417 Business Topics & Research Titles about Business

The corporate world is the world of the future – there’s no doubt about that. And education in ABM will help you conquer it!

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What is ABM strand, exactly?

ABM stands for Accountancy, Business, and Management. Future leaders and entrepreneurs pursue education in this field to learn the skills essential for their careers. They study how to run a business. How to talk to clients. And, of course, how to come up with strategies to earn money.

Looking for exciting business topics to write about in a paper or dissertation? Here you’ll find a list of research titles about business, as well as ABM qualitative and quantitative research ideas collected by Custom-writing.org experts. We hope that these business and management research topics will inspire you for your own project or for a heated discussion.

❣️ Choosing an ABM Qualitative or Quantitative Research Topic

👔 business topics to write about, 💸 business topics on marketing, 📈 accounting research titles about business, 💫 business management research topics, 👷 business topics on hr, 🤔 abm strand research faq, 🔍 references.

The key part of acquiring any education is writing a research paper . Why do it? First, it’s a test of a student’s analytical, writing, and research skills. Second, being able to conduct business research is paramount to its success.

  • It helps you communicate with customers.
  • It helps you scan the marketplace for threats and opportunities.
  • It helps you understand how to minimize risks.
  • It helps you plan your investments effectively.
  • It helps you keep your hand on the pulse of the current trends in the market.

The obtained skills will guide you through the entirety of your professional career. It’s an experience that can’t be skipped. We’ve hand-picked 417 research topics related to the ABM strand, just for you. Here, you will find the best ideas for your future ABM research paper masterpiece.

The first step in writing an ABM research paper is choosing a topic. With the abundance of ABM research topics ideas on the Internet, it’s not an easy task. Simply picking one won’t do the trick. You will need to juggle relevance, applicability, and your own personal interest in the subject.

There are two main types of AMB research methods: qualitative and quantitative.

  • Qualitative research answers the why and the how questions. It tests customers’ reaction to new products and studies consumer behaviors. Case studies, interviews, and focus groups are the common methods of collecting such data.
  • Quantitative research collects numerical data and analyzes stats. The common methods include various surveys in target groups.

What ABM fields to explore are out there?

  • Financial accounting (aka accountancy) is creating financial statements to be distributed within and outside of a company.
  • Management accounting is creating operational reports to be distributed only within a company.
  • Banking and finance are all about financial services provided to customers, and the laws of investment.
  • Business administration is supervising and overseeing various business operations.
  • Marketing is all about the promotion of buying and selling services and products.
  • Entrepreneurship is all about the process of coming up with, starting and managing a new business.
  • Human resource development management is all about reaching the top potential of the employees.
  • Hospitality management is overseeing and supervising various administrative tasks of a resort or hotel.
  • Tourism is all about attracting, housing, and entertaining tourists, and organizing tours for them.

ABM Research Fields.

Getting lost in this embarrassment of riches? Let’s single out the five of the trendiest areas of ABM research. They are: business, marketing, accounting, project management, and human resources. Want to see more examples of research titles about ABM strand? More on them down below!

Decided to go with a business-related topic for your ABM research paper? 

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Here are some of the freshest ideas for a relevant business research paper. Enjoy our selection of business research topics and research titles for ABM students. Choose one and prove that your finger is on the pulse of the modern market world!

  • Is poverty a concern of a corporation? How can corporations contribute to social development? Should they concern themselves with it in the first place, and to what degree? How can corporate social responsibility result in the betterment of the market? How can a corporation’s perceived awareness produce a positive image for the customers? 
  • Labor relations : the latest tendencies and the predictions for the future. Analyze the contemporary trends in the labor-corporate relationship. What issues are likely to emerge in 2025-2030? Back up your conclusion with real-life examples. 
  • Diversity as a contemporary working reality. Due to globalization, people of various backgrounds tend to work together, more and more so. Does it influence the working process at all? Does the difference between genders, ages, and ethnicities hinder or facilitate business? Should the companies ensure that there’s diversity among their employees , and why? How should the work environments be organized to maximize efficiency? 
  • Personal networking : labor-corporate communication tool. How does the number of people you know correlate with the chances of finding the best partners, workers, and customers? Is it an exponential or a sine curve? Produce real-life examples. 
  • E-business: the world-wide globalization process. Some of the most successful modern businesses operate almost exclusively online. What are the examples? Assess the role of integration in their workflow. What are the overall perspectives of SCM (supply-chain management) in the realities of e-business? 
  • Leadership and business in the modern world. Is there a significant difference in the styles and strategies implemented by the leaders in the 21 century as compared to the earlier eras? How do modern leaders adjust to contemporary business realia? What are the challenges and opportunities? What are the global trends? Produce real-life examples. 
  • Copyright law : is it on the side of the artist or the company representing them? How has copyright law evolved through the times? What drove it so? To what extent does it protect modern artists? How can a copyright corporation exploit it, and to what degree? Produce real-life examples. Are there any court precedents? 
  • Advertisement and consumer behavior . What types of advertisements prove to be the most effective? Back up your data with research results. What are the latest trends in the world of advertisement? What are the advantages and disadvantages of online and offline advertising? What mistakes can be made by a brand that is trying to produce a positive image through advertisement? 
  • Apple : how to turn your brand into a religion. What are the factors behind the success of the Apple corporation? Is it just clever advertising, or is there something more to that? How does Apple build a following of brand loyalists? Does Apple face any difficulties in the realities of the modern harsh brand competition? What are your predictions for the nearest future of Apple corporation? 
  • Word of mouth: a fossil or a gem? Who usually relies on this form of advertisement the most? How can an already well-established corporation benefit from it? How does word of mouth differ from other types of advertisement? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Produce real-life examples of a brand’s or organization’s success due to word of mouth. 
  • Facebook and business . How can Facebook be used as a modern platform for conducting business? Does it have any advantages as compared to other online platforms? What are the disadvantages? What successful companies use Facebook as a business platform? 

Social media mobile.

