Fundamentals of Business - 3rd Edition
Stephen J. Skripak, Virginia Tech
Copyright Year: 2018
Last Update: 2020
ISBN 13: 9780997920178
Publisher: Virginia Tech Libraries
Conditions of Use
I must first state that I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy educator who holds a PhD in Business which is not a common combination of degree paths. I was intrigued by the possibility of adding more business theory to my health service administration... read more
I must first state that I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy educator who holds a PhD in Business which is not a common combination of degree paths. I was intrigued by the possibility of adding more business theory to my health service administration courses, but the cost has been historically prohibitive to the students in my experience. We utilize a niche health care admin textbook which misses some of the greater foundational business skills. When this opportunity presented to review materials that I could add to my course without adding cost, I was very pleased. I find Skripak to be comprehensive with the added bonus of my favorite chapter #18 Personal Finances which for Physical Therapy students who typically leave school with great debt to be invaluable!
I found the materials to be easy to read, well organized and did not find errors. I really enjoyed the links to external videos that supported the concepts. I feel the presentation was unbiased.
As this is the second edition with a 2018 publish date it was very current, however, I noticed after I began reading the 2nds edition that a 3rd edition (2020) has been released which updates figures, graphs, and some of the recent law changes. Having the book turn over that quickly makes it even a greater value to me as the instructor and to the student. I appreciate the relevance of being able to submit suggestions or corrections to the author and that they are making a test bank available in support of this material! Doesn't get much better than that!
Well written and not overly technical. The narrative flows well from the beginning to the end of each chapter.
From what I can tell, it is very consistent. I did not observe any changes in tone or terminology, but again, I am reading this through the eyes of someone who has earned a PhD in Business, so it is all very familiar to me.
When you go to the website, you can easily download each chapter in bits [https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/84848]. I first started reviewing the full .pdf of the 2nd edition and found that it didn't have bookmarks for each chapter so the scrolling was a bit annoying. I would add that piece to the full .pdf if possible and it appears they did that in the 3rd ed. However, the module approach online eliminates the need for a full book .pdf download.
Starts with teamwork which is perhaps one of the most important concepts in modern business. So I really appreciate that. The 18 chapters of the 2nd (and 3rd) edition cover all of the major elements of modern business. Certainly, each chapter could be expanded into it's own book. For example, Chapter 14 is Marketing, and there are full marketing textbooks, however, that is not the function of this book. The purpose is to take you through all of the major components of business as opposed to deep dives into each topic.
Again, I loved the interface with online videos. The links appeared to all work. Adds a multimedia approach to the words on the page.
I didn't see any that were obvious during my readings.
There were no elements that were culturally insensitive or offensive that I noted.
I look forward to integrating this open textbook into my Physical Therapy health service admin course as I can now get a glimpse of business fundamentals to supplement the health care niche that my students receive! Thank you for this opportunity. I do have some ideas for writing open textbooks and would be open to doing so. Steven G. Lesh
This book covers the overall landscape of contemporary businesses pretty well. While nothing significant is 'lacking', I would love to have the authors provide a chapter that quickly takes students through the history of business and another... read more
This book covers the overall landscape of contemporary businesses pretty well. While nothing significant is 'lacking', I would love to have the authors provide a chapter that quickly takes students through the history of business and another chapter that discusses the futuristic dimensions of business.
The contents are accurate. The authors have provided citations to key claims. The references have hyperlinks to more scholarly resources on topics discussed in the book.
The contents are presented in a generalized manner - meaning, the book could stand the test of time for a significant duration. The dynamism of the contemporary businesses could have been captured better, however. The digital transformation of businesses and societies has made the life cycle of knowledge shorter. More stress on e-businesses and digital models would have made the book more relevant.
The authors have used simple English. Overall, the book is very accessible.
Yes, there is a unity of purpose and a sense of unity, throughout the book.
The chapters are stand-alone, for the most part. So, professors need not teach the content sequentially.
Ideas are organized systematically. Every chapter opens with a set of learning objectives and this gives direction to the learners. The students are asked to reflect upon certain key questions, from time to time. Answers to these question are then made available in the content discussed. At the end of each chapter, certain key takeaways are listed. This facilitates a natural form of learning.
No issue noted.
No culturally insensitive use of language or images noted. However, in the forthcoming iterations, the authors are requested to bring in more dimensions of global businesses. Examples of business practices in other countries and cultures would add value.
