Business news is about the buying, selling or exchange of products and services for money. Businesses may be privately or publicly owned. Those that are not for profit and return all or part of their profits to their owners are known as non-profit businesses. Those that trade on the stock market are called public businesses. Businesses are a major source of economic growth, which is fueled by increased productivity.
Whether through personal greed, insufficient scrutiny of corporate affairs, or an insensitivity or indifference to public opinion, few business leaders have been exempt from the charge of wickedness. And it is tempting to blame those in the upper echelons of business for the many problems plaguing the world today.
But the real issue is that the system itself has failed. In the long run, capitalism can’t work when too few people are making decisions and too few are holding companies accountable. A culture of corruption and dishonesty in business has contributed to the current financial crisis, but it also reflects an overall decline in social capital—the trust in and respect for each other that is so necessary for a well functioning economy.
To regain its strength and vitality, the private sector must be reinvigorated with new ideas and new energy. The good news is that business leaders are beginning to realize this, and they are remaking their organizations. Some are turning to innovative practices from outside the industry, and others are embracing their role as agents of change in society.
The most significant changes are taking place in technology, health care, and globalization. These developments require us to reconsider our assumptions about the way that people will organize and conduct their daily lives in the future. In addition, they have profound implications for the nature of business itself.
The future of the global economy will depend on how well these trends are managed by business leaders and government officials. The key is to find the right balance between competing interests and finding ways to create value for all stakeholders, including customers and employees.
The Library of Congress collects print and microform business news publications from around the world for researchers. To request materials, or for more information, please see our How to Use this Collection guide.