  • Pay for performance: a source of loyalty or displeasure ? What’s the best strategy for an employer to link pay and performance? Should pay increases be dependent on just the performance of an employee, or should other factors also be considered? Back up your reasoning with research results. 
  • Local customization vs. global standardization. What are the pros and cons of each of the approaches? What companies are known to implement both strategies successfully? Give examples. 
  • External recruiting vs. Internal promotions . What are the pros and cons of each of the approaches? How can a company implement both strategies successfully? Which is a more cost-effective approach? Why is it impossible to stick to just one of the strategies? 
  • Does a multinational corporation have a motherland? Is it obligatory for a multinational corporation to have a strong presence in its home country? What are the economic benefits or downsides of it? Produce real-life examples. 
  • Management by walking around (MBWA). What is the reasoning behind it, and how is it implemented? Is it a boost for productivity or a stress for employees? Who needs it more – the employees or the manager? Is it effective? Illustrate your point with research results. 
  • The AIDA formula in advertising. What exactly is the AIDA formula? Why is it popular nowadays, and how does it compare to the other formulas for creating advertisements? Is it the key to a successful message broadcasting or a hindrance to creativity? 
  • Free market : an achievable goal or a utopia? What exactly is the concept of a free market? What are the advantages of such a system? What are the disadvantages? Are there any real-life examples, and what can be learned from them? 
  • Family business : pros and cons. Are there any modern examples of a successful family business? What might be the downsides of such a business model? What are the advantages? What can be learned from the examples of exercising interpersonal relations in business? 
  • Franchises vs. “from scratch” businesses. Why having a franchise is a go-to option for a lot of corporations? What benefits does it produce? Are there any downsides? Which business model is easier to maintain? Which business model is more cost-effective? 
  • Marijuana business in the US: state law vs. federal law. What is the current stand of federal law on the issue? What about state law? What is your prediction for the marijuana-based businesses for the nearest future? 
  • Governments vs. private businesses. How does the government manage private businesses in your country? What is the best strategy for a government-private business relationship? How does this relationship reflect on the economy of the country? 
  • The Internet and consumer behavior . How does the Internet shape consumer behavior in modern days? Are there any drastic changes in consumer behavior as compared to ten years ago? Is the Internet just a new platform for advertising, or is there more to that? Produce real-life examples. 
  • The culture of consumerism . What exactly is this phenomenon? Is it really a thing or just a popular penny dreadful? Is it a natural occurrence or an artificial design created by the major companies for increasing profit? What proofs of the latter can be produced? 
  • The best countries to invest into in 2020. How can a country be invested into? Why would some corporations choose to do it? What are the criteria? Is it cost-effective? What are the real-life examples? 

Here are some more business research topics to explore:

  • Outsourcing: its advantages and disadvantages for a business. Is it ethical? 
  • Authors and copyright: which works better, legal names or nom de plumes? 
  • Negotiation tactics : understanding authority. 
  • Oil prices impacts on consumer behavior in Turkey . 
  • Corruption cases: do state officials have a higher chance of succeeding with a request for dismissal? 
  • Juicy Fruit: business strategies and product promotion . 
  • Insider trading : how the nature of the offence and the punishment for it has changed through the decades. 
  • American Airlines: the secret of success . 
  • Alcohol: the advantages of the sale and consumption laws for the society’s well-being. 
  • Organizational change capacity concept . 
  • Death penalty : should it apply for the most severe corporate crimes? 
  • The correlation between wages and employee productivity. 
  • The correlation between strategic management and employee productivity . 
  • The impact of staff motivation on employee productivity. 
  • Managing employee retention . 
  • Low-cost economy: companies benefits and drawbacks . 
  • Sales letter vs. waste bin: how to avoid spam folder? 
  • Startups: how to.  
  • L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble: financial analysis . 
  • Teenagers vs. business: the phenomenon of teenage business. 
  • Logistical system: private and public warehouses combining . 
  • Small business : the basis of economics. 
  • Coca-Cola and PepsiCo: Comparative Analysis . 
  • Third-world countries: how is business done there? 
  • Taxes : types and uses. 
  • The role of corporate lobbyists in American future . 
  • Business ethics: is there a difference from general ethics? What are the laws? 
  • What are the cultural differences of doing business in different countries? 
  • Roadrunner Sport: social and digital media strategies . 
  • The target audience : how to define it and how to attract it? 
  • Crisis management in business.  
  • Call centers outside the US: pros & cons . 
  • Risks: how to calculate them in your business endeavor.  
  • Monopolies : how do they impact the market? 
  • Business dynasties: how does family business operate? 
  • Copyright law : how does it operate? 
  • A gaming lounge: business plan . 
  • Services: what are the most and least popular in the market? 
  • Dell Company: global strategies . 
  • Charity: is it a good advertisement strategy for a business? 
  • How to balance ecology and increasing production. 
  • SunTrust: business strategies in banking industry . 
  • Corporate culture : what company rituals are common in business? 
  • Negotiation and diplomacy in business. 
  • TransGlobal Airlines as a monopoly . 
  • A healthy working environment and its importance in business 
  • Google’s success: a case study . 
  • Brands: what’s their place in the modern market? 
  • American Airlines’ and US Airways merger . 
  • Military crisis: a hindrance or a boost for business? 
  • Small enterprises: what are the challenges? 
  • British Petroleum: the corruption case . 
  • Internet advertisement: is it overtaking the world of advertising? 

Richard Branson quote.