One chapter (Chapter 15: Hospitality and Tourism) does not make a lot of sense. One might wonder why the authors devoted a full chapter for one industry! Why not similar chapters for other industries? It almost sounds like one of the authors had a chapter written for some other purpose, which needed to be inserted in this book. There are several other examples and case studies related to tourism in this book, too. Thinking of it positively, this book thus has an added advantages for students majoring in Hospitality and Tourism.
The OER does well on covering topics in an introductory level business course. It adds a section that is not in typical business fundamental material of hospitality which compliments our new program that we started at our college. read more
The OER does well on covering topics in an introductory level business course. It adds a section that is not in typical business fundamental material of hospitality which compliments our new program that we started at our college.
The book is consistent with most material that is available.
The examples in the book are commonly used in most topics of basic business fundamentals. It should hold relevancy for 4-5 more years.
The book is clear in the writing that can be easily read. Business terms are well represented and explained thoroughly. The material is written well for a student's first time learning business and how to apply it to what is happening around them.
The book is consistent from chapter to chapter. The sources of material are well represented. Visuals compliment the written material.
The chapters are seamless with transition from topic to topic. It could easily be broken up into sections of reading during certain points in the course. This text seems to be set up well for student team work to learn on each important topic of business basics.
Chapters are organized in a good way to learn all material and have it related to each former chapter. Personally I will be teaching the chapters in a different order to complement a business plan being created by students.
The book could use a few more visuals for students to relate to the material. Some of the visuals could use improvement, but as for the written material, it is clear and written well for beginners understanding business.
I did not find any grammatical errors.
Globalization section addresses cultural differences in a way that is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It used examples of variety of countries and global management practices.
The text is quite comprehensive covering: ECON, Ethics, Global Business, Forms of Ownership, Entre, MGMT, OB/OD, OM, Motivation, H/R, Unions, MKTG, Pricing, Hospitality MGMT, ACCT/FIN, and Personal FIN. Only areas "missing" = Information Systems... read more
The text is quite comprehensive covering: ECON, Ethics, Global Business, Forms of Ownership, Entre, MGMT, OB/OD, OM, Motivation, H/R, Unions, MKTG, Pricing, Hospitality MGMT, ACCT/FIN, and Personal FIN. Only areas "missing" = Information Systems and Data Analytics/Analysis.
Well researched and the sources are thoroughly documented.
With a 2016 publication date, it is up-to-date and should have a shelf life of several years. The biggest challenge will be updating the stories/vignettes as new information becomes available on the firms mentioned and technology inevitably impacts the content.
The material is easily accessible to the Introduction to Business student. Well written and the material flows well. Terms/jargon are thoroughly explained in the chapter and at the end of each chapter.
Consistency format for each of the chapters and interspersed well with photos, charts, and real-world stories.
The layout presents the material well and is easy to read. Chapter lengths and the length of the entire text fit well with the organization of a class over a semester.
I might organize the material a bit differently as the Global and Ethics items are early in the text and I might bump them to later in the term after additional terminology is learned and can be applied to that material. That said, overall the text is laid out logically and "like" content is connected in successive chapters, e.g. MGMT then OB/OD, etc.
Worked fine for me reading it on-screen.
I did not edit the text, but nothing glaring related to grammar jumped out at me.
On the contrary, I think the text tackles diversity head on and provides a good review of the 21st Century workplace and marketplace.
I am VERY likely to adopt this text for the next Intro to Business class that I teach.
This text does a good job of introducing key functions of an organization (Marketing, HR, Accounting/Finance) as well as core principles such as ethics, legal issues, and economics. The material is appropriate for an introductory course to serve... read more
This text does a good job of introducing key functions of an organization (Marketing, HR, Accounting/Finance) as well as core principles such as ethics, legal issues, and economics. The material is appropriate for an introductory course to serve as the foundation for general business or to move on to a concentration in any of these business disciplines. There are two chapters that do not quite seem to fit in with the rest of the text: chapter 12 discusses Union/Management Issues, which makes sense in the flow of the book that it follows chapter 11 on HR, but for an introductory course the chapter 12 topic gets into a lot of HR detail not generally covered in an introductory course. Chapter 15 focuses on the hospitality and tourism industry. This is a very specific chapter embedded within the book about an industry while the rest of the book is mostly general information that could be applied to any number or types of organizations. Still, out of 17 chapters there are 15 solid chapters that provide great content and overview of the subject matter.
