TOP 100 MANAGEMENT TERMS AND DEFINTIONS YOU NEED TO KNOW.

Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit organization, or government body..

Management includes the activities of setting the strategy of an organization and coordinating the efforts of its employees (or of volunteers) to accomplish its objectives through the application of available resources, such as financial, natural, technological, and human resources.

Workplaces depend on the strength of those in management positions. In addition to directing employees, managers must communicate with more senior professionals in their company to ensure the team meets goals and furthers the company’s mission. Although the duties of managers differ based on their industry and workplace, most fulfill the same basic responsibilities.

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

Securities Market(s) – Exchange(s) where investments such a stocks and shares, etc., are traded. Traditionally and originally these exchanges were buildings containing traders and brokers, etc., whereas nowadays such trading is conducted virtually using modern communications and IT systems, usually online, so that markets and exchanges are virtual, i.e., existing mostly through connections between people and organizations and systems, rather than necessarily requiring a physical grouping in a building.

Security/Securities – The strict financial meaning of a security is a document that proves ownership of stocks, shares, bonds, etc., or other investments or financial derivatives. More loosely the term securities refers to investments generally, for example in the term ‘securities market’.

Benchmarking-Benchmarking, or goal setting, allows a company to assess the opportunities they may have for improving a number of areas in any of its functions. A baseline is established, and metrics are developed with which to compare the future performance of the functions.

GAAP-Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), are a set of rules and practices having substantial authoritative support. GAAP is the standard that companies use to compile their financial statements such as the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. 

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

Insider-An insider in a company is someone who has access to important information about a company. This information could influence investor decisions that would impact the firm’s stock price or valuation.

Balance Sheet-A balance sheet is a statement of the financial position of a business which describes the assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity at a particular point in time. In other words, the balance sheet illustrates the business’s net worth.

Lien – A legal right to take and keep another persons property until a debt has been paid by the property owner.

Shadow – To be with someone in the workplace as they perform their job so that you can learn all about it.

Shadow Economy – Also called Black Economy. Business activities, including illegal activities, which are carried out without government approval or regulations.

Yarnstorming – Also called yarnbombing, an intriguingly specialised type of peaceful demonstration and activism in which objects such as works of art, sculpture, railings, phone boxes, considered unattractive by the activists, are covered by knitting or crochet, usually at night, and mainly by young women.

Yellow Pages – A telephone directory, usually printed on yellow paper, which lists businesses, organisations, retailers, etc., in alphabetical order in categories according to the service they provide.

Share – Any of the equal units into which a company’s capital stock is divided and sold to investors.

Zero-Based Budgeting – ZBB. A system in which a yearly budget for a department in a company starts at zero with no pre-authorised funds, and the department has to justify its budget requests.

Zero-Rated – Describes goods or services on which the buyer pays no value-added-tax.

Share Buyback – Also known as Stock Repurchase. A situation in which a listed company buys back its own shares from shareholders.

Share Capital – Funds raised by a company from shares sold to investors.

(in) Lieu – The word lieu rarely appears outside of the expression ‘in lieu of’, which means ‘instead of’, or ‘in place of’. For example, ‘time off in lieu’ means (and is a shortening of) time given off work instead of payment for extra hours worked. The word lieu is from French, ‘lieu’ and earlier ‘leu’, place, which came into English in the 1500s, originally from Latin locum/locus, place.

Lifeboat – An emergency loan offered to a company or bank which is in financial trouble.

Bottom Line-Generally, the term bottom line refers to the last line in a financial statement of a business, where a profit or loss is shown. It has also been adopted as a term to replace “What this means is…” in presentations and papers.

Accounts Payable-This is an accounting term that refers to the credit debt your business has incurred. Many businesses use credit for supplies, raw materials, or inventory purchases. The organizations you owe payment to are considered an account. These accounts can be put on a report for viewing. A quick glance at this report reveals the identities of your creditors, how much money is owed to each creditor, and how long that money has been owed.

Return On Investments-Return on investment (ROI) ratios are a group of business ratios that indicate the performance of capital contributed to the company from investors. There are many ratios for returns on investment. Generally, ROI refers to one formula used to gauge the return of investment:

Shewhart Cycle=The Shewhart Cycle is most often a circle with no beginning or end, meaning that the continuous improvement processes of business never stop. The cycle has four stages: planning (when you identify an opportunity and create a plan), doing (to test the plan on a small scale), checking (to evaluate the benefit of the plan), and acting (implementing the plan on a larger scale and then monitoring results). 

Accrual – The accumulation of payments or benefits over time.

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

Added Value – Enables and justifies a profit in business.

Affidavit – A sworn signed statement of fact used as evidence in court whose signature has been witnessed by a commissioner of oaths or other authorised officer, for example a notary. Medieval Latin for ‘he has stated on oath’, from affidare, meaning to trust.

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

Fiscal Year-The government fiscal year (FY) generally starts on October 1 of a year and ends on September 31 of the next year. For example, FY 2015 started on October 1, 2014, and ended on September 31, 2015.