  • The psychology behind people’s decision to buy a more expensive product or a higher quantity of it. 
  • Feminism: how does it influence the way women consume? 
  • Hilton’s investments into the Italian tourism sector: causes and effects . 
  • Teenagers and brands: what brands are the most popular among modern teenagers? 
  • Mandatory recycling: how would it affect the prices? Would it be cost-effective in the long term? 
  • Advertising in schools: is it acceptable? 
  • Social media: what marketing strategies are used there? Does it influence offline advertisement? 
  • Tariffs on car imports in Ukraine . 
  • Employee stress : does every company need to offer services of a psychologist? 
  • Sports and art: do corporate extracurricular classes enhance employees’ creativity and result in a healthy work environment? 
  • Walmart company: environmental sustainability . 
  • Eco-friendliness: how can more eco-friendly policies be encouraged in companies and businesses? 
  • The concept of perfect competition . 
  • Personal guns: does the successful handgun production industry depend on their free distribution? 
  • BMW group sustainability plan . 
  • Minimum wage : should it be canceled? Why? 
  • Starbucks, Toyota and Google: missions comparison . 
  • Commerce and retail: what is the future? Will shopping activity move completely to the Internet? 
  • Toyota and Plexus: pricing strategies . 
  • Internet advertising: is it more effective than other types of advertisement? 
  • Tobacco production: should higher taxes apply to the tobacco companies? Should they be obliged to donate to cancer treatment centers? 
  • Alcohol production: should higher taxes apply to alcohol companies? Should they be obliged to donate to alcohol treatment centers? 
  • Xerox: company profile and overview . 
  • Business ethics: how does it influence important decisions made by a company? 
  • Ethics and morality in a business-oriented world. 
  • The rise and fall of Eastman Kodak . 
  • A museum exhibition: how can it be made marketable? 
  • The business guide to sustainability . 
  • Mobile phones: what has facilitated their high sales rates in recent years? 
  • Under Armour: company analysis and strategic alternatives . 
  • International human resources : what are the major challenges and pitfalls? 
  • Corporate rituals: what are the oldest and most rigid ones that are still practiced in companies? 
  • Brainstorming: how effective is it in producing ideas and business solutions? 
  • Healthy work environment: what does it look like, and how can it be created? 
  • Financial crisis: how does it affect business in the US and worldwide? 
  • Famous brands: what are the associated advantages of owning a product of a recognizable and respectable brand? Why are consumers  often willing to pay for it more than for a less well-known alternative? 
  • Image: how does it affect the modern business culture and consumer behavior? 
  • Gender: does it influence the ability to manage small and large teams? 
  • Hiring youth: why certain niche companies prefer to employ young people? What are the examples? 
  • Differences in ethnic cultures: how do they influence team-building? 
  • Differences in ages: do they create difficulties in departmental cross-functional cooperation? 
  • Gender: why certain companies prefer to employ more women than men and vice versa? Are efficiency stereotypes empirically and numerically confirmed? 
  • Fitness franchises : why are they more and more popular? 
  • Franchise models: what types are out there? Which would you choose for a coffee house? Other examples are welcome. 
  • Franchise promotion: is it the responsibility of the franchisee or of the franchise holder? 
  • Franchise agreement: which items should be included to save from excessive spending with no reward? 
  • What factors must be considered when choosing the market for business expansion ? 
  • Globalization and consumer behavior: how does one affect the other? 
  • Chinese market: how does it benefit from globalization? 
  • Globalization: will it continue to spread, or will it cease to decrease? 
  • Business clusters: how do they move globalization? 
  • Bank mergers : a wise strategy or a result of failure? When should a bank consider this move? 
  • Bankruptcy : what are the most common reasons for it? Does it necessarily spell the end for a business? 
  • Big-box stores : how to ensure the success of a big-box retailer? 
  • Brand awareness: how to make people remember and recognize your brand? 
  • Competitive intelligence : what are the best ways to gather and analyze information about the business environment? 
  • Consumer loyalty: how to make a consumer develop a behavioral tendency of favoring one brand’s products over the other? 
  • Consumer risk management: what are the best ways to minimize the potential risk of a product not meeting quality standards entering the marketplace? How to make it cost-effective? 
  • Copycat products: why do they enter the market so easily, and what are the ways for a brand to fight for its copyright? 
  • Corporate crime : how is it best for a company to redeem its reputation after being compromised? 
  • Corporate social responsibility : how does this business model help make a company be socially accountable? 
  • People Water: corporate social responsibility . 
  • Customer competencies: how to enable your customers to learn and engage in an active dialogue? 
  • Data security : how to protect data from unauthorized access and data corruption? 
  • Downtown revitalization: how can it be beneficial for a business? 
  • Ruth’s Chris restaurants: SWOT analysis . 
  • Employee coaching: how is it different from managing? How is it best to organize employee coaching in a big / small company? 
  • The “Do no harm” ethical principle in business. 
  • Green products : are they good for a business? How can a company use less packaging, and reduce the amount of disposed toxics? 
  • Industry disruptor: what is a disruptive innovation in business? 
  • Intellectual capital: what are the components and what is the best way to unlock their potential? 
  • Job sculpting: what is the best way to match a person to a job that unlocks their potential to the fullest degree? 
  • Marketing ethics : what are the moral principles behind the regulation and operation of marketing in your country? 
  • Mergers : what are the types, and why do businesses do it? 
  • Organigraphs: how to graphically represent a company’s structure and processes? How are organigraphs different from a traditional organizational chart? 
  • Philanthropy: what are the competitive advantages of corporate philanthropy? 
  • Quality circles: how does it influence business positively? 
  • Regional planning: how to place infrastructure across a large area of land efficiently? 
  • Customer service initiatives: how to learn what your customers dislike, tolerate, and actively appreciate? 
  • Bagel Store vs. Subway: comparative analysis . 
  • Shared services model: why are they cost-efficient? 
  • Short-term financing: in what types of businesses does it apply best? 
  • Starbucks Effect: how does a Starbucks store affect home and property values? 
  • Groupon: daily deal or lasting success ? 
  • Strategic planning : how to establish the direction of a small business? 
  • IBM Corporation: business strategies . 
  • Labour strikes: what causes them? What are the consequences for a business in particular and for the economy in general? 
  • Companies’ ethics: concepts and cases . 
  • Subliminal advertising: how do they work? 
  • Telemarketing: a thing from the past or a relevant method of advertising? 
  • Underage workers: how does employment of minors work? 
  • Underwriting: who provides underwriting services and who receives them? 
  • Undocumented workers: do they have rights, and what are the risks? 
  • Unions: what is their stand in your country? 
  • Whistle blowing: is it regarded ethical in modern business practice?  
  • Work ethic : what kind of belief system is that? Does it have any downsides? 
  • Work-life balance : what are the ways of encouraging and maintaining it? 
  • Business leadership: is it a skill that can be learned?  
  • Stakeholders : what is their impact on the success of a business? 
  • Global unemployment: why is it a worldwide phenomenon? What are the solutions to the problem? 
  • International investment : why is it important to educate the public on its benefits? 
  • International competition: what are the strategic measures of survival for local companies? 
  • Job creation : how can big and small businesses create jobs? 
  • Businesses and oceans: why is it crucial to institute and implement environmentally-friendly approaches? 
  • Ethical conflicts: how to avoid cultural, religious, and political arguments at work? 
  • Organizational environmental pollution: how does it affect consumer trust levels? 
  • Business negotiation: what are the styles of intercultural dialogue? 
  • Excessive work: what are the consequences of overworking ? 

Marketing is one of the most prominent entities that govern our world. It’s the cornerstone of business, serving to identify and satisfy customers’ wants and needs. Without marketing, there is no business!

Here are some of the most relevant marketing research paper topics and ideas. Choose one, and you are bound to impress your professor!