The book is written in an easy to read format with no noticeable grammatical errors or formatting issues. It is easy to find topics within chapters based on the layout, fonts, etc. The information itself is rooted in fundamental concepts of each chapter's topic or subject matter within the business discipline and there are no overt attempts to lead the reader in a particular manner to form bias or opinions, other than to establish critical thinking of topics.
While there are some examples that may seem somewhat dated, they are explained in a manner that is easy to understand and they are relevant (or "fit") within the context of the chapters and course concepts being discussed. The book is quite lengthy but given the 17 chapters that is to be expected. The author could probably eliminate two chapters on ancillary material to make it a shorter text but the chapters are not unnecessarily bloated for the sake of adding more vocabulary or unnecessary graphics.
The book uses easy to understand language, explains course concepts and terminology, and reinforces abstract ideas with examples. Overall it does a good job of relaying topics that are being introduced to students for the first time.
The text remains consistent in present tense tone of voice, chapter structure is organized consistently throughout the text, and the use of masculine vs. feminine language is muted so that it presents information to readers in a gender-neutral manner.
One could easily pick up this course text and only read select chapters that were of interest. Gaining an understanding of the legal topics (Chapter 5 Forms of Business Ownership) was not necessary to learning about subsequent chapters such as Marketing, HR, economics, etc. An instructor could pull needed material from this course text to supplement other teaching materials as well as to expand on the introductory materials contained herein to build out a more robust, in-depth course on any of the topics contained within this textbook.
There is a very logical structure with the early chapters discussing types of business formation, teamwork, and ethics before moving to more operational activities such as financing, marketing, management and so forth. A few chapters could be reorganized. The ethics chapter could be moved to coincide with the legal (chapters 3 & 5) and there are two chapters that do not seem to fit with the introductory material (Chapter 12 on Unions and Chapter 15 on Hospitality & Tourism) but otherwise the book had a good flow of advancing through the broad goal of introducing multiple aspects of business.
The book could use more graphs, pictures, diagrams, etc. to emphasize course concepts; however, the author made the textbook very easy to read (especially online) so the lack of numerous photos or graphics may conversely make it easier to download and read as plain text.
There are no noticeable grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. There are a few figures that are either not labeled or are not appropriately referencing the course text where they are presented, leaving "floating images" in some places that have no meaning to the topic discussed. Figure 7.3 on page 167 is an example. There is a photo of someone's arm by a laptop and notepad next to sections discussing operational plans and planning for contingencies or crises.
Gender neutral language is used throughout the course text and no offensive references are made or examples presented. The textbook examples cover a wide array of businesses, industries, and geographical reference points.
This course is an excellent resource for a first-year business student that is seeking a broad overview of several business disciplines and to lead into more in-depth study of the course topics throughout an undergraduate curriculum.
The text covers all the typical topics for introductory business course. The Chapter 15: Hospitality and Tourism is relevant to the increasing industry segment. The last chapter on Personal Finances does come after Chapter 16 Accounting but seems... read more
The text covers all the typical topics for introductory business course. The Chapter 15: Hospitality and Tourism is relevant to the increasing industry segment. The last chapter on Personal Finances does come after Chapter 16 Accounting but seems out of place with no connection to the rest of the text.
There does not seem to be any errors or biases.
The textbook was recently written making issues and news items current. Social media marketing is thorough discussed. The Marketing chapter introduces the SAVE marketing model which is taking the place of the four Ps of the marketing mix. Historic ethics cases such as WorldCom and Bernie Madoff are presented.
Pages are of a simple layout with easy readability. All terms are defined and this would also be an appropriate text to use with high school dual credit courses.
Graphics are appealing and provide a distinct look for the various sections of the text. All chapters start with learning objectives and end with take-aways. The individual chapters are of various lengths. Chapter 12: Labor Unions covers just the one topic. Other chapters are much longer with up to seven sections.
There many chapters that could be assigned or presented in a different sequence. It is easy to find and refer to tables and divisions of the chapters.
I find the placement of teamwork as the preface could be very be very beneficial in setting up for class activities and useful for students as they become active in college clubs and organizations.
Effective graphics make the chapters and sections clear. There are very few photos and those are clear and useful.
I found no grammatical errors.
Cultural differences, of course, are addressed in Chapter 4: Globalization of Business. Although there are few photos only one features a person of color.
While the chapter concepts are summarized with "Key Take-Aways", there is no end of chapter "check for understanding" such as review questions, discussions, or activities. Adoption of this textbook would require significant development of assessment tools. The references section at the end of the book is organized by chapter and provides a valuable resource of website hyperlinks.
