is that the textbook does not appear to have an index of any kind, which could be a significant drawback, particularly for those students who have no prior familiarity with either business or legal issues. Similarly, while there is a list of “key terms” throughout the chapters, having all terms available within a glossary (in one place) would help with the readability of the model. Perhaps, in the future, the authors would consider maintaining the key terms but then hyperlinking those terms back to a glossary (or vice versa). The book also seems to place the right amount of emphasis on the subjects that business students would encounter more in their field – so there is a significant amount of information on corporate law and less information devoted to criminal law.
Accuracy rating: 5
Although I am not an expert on every aspect of the legal environment, it seems that all of the information presented is accurate. In those areas in which I have a specific expertise (business and securities laws) the information seems to be error-fee and accurate. In addition, the information was presented in an objective way with no errors detected. One thing that I would like the book to have included more often is relevant discussions regarding the ethics of a particular situation. While the book does include a chapter on ethics (as well as having small discussion of ethics within some of the chapters) given the relevance of ethics to the average business graduate, I would have liked to have seen more ethics discussion (relating back to that foundational chapter) in each of the sections – as well as more self-test and exercises that cover them.
Relevance/Longevity rating: 4
The book seems largely relevant. The challenge in a textbook of this magnitude is that the law, as a dynamic entity changes very quickly. Since the book’s original publication date in 2012, there are some aspects that have changed and that the book does not cover. For instance, in the chapter on securities regulation, there have been significant developments in the areas of crowdfunding (that would be of particular interest to business students). Since these occurred after 2012, the book does not mention those. Similarly, there have been a big development in the law regarding hybrid businesses – specifically with the rise of benefit corporations (and, to a lesser extent LC3s). The book mentions neither of these developments (although these were occurring during the original date of publication). As such, a select update for certain aspects (rather than a complete new edition) would be recommended.
Clarity rating: 5
The tone of the book is perfect for the type of student that will be using it. The writing is clear. Complicated, technical concepts are explained in such a way that even those students with little background or familiarity can cover the information. The hyperlink to glossary terms and definitions adds to the clarity (although it is unclear whether that feature would also be available in the PDF version) and allows readers to familiarize themselves with concepts without disrupting the overall flows of the book.
Consistency rating: 5
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. The same format is used throughout- for instance the sections are organized the same way. Exercises and self-tests are also consistent throughout.
Modularity rating: 5
The textbook does an excellent job of allowing the different sections to be mixed and matched in a way that helps instructors. When there are sections in the book that reference other sections, hyperlinks are provided that can facilitate the reader’s contextualization of a legal concept. In addition, the sections within a chapter are presented in such a way that is not overwhelming for the reader.
Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4
The organization of the book is generally easy to understand. Many of the concepts in the book can be viewed in a “siloed” fashion (meaning each legal field can be examined individually as well as in a larger context) and the book does a good job of recognizing that. It is confusing that there are two separate sections (with several chapters in between) that both discuss contracts. The “Introduction to Contract law” is located in Chapter 8 and “Contracts” as a separate section is found in Chapter 53. This could easily have rectified by the authors by moving contracts topics all to the same section or for the instructor by assigning those chapters all at the same time.
Interface rating: 5
The interface is largely appropriate for a book presented in this medium. All charts and textbox are clear and undistorted. The textbook authors have hyperlinks to appropriate forms, terms and organizations. They also include self-tests that benefit the students. Given the digital medium of the book, I do feel that there were other opportunities that the authors could have taken advantage of for the benefit of the student (for instance, by having more interactive components – perhaps with the self-tests or the learning objectives) however, the content and method of interface as it stands now is perfectly adequate.
Grammatical Errors rating: 5
I saw no grammatical errors in the book. The flow was easy and it seemed to have been proofed.
Cultural Relevance rating: 5
The book is written in a culturally relevant and sensitive way. Particularly with international law related issues, the authors seem to acknowledge the varying ways that cultural disagreement can manifest itself (for instance in their acknowledgement regarding how to discuss Burma/Myanmar). In addition, the authors to a good job of moving slightly beyond the “American perspective” with regard to examining the foibles of the country. For instance, the authors, when discussing separatist issues (in the chapter on international law) use examples from North America (whereas many other resources would use examples from less develop countries). The exercises presented in the book seem to be presented in a largely cultural neutral way (in that the authors discuss hypotheticals using many different gender roles, geographical locations and ethnic appellations – showing the diversity that is present in business and law issues).
I think the book does an excellent job of presenting the material related to business students and the law in a clear and comprehensive fashion. I would consider adopting this book for my students.