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  • Coronavirus: a case study. How has COVID-19 affected consumer behavior worldwide ? What about your own country? Are there any glaring examples of inadequate consumer behavior? What are the reasons behind them? How do different businesses deal with the consequences of quarantine? Produce examples of marketing centered around Coronavirus. 
  • Zoom: a case study. How did Zoom manage to become a go-to platform during the Coronavirus outbreak ? Was it the brand’s clever marketing, or did something else influence the consumer choice? How did Zoom manage to outperform the dozens of rival video conferencing services? What are the numbers? Make your predictions on whether the company will be able to sustain its success after quarantine is over. 
  • Gillette #MeToo commercial: a case study. How did the brand express its political stand on a pressing social subject? Did the campaign ultimately succeed in its goal? Did the backlash harm Gillette’s reputation, or was it a sign of successful branding? How did it ultimately reflect on sales? What can be learned from the data? 
  • Xbox Series X: a case study. The Xbox Series X is the successor of the popular Xbox One home video game console. It is scheduled for release in late 2020. How is it advertised? How does its marketing campaign impact user behavior? Is it a fast process? Analyze the concept and the marketing campaign of the product. 
  • Colin Kaepernick in a Nike commercial: a case study. How did the brand use an existing political situation to its advantage? Did the campaign ultimately succeed in its goal, or did it merely taint Nike’s reputation? Was it marketing genius or brand failure? What do the numbers say? What can be learned from the data? 
  • Brexit and consumer behavior. How has Brexit affected consumer buying behavior in the UK? What about the EU? How did it impact currency exchange rate? What businesses benefited from it? What can be learned from the data? 
  • Same product, different branding: a comparison. Two companies are selling the same product – only branding and packaging are different. What influences customers’ choice? Is the price relevant in this equation? What can be learned from the data? 
  • Addictive consumer behavior. What brands are known to inspire addictive consumer behavior? What marketing tools do they employ? Are there any downsides for a business? Should companies be held liable for maniacal consumer behavior? 
  • Corporate social responsibility as a brand marketing tool. How effective is it? Produce examples of brands whose sales increased after a charity or awareness campaign. What can be learned from the data? What are the pitfalls of the CPR approach? 
  • The ROI in athletics. What exactly is return on investment? How is it calculated? Why is there close public attention to the ROI factor in athletics? How can ROI be used as a marketing tool? Produce real-life examples. 

Marketing is.

  • Slack: a case study. How popular is Slack as compared to rival platforms offering similar services? How much of its success can be attributed to marketing? Is its success currently on the rise or on the decline? 
  • Uber : a case study. How has Uber become the leading company in its field? Analyze its history. What role did marketing play in its success? Analyze the company’s exit from the Chinese, Russian, and South Asian markets. Why did the company choose to do it? What benefits did it gain by doing so? What’s the current stand of the company? 
  • Facebook : a case study. Facebook has faced a lot of backlash in recent years. How did the company manage it? What are the examples of Facebook’s different takes on marketing influenced by the company’s negative publicity? 
  • Marketing in recession : a case study. The 2008 global financial crisis took a great toll on the markets worldwide. Nevertheless, there are stories of success for new products introduced to the market at the time. What companies managed to successfully roll out a product in the time following the 2008 global financial crisis? Give a case study of such a company. 
  • Microsoft : a case study. How does Microsoft advertise its products? How are traditional storefronts doing market-wise as compared to the recent advertising trend, mobile phone marketing? What choices does the IT giant make concerning mobile ad targeting? Is it successful? 
  • Black Friday : what’s the secret behind the phenomenon? Does it offer real value for money or is it simply a psychological trick of clever marketing? 
  • Digital transformation: how to create an effective digital marketing budget? 
  • Production expenditure: how does marketing affect it? 
  • Jeep company’s marketing . 
  • The Internet of things : what exactly is IoT? What are the examples? How can marketing be incorporated into it? 
  • Volkswagen company’s information technology . 
  • Volkswagen in America: managing IT priorities . 
  • Relationship banking: how has it been influenced by digital promotion and mobile money accessibility? How is mobile banking redefining the customer-bank relationship? 
  • Apple Computer Inc.: maintaining the music business . 
  • Credit card responsibility: how to limit compulsive buying behaviors for credit card holders? 
  • Corporate social responsibility: how do organizations use CSR to reinforce brand equity? 
  • Servus Credit Union Ltd: marketing strategies . 
  • Marketing manipulation tactics: what do brands do to get more customers? 
  • Herfy’s marketing strategy in India . 
  • Social media marketing as an image builder: different ways of communicating your brand image on the YouTube, Tik Tok, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram platforms. 
  • Consumer motivation on the BevCo example . 
  • Influencers: how can Internet-famous people impact the buying choices of consumers ? 

Marketing strategy connting digital devices.

  • A Coffee shop marketing strategy . 
  • Direct marketing strategies: are consumers equipped enough to shield themselves from it? 
  • The “Do no harm” ethical principle in business . 
  • Maternity: what is the best way to market baby products? 
  • Family orientation: how does it affect marketing in general? 
  • Online shopping : what do buyers look for when shopping online? What attributes do they compare when choosing the product? 
  • Harley Davidson, Naked Juice, and Tropicana Juice: brand perception analysis . 
  • Global marketing: how does it incorporate standardization?  
  • Social class differentiation: how do financial institutions market their products and services differently on the basis of social class? 
  • Snapple Juice: marketing strategies . 
  • Internet marketing: what trends can be expected to dominate the online world in the future? 
  • Marketing and culture : how do advertising strategies vary across different cultures? 
  • The Green Motor Car Company: marketing strategy . 
  • Political campaigns : how can they impact advertising? Produce real-life examples. 
  • Impulsive buying : how does it occur, and how do brands exploit it? 
  • American Marketing Association: promotion strategy . 
  • Loyalty cards: do they boost sales and encourage customer loyalty? 
  • Brand trust: is it possible for well-marketed brands to get away with selling products of substandard quality? 
  • Trust as the way to develop proper company-clients relationships . 
  • Globalization : what is its impact on consumer behavior? 
  • Customer loyalty : what brand attributes result in it? 
  • Market monopoly: what are some of the successful marketing approaches that can help break through it? 
  • Cause marketing : how does it impact a brand’s affinity with its target audience? 
  • Brand equity : what is the effect of discount offerings and consumer promotions on it? 
  • The outcomes of advertising in a recession 
  • Top-of-mind awareness: how is it best achieved in modern times? Produce real-life data. 
  • Event sponsorships and customer perceptions: how to? 
  • Mobile ad targeting: pros and cons of mobile ad targeting based on users’ browser and app history. 
  • Mortgage marketing: how to make customers be able to differentiate between various mortgage options offered by competing banks? 
  • Drones production company marketing plan . 
  • Click baiting: a promising novelty in sponsored posts promotion or a brand-compromising nuisance, best to be avoided for fear of bad associations with the brand? 
  • Who are the consumers of Nivea?  
  • Celebrity endorsement : what’s its impact on ROI for CPG brands? 
  • Comparison advertising: is it effective in building brand equity? 
  • Do consumers prefer purchasing routine grocery products online? 
  • Is earned media perceived to be as important as it appears to be? 
  • Word of mouth: what makes people want to forward content to their friends? 
  • Viral content: how to? 
  • Evolving family structures: what has changed and how to address it with marketing? 
  • Augmented reality : how is it enhancing marketing experiences? 
  • Artificial intelligence: what role does it play in modern marketing? 
  • Advertising to children : how to? What are the pitfalls? 
  • Brand salience: how to? 
  • Humour in advertising: what’s the impact, and what’s the customer response? 