The text has an extensive coverage and actually has several chapters one doesn't normally find in an introductory textbook on business. If this was a traditional textbook, I would not adopt it since there are superfluous chapters and sections that... read more
The text has an extensive coverage and actually has several chapters one doesn't normally find in an introductory textbook on business. If this was a traditional textbook, I would not adopt it since there are superfluous chapters and sections that I would not want in the book but since I can custom-make an electronic copy, I would cut the unnecessary section.
The content is standard and can be found in many similar textbooks. I did not find any errors or biased opinion. All assertions are backed by reputable sources.
In such a book, the only areas that need regular updating are the examples, vocabulary, and technology. 1. Examples must be current, real, and interesting for the students in order to drive home the issues. Most recent news from companies like Apple, Amazon, or Starbucks attract the attention of students. 2. Vocabulary. "Human Resources" instead of "Personnel" or "Tossed salad" instead of "Melting Pot," etc. 3. Technology. Other than specific case studies which might have a historical significance, all references to hardware, software, and telecom should show the most current examples.
It flows well if a freshman or any student new to the business major (otherwise why one would read such a book) can get past the boring look and "feel" of the book. the book looks like a long term paper! Proper use of deeper indentations and special boxes can give the book a more interesting and magazine-like feel, although I understand that part of the bland look is due to cost restrictions.
I did not find any inconsistencies.
The book, by it's electronic nature, is naturally flexible but only to the extent of being able to cut or move materials but I am not sure if an adopter can add his/her own chapters/sections.
This is where I will offer the bulk of my feedback. A. Why does TEAMWORK has its own special section before the chapters start? It should be moved to chapter 7, 8, or 10. B. Chapter 12 (Union-Management Issues) is not necessary in such a basic business text. The topic can be subsumed under chapter 3 or 11. C. Another superfluous chapter is #15 (Hospitality and Tourism). It looks like one of the contributors to this text has a specialty in this area. For instance, do students also need to read a chapter about Real Estate or another one about the Airline Industry? D. As much as Personal Finance (chap. 17) is a very useful topic, especially for younger generation of students, allocating a separate chapter to it seems unnecessary to me. How about moving an itemized summary of it to an appendix at the end. E. In place of the deleted chapters, add or restructure as follows, so as to have more chapters about marketing which has the effect of making the text a lot more interesting for the commercial and consumer-driven society we all live in. Chapter 13, Marketing (Introduction to the topic plus discussion of the Product aspects) Chapter 14, Marketing (Price & Place) or (Price and Distribution) Chapter 15, Marketing (Promotion & Advertising)
The only interface issue I found is mentioned in #7.
Grammar is good.
I did not find any of words or phrases that may come across as culturally insensitive or politically incorrect.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Teamwork in Business
- Chapter 2: The Foundations of Business
- Chapter 3: Economics and Business
- Chapter 4: Ethics and Social Responsibility
- Chapter 5: Business in a Global Environment
- Chapter 6: Forms of Business Ownership
- Chapter 7: Entrepreneurship: Starting a Business
- Chapter 8: Management and Leadership
- Chapter 9: Structuring Organizations
- Chapter 10: Operations Management
- Chapter 11: Motivating Employees
- Chapter 12: Managing Human Resources
- Chapter 13: Union/Management Issues
- Chapter 14: Marketing: Providing Value to Customers
- Chapter 15: Pricing Strategy
- Chapter 16: Hospitality and Tourism
- Chapter 17: Accounting and Financial Information
- Chapter 18: Personal Finances
About the Book
Fundamentals of Business, third edition (2020) is an 370-page open education resource intended to serve as a no-cost, faculty customizable primary text for one-semester undergraduate introductory business courses. It covers the following topics in business: Teamwork; economics; ethics; entrepreneurship; business ownership, management, and leadership; organizational structures and operations management; human resources and motivating employees; managing in labor union contexts; marketing and pricing strategy; hospitality and tourism, accounting and finance, and personal finances. The textbook was designed for use in Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business introductory level business course, MGT1104 Foundations of Business and is shared under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial ShareAlike 4.0 license.
About the Contributors
Stephen J. Skripak, Professor of Practice in Management at Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech. Former Associate Dean for Graduate Programs (2006-2014). Senior executive with 25 years of business leadership experience, including positions as General Manager and Chief Financial Officer with divisions of Fortune 500 companies. Background includes financial services, consumer packaged goods, apparel, and industrial companies, with emphasis in turnaround situations.