The fiscal year for some business types mirrors the calendar year. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S corporations follow the calendar year for tax purposes, while corporations are allowed to design their own fiscal year.

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.

Bridging/Bridging loan/Bridge – A short term loan, normally at high rates of interest calculated daily, which ‘bridges’ a period when funds are unavailable, typically when payment has to be made before finance can be released from elsewhere to cover the transaction.

Brinkmanship – The practice of pursuing a tactic or method to the point of danger or damage, typically employed in competitive situations in which it is felt that the tactic will unsettle or cause the withdrawal of the adversary/ies. Dervies from the word brink, meaning the edge of a cliff or other dangerously high point.

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

Assets-Every business has assets, which in its simplest terms are items with value. All businesses need assets to produce products or sell services. An asset is anything a business owns.According to generally accepted accounting principles, the sum of the owner’s (shareholders’) equity and a business’ liabilities equals the total assets a business has.

Variable Expenses-Variable expenses are those business expenses which vary depending on the volume of business, sales, or the volume of transactions. Examples of variable expenses include postage and shipping for customer purchases, purchase of raw materials, inventory of products to be sold, hourly wages of employees, and sales commission.

Vision-Vision is the dream of what the owners want the organization to be. It should not be confused with strategy, which is the large-scale plan the company follows to make the dream happen. 

Cash Flow-Cash flow is the money that is moving (or flowing) in and out of a business in any given month. Cash may be coming in from customers or clients, who are buying products or services. Cash may be going out in the form of payments for expenses like rent or a mortgage. 

Employee Turnover-When employees leave a company and have to be replaced its called employee turnover. A certain amount of turnover is unavoidable, but too much can ruin a company. The two general types of turnover are voluntary (such as resigning) and involuntary (such as layoffs).

Equity-Equity is the value of the capital contributed by owners or stockholders. This is also referred to as shareholders’ equity.

Coercion – Forcing someone, by some method or other, to do something or abstain from doing something against their will.

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.

Financial Accounting Standards Board-The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is the primary body in the United States that sets accounting standards. The board updates and publishes generally accepted accounting principles for the standardization of accounting procedures.

Commission – In finance, a payment based on percentage of transaction value, according to the local interpretation of value (e.g., based on total revenue, or gross profit, etc).

Fixed Assets-Fixed assets are anything a business owns, such as buildings or equipment.

Liabilities-Liabilities are amounts owed by a business at any one time. They can be expressed as payables for accounting purposes. Included in liabilities are loans, credit payments due, taxes, or any other form of debt in which you are obligated to pay.

Line Manager-A line manager is a person who directly manages other employees and operations of a business while reporting to a higher ranking manager. The line manager term is often used interchangeably with direct manager.

Matrix Management-Matrix management is commonly used in organizations if they have a need to share resources across functions (i.e, different departments). In a matrix management system, an individual has a primary report-to boss and also works for one or more managers, most typically on projects.

Non-Disclosure Agreement-For many companies, one of their most valuable assets is their intellectual property which they must keep secret. A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legal document between employee and employer, in which the employer agrees to disclose certain information to the employee for a specific purpose. The employee then becomes legally bound not to disclose that information to anyone else.

Profit and Loss Statement-A profit and loss statement (called an income statement under GAAP), is a business report that shows net income as the difference between revenue and expenses. 

Mail Merge – The process of automatically personalising a customised letter or document by using a list of individual names and addresses, so the same letter can be sent to many people.

Mail Order – The purchasing or selling of goods over the Internet, telephone, from catalogues, etc., which are delivered to the customer by mail.

Overbought – On the Stock Market. a situation in which there has been too much buying of shares, etc., which has therefore caused prices to rise too high.

Overcapitalised – Refers to a business which has been provided with more money than it needs. To overestimate the capital value of a business.

Overdraft – Refers to the amount of money that is owed to a bank because withdrawals from an account exceed deposits. An arrangement in which a bank extends credit to a customer, usually up to a maximum amount.

Overheads – In business, regular costs which are incurred, such as wages, rent, insurance, utilities, etc.

Overmanned – A situation in which there are more workers than are needed for a job.

Mainframe – Also known as ‘Big Iron’. A large powerful central computer to which a network of smaller computers are connected, used commonly by large organisations.

Portfolio – A collection of investments, such as shares, bonds, etc., which are owned by an individual or organisation.

Portfolio Career – Concept attributed to guru Charles Handy in the 1990s. A career in which a person pursues several jobs at the same time, rather than working full-time for one particular company.

Port Of Entry – A place in a country where people and/or goods can officially leave or enter.

Portmanteau Word – A word formed from parts of two separate words, whose combined meanings generally produce the new meaning also. Many new management and business words, especially slang and jargon, enter the language in this way, and some become popular and well-established. See portmanteau words in the cliches and expressions origins page.

Positioning – Term used to describe the way a company, product, service, etc., is marketed in order to make it stand out from the competition by choosing a niche according to brand, price, packaging, etc.