As you are very well aware, accounting is all about numbers and measurements. It’s even been called the language of business! That’s why writing a research paper on one of the accounting research paper topics is such a good idea. You are going to master it in no time!

What are the main fields of accounting?

  • Financial Accounting 
  • Management Accounting 
  • Accounting Information Systems 
  • Tax Accounting 

There are carefully selected topics down below that explore each of those fields. Just go there and choose one – it’s that easy!

  • Taxes and politics. How do organizations fight for the reduction of the taxes they have to pay? How can politicians influence the tax rate in different spheres? Are there any real-life examples of that? How can this situation be curbed? 
  • Financial markets . What are commodities and stocks? What is the role of financial markets in the global economy? Why are there few people who understand financial markets? What issues does it raise? What can be done about it? 
  • Accounting information systems . What are the most popular accounting systems used by businesses nowadays? What are the most modern ones? How rapid is the flow of information today? How does it influence modern accounting? What can be done to advance it even further? 
  • Managing and accounting. How can managerial accounting help a company make better decisions? How does it work? What are the possible examples of successful and unsuccessful decisions made in a company based on the managerial accounting reports? 
  • Personal finances . Why should individuals hire personal accountants? How can this practice be systematized? What are the alternatives? Produce examples of modern mobile accounting applications and free online services. What are the pitfalls to be aware of? 
  • Debt management. Why does such a serious issue exist in the modern world? Produce the current numbers of people for whom debt is a life-governing factor. What is the reason behind the prevalence of this problem? Who may benefit from this situation? How can this be fixed? 
  • Auditing collusion. What is employee / auditing collusion? How can it result in an unfair marketing advantage? Why is it illegal? Produce real-life examples of auditing collusion disrupting marketing equilibrium. What can be done to anticipate and prevent such occurrences in companies? 

Below are some other accounting research topics to explore:

  • Accounting decisions: what are the criteria for making them correctly? 
  • General principles of accounting . 

Accounting: Main Fields.

  • Forensic accounting : how does the investigation process go? What are the role and essential skills of forensic accountants? 
  • Accounting theory: how is it influenced by culture? 
  • Tax assessment: how to correctly assess the tax on organizational earnings? 
  • The 2008 global financial crisis : what factors were the primary cause? 
  • What are the steps on the way to becoming a certified accountant ? 
  • Accounting ethics: what are the modern dilemmas? 
  • Accounting history : what are the historical prospects for the best accounting practices? 
  • Accounting systems: what are the risks in the process of developing their design? 
  • Earnings management: what are the perspectives?  
  • Tax reduction : what are the most effective ways of doing it for organizations? 
  • Managerial accounting: what are the effects of financial markets on management accounting? 
  • Financial fraud : what are the ways to escape it? 
  • Accounting theories: what is their meaning for business? 
  • Nortel Networks Corporation Accounting Theory . 
  • Normative theories: what are the issues with normative theorizing in accounting? 
  • Theoretical concepts: how to implement them in practical accounting? 
  • Earnings management: how to best organize it in a company? 
  • Cash flow: what is the effect of external factors on cash flow in an organization? 
  • Online accounting: can accountancy be effectively based on the Internet? 
  • Offshore accounting: how does it work? What are the pros and cons? 
  • Accounting systems: which are the most effective for accountants? 
  • Tax code: how to? 
  • Islamic banking : how is it different from the European approach? 
  • Financial markets: what are the known commodities? 
  • Financial markets: what is their role in the global economy?  
  • Financial transparency: what are the strategies to make organizational finances transparent? 
  • Cloud computing : what is its role in data management for accounting information systems? 
  • Personal investment: important factors . 
  • The ideal framework for AIS: what does an ideal framework for an accounting information system in multinational cooperatives look like? 
  • Food production company: a financial plan . 
  • Decision-making process: what is the role of AIS in the decision making process for medium / large economic enterprises? 
  • Accounting frauds: analyze three major accounting frauds of the last decade in detail. Why is ethical judgment needed in accounting at all times? 
  • Intellectual capital: how do two major business companies (of your choice) build a relationship between their financial statements and their intellectual capital? 
  • Education for senior executives: how can business education for senior executives influence hedging behavior? 
  • Non-profit accounting: what are its financial reporting requirements?

Project management is the cornerstone of doing business. After all, how can you do anything without organizing it first? You may think, “Oh, but that’s easy… I just do it!” But that’s not how it works in modern business.

In big corporations, the way you organize a project is often synonymous with its eventual success or failure. Project managers need all of their knowledge, skills, and techniques to make projects meet the requirements. Want to look deeper into the processes and secrets behind project management? The idea for your perfect project management research paper is waiting for you down below!

  • Project management software . Which project management tools dominate the market today? Are they cost-effective? What do they primarily focus on (e.g., cost, scheduling time, etc.)? Analyze different project management software and find out whether they really lead to project success and increase productivity or not. 
  • Humanitarian logistics. How do system dynamics and project management principles affect logistics operations? The need for humanitarian logistics has increased around the world due to the rise in environmental disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.). How can the sustained damages be reduced? Analyze the collaboration between system dynamics and humanitarian logistics. How does it impact flows in the supply chain, stakeholders, and responses? What are the best adaptations of project management theories? 
  • Project delay causes. Identify the leading symptoms and causes of project delays. How does it impact the project life cycle? How do global construction companies cope with it? What strategies have they devised to deal with the issue? 
  • Factors of project selection. What are the primary factors that affect selecting a project? Analyze the shift of project benefits approach towards customer-centricity. What is the reason for it? What is the difference between the two approaches? Which is more effective in modern business? 
  • IT industry and agile project management . What is the impact of agile project management on productivity in IT companies? Analyze it using quantitative research techniques. Measure improvement of productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee satisfaction. Analyze and report the outputs of the data using empirical hypothesis testing methods. 
  • Implementation of project management practices . What is the impact of an organization on how project management practices are implemented? Analyze the more informal and people-focused project management practices that are used in small and medium-sized enterprises. Use mixed methods research techniques such as interviews and surveys. Choose companies from a specific sphere to collect data. Examine the size of the company and how it impacts project management practices. 
  • Communication and quality. How significant is communication in maintaining timely delivery and quality of project activities? Analyze the importance of communication between the organization of a project and its stakeholders (external and internal). How does efficient communication help an organization meet the expectations? 
  • Team conflict dynamics model: what conflict types and team conflict profiles are there? How can they produce resolutions that can lead a project to success? 
  • Culture and conflict management: how different cultures of project managers may influence the methods of conflict resolution they implement? How does a project manager’s background affect the way they identify misdeeds and the way they try to deal with conflicts that arise in their project? 
  • Project misalignment with business objectives: how does it affect the overall project performance? 
  • Project management soft skills : how important are they in the context of project success rates? What is the cost of training, and what are the benefits? How do they help the project achieve the desired outcome? 
  • Psychosocial stressors: how do they impact project manager performance? What types of psychosocial stressors are there? Does organizational culture have any mediating effect? Use real-life data. 

Anthony Robbins quote.

  • Project management research trends: how do they influence project success? What is the relationship between project management research trends and social-economic trends? 
  • Project management maturity factors: how do they influence project success in large enterprises? How come the role of projects has increased worldwide, but the overall number of successful projects hasn’t changed? What is the relationship between project performance factors and organizational project management maturity? 
  • Agile-scrum beyond IT: how can it bring managerial benefits to other sectors? Analyze its potential for the healthcare industry. Illustrate how it may be applied to develop frameworks for quality and timeliness improvement. How can it help deliver healthcare in a large-scale patient setting? 
  • Project completion rate: how do organizational characteristics influence it in the construction industry? Analyze data on project performance using key performance indicators (KPIs). Use social network analysis tools to document organizational characteristics. 
  • Leadership style as a mediator: how to connect collaboration satisfaction and emotional intelligence? What leadership styles are there? What are their roles as mediators between emotional intelligence and collaboration satisfaction? 
  • Effective project scheduling system: what are the effects of the application of this planning and scheduling style in construction projects? Use the critical path method (CPM) in the analysis of drafting and subsequent implementation of an effective project scheduling system for manufacturing renewable energy plants. 
  • Effective project manager appointment guidelines: how to design and implement them for construction companies in XYZ? How do two types of leadership styles, person-centered and team-centered, differ when used by project managers? How can one balance them? What does Archer say on the topic in her Realist social theory? Use the data from your analysis for designing effective project manager appointment guidelines to be implemented in XYZ construction companies. 
  • Controlling costs in project management: a systems approach. Analyze the work of the research and development departments for a US-based consumer goods manufacturer. 
  • Management: power, authority, and influence . 
  • Culture, project performance, and IT industry: what might be the causes of delay and failure due to cultural factors? 
  • CISCO Systems Inc: strategies and management . 
  • Initiation stage of a project: a review. Analyze the work of the US medicine sector. 
  • Similar but different: review the similarities and differences in how people practice project management across the world. 
  • Effective teamwork role for organizations performance . 
  • Competitive advantage: does a company gain a competitive advantage by implementing expert management in a project? 
  • Canbide Corporation: operations management tools . 
  • Critical path analysis: how do project managers plan for it and assess it?  
  • Diversity: management practices and principles . 
  • The uncertainty: how valid is it in lengthy and difficult projects in the US construction industry? 
  • Transformational and transactional leadership models . 
  • The history: investigate and analyze the development and evolution of project management across the past 20 years. 
  • The qualities of an efficient leader . 
  • Understanding the intricacies: how important is the grasp of the project’s intricate nature for its effective management? 
  • McDonalds: management effectiveness . 
  • Benchmarking project management maturity: analyze the benchmark standard of measuring maturity in project management. 
  • Shangri-La Hotels: company management . 
  • Agile project management: how does academic literature help develop its understanding? 
  • The organization of international business . 
  • The PMBOK guidelines: do they prepare managers for handling project risks successfully? 
  • Information management system: practical solutions . 
  • Project management methodologies: how do various prevailing project management methodologies correspond with efficacy? Review the US market. 
  • Subway in the US: management strategies in food industry . 
  • Software development methodologies: how do organizations justify their choices? 
  • Teamwork on project management : how important is it in the US healthcare system? 
  • The concept of change in management . 
  • Software tools: how do different project management software tools correspond with efficacy in the developed world? 
  • Establishment of Ruth’s Chris Steak House in London: how to make a restaurant chain international?  
  • Attitude towards risk: how does project management handle possible risks in the US oil and gas sector? 

Communication flat.

  • Package role in design and planning process . 
  • Public procurement: what are the associated challenges for project management in the US IT sector? 
  • Humility and its impact in leadership . 
  • The stakeholder approach: how does a global perspective picture its overall success in adoption and completion of projects? 
  • Management: Holistic Response to Client Issues . 
  • Captiva Conglomerate: management strategies . 
  • Best project management practices: what does the European financial sector tell us about them? 
  • Hewlett-Packard: global supply chain management . 
  • Leadership qualities: does successful project management need them? 

Human resource management is one of the most interesting spheres of business. After all, it’s all about people!

There are three major areas of a human resource manager’s responsibilities. They are: staffing, allocating compensation and benefits for employees, and administrating work.

There’s so much you can do as an HR specialist. It’s as people-oriented as a profession can get. It’s always a continuous process, too. You’ll never get bored!

There are a number of questions an HR specialist needs to know the answer to. How to select the best recruits? How to encourage team spirit and teamwork among the employees? How to motivate people? How to appraise and how to punish? All of those questions and more are raised in our selection of human resources research topics!

  • Training of employees as a performance enhancer. How does training of employees correspond with their performance? Produce real-life data. Use a questionnaire to identify and determine the workforce needs in an organization. Analyze the data by calculating a simple percentage analysis. How much did employee training influence their performance? Was it cost-effective? 
  • Performance evaluation and its impact on productivity. How does performance evaluation impact employee productivity? What is its purpose? What is the difference between formal and informal evaluations? How should a performance evaluation be carried out? Describe each of the steps. What is the influence of a poor evaluation on an employee’s morale and their absenteeism rate? Produce real-life data. 
  • Motivation and its impact on morale. What motivation theories are there? Which are the most popular to utilize in organizations today? What does the process of staff motivation look like? Does it influence employee performance? Produce real-life data. Analyze the data by calculating a simple percentage analysis. 
  • Performance appraisal and its impact on productivity. What is performance appraisal, and how is it different from performance evaluation / employee motivation? Why is it considered to be crucial for the growth and survival of an organization? What is the role of performance appraisal as a strategic factor? Describe what performance appraisal techniques are used in an organization. How does it impact employee productivity? Produce real-life data. 
  • Human resource and its relevance in modern business. Why are the effective acquisition, utilization, and maintenance of human resources considered to be central to the growth of an organization? How can executive initiative utilize human resources profitably for an organization? What are the techniques of sustaining and developing human resources in an organization? How to achieve maximum cooperation between staff and management? 
  • Stress and its impact on the employee performance. What is the effect of stress on workers’ performance? Produce real-life data. Collect data using questionnaires and descriptive survey research design. Present the collected data in tables. Analyze it using simple percentages and frequencies. 
  • Staff training in business organizations. How to identify the training needs of an organization? What is the role of management in staff training and development? What types of training methods are there? What are the effects of training on employee performance? Produce real-life data. 