Positive Discrimination – In the UK, a company’s policy of favouring a disadvantaged (because of race, sex, etc.,) group by making sure that jobs are given to people in these groups.

Mirror Site – On the Internet, an exact copy of a popular website. This is done so that some of the traffic can be diverted from the original website to the Mirror Site when the original site becomes very busy. Alternatively a copy website whose purpose is to attract and direct additional visitors towards the original site, regarded as unacceptable SEO (search engine optimisation) or ‘cheating’ by most search engines.

Misery Index – Created by economist Arthur Okun, an economic indicator of a country which adds the inflation rate to the unemployment rate.

Mission Creep – Originally applied to military operations, a gradual expansion of a project that goes beyond original aims, so things turn out differently than planned, often resulting in undesirable consequences.

Mission Statement – A brief statement which sets out the activities and objectives of a company or organisation.

Positive Sum Game – A win-win situation in which both sides involved in a business transaction, etc., can profit.

Litigant – A person or party who is involved in a court action or lawsuit.

Litigate – To legally settle a dispute in, or take a claim to, a court of law.

Litigious – To routinely or enthusiastically take legal action to settle disputes.

Litotes – A language term referring to understatement, used for emphasis, often ironically, in which the negative-opposite is used instead of the positive expression, for example, “It wasn’t the best presentation I’ve ever given,” when the speaker means that they considered it to have been a particularly poor one. Another example is the commonly used “Not bad,” or “Not half Bad,” when referring to something very good. The word litotes comes from Greek, litos, meaning single, simple or meagre.

Living Trust – A trust created in which assets can be transferred to someone while the grantor (the person who owns the assets) is still alive. Living Trusts avoid dealing with the legalities of a will.

Loan Shark – Someone who offers unsecured loans at excessive rates of interest.

Naked Debenture – Also known as Uncovered Debenture. A company’s loan or debt which is not backed by any security, i.e., the company’s assets.

Laid-Off – In industry, etc., when workers lose their jobs, sometimes temporarily, because there is no work for them.

Laity – Usage is typically ‘the laity’ (‘lay-ity’), an old traditional alternative word for lay people/members, typically used in relation to church organization and council, but applicable widely to ordinary people, as distinct from professional or qualified folk.

Keyword Advertising – Used on the Internet. When a user types in a particular ‘keyword’, an advertisement which is linked to a business relevant to that word, is displayed alongside the search engine results.

Kickback – A bribe or illegal payment made to someone in exchange for a successful referral for a job or transaction.

Kidult – An adult who enjoys films, games, TV, clothes, etc., which are deemed more suitable for children or much younger people.

Killer App – Short for Killer Application. Derives from the computer industry. A new product or service which is the first in its category and therefore dominates that particular market, creating huge returns on the initial investment.

Kitemark – In the UK, the official mark of approval by the British Standards Institution, to show that a product or service is safe, reliable and of good quality.

Landing Page – On the Internet, the first page that visitors to a website arrive at after they’ve clicked on a link to the site.

Larceny – The crime of unlawfully taking someone else’s property or money. Theft.

Large Cap – On the Stock Exchange, a company that has a large market capitalisation, i.e., a high total value of shares.

Law Of One Price – The rule that without trade barriers and transportations costs, identical products would cost the same worldwide using the appropriate exchange rate of currency.

Lay (people/person/member) – Also layman, or laywoman – Lay means non-professional, non-expert – ordinary member(s), of the public or of an organization, typically referring to religious communities, often relating to professions such as law and medicine, but potentially in any situation where non-professionals/experts are differentiated from qualified/professionals. The term may have an arrogant or patronising implication where expert, qualified, learned professionals discuss the general public or members who lack expertise.

Layaway – Often referred to as Lay-By. A means of purchasing an item by paying a small deposit to reserve it and then paying the balance in installments. When the total purchase price has been paid the customer can then take delivery of the goods.

Narrow Money – Also called M1. A country’s money supply which can be exchanged, for example coins, bank notes, bank cheques, travellers cheques, etc

Postage And Packing – Called Postage and Handling in the US. The cost of wrapping an item and sending it by post. Often used for mail order goods.

Packaging – Materials used to wrap a product. The way in which something, such as a product, person, proposal, etc., is presented, usually to the public.

Page Break – On a computer screen, a mark which indicates where a new page will be printed in a document.

Page Traffic – In computing, the number of times a web page has been visited.

Mainstream – A term applied to activities, ideas, products/services, etc., that are used/followed/supported by most people. Mainstream basically means ‘commonly used by people’. Mainstream as a marketing term is the opposite to ‘niche’ or specialised. Interestingly while ‘mainstream’ seems like a relatively modern word, it’s actually existed in this sense since about 1830.

Majority Interest – Owning more than 50% of the total shares in a company, and therefore more than 50% of the voting interest.

Revenue-A business’s revenue is the money generated by all its operations before deductions are taken for expenses. Revenue can come from the sale of the company’s products or services, from the sale of surplus equipment or property, or from the sale of shares of stock in the company. It can come from a variety of other sources such as interest, royalties, and fees. 

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