Here are some of the simpler human resources topics to explore:

  • Employee loyalty: what are the main factors that can increase it? 
  • The cost of prejudice and discrimination on the wprkplace . 
  • Conflicts in the workplace : how to resolve them? What are the most typical ones? 
  • Cultural differences: how can human resource managers work around cultural differences in an international company?  

G.K. Chesterton quote.

  • Recruiting students: what are the pros and cons? 
  • Compensation and benefits are the parts of employment relationship . 
  • Employees’ education : should a company pay for it? 
  • Harmful outsourcing of United States jobs . 
  • Outsourcing and freelance workers: what are the pros and cons? 
  • Recruitment : what are the opportunities and risks of recruiting new team members? 
  • How to motivate employees effectively?  
  • HR managers: how to select, recruit, hire, and educate human resource managers?  
  • Legal aspects of human resource management . 
  • Overqualified employees: how should an HR manager deal with an overqualified employee? 
  • Google company: workforce diversity policy . 
  • Talent hunting and management: what’s the human resource manager’s role in this process? 
  • Character types: what character types are there, and how do they affect the team-building process in a company? 
  • Workplace harassment and bullying: how should a human resource manager deal with such challenges? What strategies of prevention are to be employed? 
  • Diversity : how can a company encourage it? What is its impact on the dynamics in the workplace? 
  • Communication: how to make it effective? How does it affect a company’s success? 
  • Wages : do they affect employee productivity? How to increase employees’ motivation and make it cost-effective? 
  • Assessing employee performance : what are the best ways to do it? What tools and criteria are there? 
  • The role of diversity in the workplace . 
  • Labor laws : what are the most critical issues to be resolved? 
  • Company data : how to protect it in the age of technology? 
  • Equal pay : are staff members paid equally, and how can HR managers address this issue? 
  • Leadership styles . 
  • Health problems: how can they affect employees’ productivity, and how can HR managers address this issue? 
  • Riordan Manufacturing: HR marketing services . 
  • Workplace motivation: what motivates people to work more? 
  • Mergers and acquisitions : what is the role of an HR specialist in these processes? 
  • Managing a diverse workforce . 
  • Employee loyalty: how can HR specialists encourage employee loyalty through developing the job satisfaction factor? 
  • Organizational burnout of employees . 
  • Employee retention: which factors contribute to it? 
  • Salary bonuses: what are their additional benefits? How can an HR specialist identify who is eligible for getting them? 
  • Strategic human resources : is there global competitiveness on it, and why? 
  • Human resources market: describe its demand and supply circle. 
  • Daily childcare: how can it enhance the performance of employees in the company? 
  • Compensation packages : what are they and what is their function? How can an HR specialist identify who is eligible for getting them? 
  • Career planning : should it be more people-oriented, or is it to be centered around companies? 
  • Professional qualities vs. fitting personality: which is more important? 
  • Performance tests: how are they to be conducted? 
  • Do remote interviews match in their effectiveness with personal ones? 

The Accountancy , Business , and Management (ABM) research focuses on the basic concepts of financial, marketing, and business management. ABM research explores various strategies employed in the business, marketing, and accounting spheres. It helps specialists in the sphere discern which business theories work best when put to practice.

Qualitative research gathers non-numerical data used to uncover customers’ opinions, thoughts, and trends. ABM qualitative studies use focus groups, observations, and interviews. The importance of the qualitative method have been increasingly recognized in the ABM field as a rich in detail and insightful way of analyzing the current market situation.

The nature of business research is the collection, study, and analysis of various business-related data to acquire detailed information and use it to maximize sales and profit of a business. The employed research methods include qualitative and quantitative types. The importance and benefits of business research can’t be overrated.

A marketing research topic is an issue that a researcher is investigating in their marketing research paper. The topic needs to be specific and well-defined to ensure the success of a research project on market and marketing. Selecting a topic is a challenging part of the marketing research.

Learn more on this topic:

  • 280 Good Nursing Research Topics & Questions
  • 256 Research Topics on Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • 224 Research Topics on Technology & Computer Science
  • 178 Best Research Titles about Cookery & Food
  • 507 Interesting History Topics to Research
  • 193 Best Education Research Topics & Ideas
  • 120+ Micro- & Macroeconomics Research Topics
  • 201 Research Topics on Psychology & Communication
  • 512 Research Topics on HumSS
  • 301 Best Health & Medical Research Topics
  • 521 Research Questions & Titles about Science
  • A List of Research Topics for Students. Unique and Interesting
  • Good Research Topics, Titles and Ideas for Your Paper
  • Gale Databases: Gale
  • Writing a Research Paper: Purdue OWL
  • What are the Topics used in Research Starters – Business? EBSCO Connect
  • What should be a good topic for research related to Accountancy, Business, and Management? Quora
  • The difference between quantitative vs. qualitative research: SurveyMonkey
  • Understanding Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research: Medium.com
  • PhDs in Business & Management: Five Hot Research Topics (TopUniversities)
  • All Topics: Harvard Business Review
  • Research topics and projects: QUIT Business School
  • Browse All Topics: Harvard Business School
  • Market Research: Entrepreneur
  • Management Accounting Research: Elsevier
  • Accounting Research Tutorial: UF Libraries
  • What Is Management Research Actually Good For? Harvard Business Review
  • What is Management Research? University of Toronto
  • The value of management research to managers: The Conversation
  • Human Resources: Harvard Business School
  • Research & Surveys: SHRM
  • Human Resources in Research: UOttawa
  • BA (Hons) Business Studies: University of Stirling
  • BA Research: University of Newcastle
  • Education Studies BA: UCL Institute of Education
  • Areas of Research: PhD in Management, Michigan State University
  • Research focus areas in business and government: Victoria University of Wellington
  • PhD Subject Groups: Business School, University of Edinburgh
  • Research areas: The University of Sydney Business School
  • Research topics: Leeds University Business School
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What Is Business Strategy & Why Is It Important?

overhead view of business strategy meeting

  • 20 Oct 2022

Every business leader wants their organization to succeed. Turning a profit and satisfying stakeholders are worthy objectives but aren’t feasible without an effective business strategy.

To attain success, leaders must hone their skills and set clear business goals by crafting a strategy that creates value for the firm, customers, suppliers, and employees. Here's an overview of business strategy and why it's essential to your company’s success.

Access your free e-book today.

What’s a Business Strategy?

Business strategy is the strategic initiatives a company pursues to create value for the organization and its stakeholders and gain a competitive advantage in the market. This strategy is crucial to a company's success and is needed before any goods or services are produced or delivered.

According to Harvard Business School Online's Business Strategy course, an effective strategy is built around three key questions:

  • How can my business create value for customers?
  • How can my business create value for employees?
  • How can my business create value by collaborating with suppliers?

Many promising business initiatives don’t come to fruition because the company failed to build its strategy around value creation. Creativity is important in business , but a company won't last without prioritizing value.

The Importance of Business Strategy

A business strategy is foundational to a company's success. It helps leaders set organizational goals and gives companies a competitive edge. It determines various business factors, including:

  • Price: How to price goods and services based on customer satisfaction and cost of raw materials
  • Suppliers: Whether to source materials sustainably and from which suppliers
  • Employee recruitment: How to attract and maintain talent
  • Resource allocation: How to allocate resources effectively

Without a clear business strategy, a company can't create value and is unlikely to succeed.

Creating Value

To craft a successful business strategy, it's necessary to obtain a thorough understanding of value creation. In the online course Business Strategy , Harvard Business School Professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee explains that, at its core, value represents a difference. For example, the difference between a customer's willingness to pay for a good or service and its price represents the value the business has created for the customer. This difference can be visualized with a tool known as the value stick.

The value stick has four components, representing the value a strategy can bring different stakeholders.

The value stick framework

  • Willingness to pay (WTP) : The maximum amount a customer is willing to pay for a company's goods or services
  • Price : The actual price of the goods or services
  • Cost : The cost of the raw materials required to produce the goods or services
  • Willingness to sell (WTS) : The lowest amount suppliers are willing to receive for raw materials, or the minimum employees are willing to earn for their work

The difference between each component represents the value created for each stakeholder. A business strategy seeks to widen these gaps, increasing the value created by the firm’s endeavors.

Increasing Customer Delight

The difference between a customer's WTP and the price is known as customer delight . An effective business strategy creates value for customers by raising their WTP or decreasing the price of the company’s goods or services. The larger the difference between the two, the more value is created for customers.

A company might focus on increasing WTP with its marketing strategy. Effective market research can help a company set its pricing strategy by determining target customers' WTP and finding ways to increase it. For example, a business might differentiate itself and increase customer loyalty by incorporating sustainability into its business strategy. By aligning its values with its target audiences', an organization can effectively raise consumers' WTP.

Increasing Firm Margin

The value created for the firm is the difference between the price of an item and its cost to produce. This difference is known as the firm’s margin and represents the strategy's financial success. One metric used to quantify this margin is return on invested capital (ROIC) . This metric compares a business's operating income with the capital necessary to generate it. The formula for ROIC is:

Return on Invested Capital = Net Operating Cost After Tax (NOCAT) / Invested Capital (IC)

ROIC tells investors how successful a company is at turning its investments into profit. By raising WTP, a company can risk increasing prices, thereby increasing firm margin. Business leaders can also increase this metric by decreasing their costs. For example, sustainability initiatives—in addition to raising WTP—can lower production costs by using fewer or more sustainable resources. By focusing on the triple bottom line , a firm can simultaneously increase customer delight and margin.

Increasing Supplier Surplus & Employee Satisfaction

By decreasing suppliers' WTS, or increasing costs, a company can create value for suppliers—or supplier surplus . Since increasing costs isn't sustainable, an effective business strategy seeks to create value for suppliers by decreasing WTS. How a company accomplishes this varies. For example, a brick-and-mortar company might partner with vendors to showcase its products in exchange for a discount. Suppliers may also be willing to offer a discount in exchange for a long-term contract.

In addition to supplier WTS, companies are also responsible for creating value for another key stakeholder: its employees. The difference between employee compensation and the minimum they're willing to receive is employee satisfaction . There are several ways companies can increase this difference, including:

  • Increasing compensation: While most companies hesitate to raise salaries, some have found success in doing so. For example, Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments, increased his company's minimum wage to $80,000 per year and enjoyed substantial growth and publicity as a result.
  • Increasing benefits: Companies can also decrease WTS by making working conditions more desirable to prospective employees. Some offer remote or hybrid working opportunities to give employees more flexibility. Several have also started offering four-day work weeks , often experiencing increased productivity as a result.

There are several ways to increase supplier surplus and employee satisfaction without hurting the company's bottom line. Unfortunately, most managers only devote seven percent of their time to developing employees and engaging stakeholders. Yet, a successful strategy creates value for every stakeholder—both internal and external.

Business Strategy | Simplify Strategy to Make the Greatest Business Impact | Learn More

Strategy Implementation

Crafting a business strategy is just the first step in the process. Implementation takes a strategy from formulation to execution . Successful implementation includes the following steps :

  • Establish clear goals and key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Set expectations and ensure employees are aware of their roles and responsibilities
  • Delegate work and allocate resources effectively
  • Put the plan into action and continuously monitor its progress
  • Adjust your plan as necessary
  • Ensure your team has what they need to succeed and agrees on the desired outcome
  • Evaluate the results of the plan

Throughout the process, it's important to remember to adjust your plan throughout its execution but to avoid second-guessing your decisions. Striking this balance is challenging, but crucial to a business strategy's success.

How to Formulate a Successful Business Strategy | Access Your Free E-Book | Download Now

Learn More About Creating a Successful Business Strategy

Business strategy constantly evolves with changing consumer expectations and market conditions. For this reason, business leaders should continuously educate themselves on creating and executing an effective strategy.

One of the best ways to stay up-to-date on best practices is to take an online course, such as HBS Online's Business Strategy program. The course will provide guidance on creating a value-driven strategy for your business.

Do you want to learn how to craft an effective business strategy and create value for your company's stakeholders? Explore our online course Business Strategy , or other strategy courses , to develop your strategic planning skills. To determine which strategy course is right for you, download our free flowchart .

research title about business strategies

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Applying Business Strategies to Establish Your Research Program

Thi a. nguyen.

Associate Dean for Graduate and Career Professional Development, Graduate School, Washington University in St. Louis

Andrew D. Nguyen

Assistant Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology & Physiology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine

This article provides an overview of foundational concepts in business strategy and business development that scientists can apply to starting and expanding their research programs. It covers topics including: defining a value proposition, identifying stakeholders, considering research gaps, strategic collaborations, responsible hiring, strategic planning and time management.


This chapter provides an overview of how you can use foundational concepts in business strategy and business development to help achieve your research goals and move a research program forward. Starting and running an academic research laboratory has many similarities to starting and growing a company. While many academics have tended to avoid business lingo, we invite the reader to take an open mind to the business-speak deliberately built into this article as we believe they provide useful contexts for thinking about laboratory leadership duties.

The first years of starting your research lab will involve many decisions about developing and expanding your research program. A research program encompasses projects, personnel, collaborators, finances, and other technical and administrative aspects. A study of over eight thousand science PhDs found that skills such as setting vision and goals, time management, ability to work on a team, and career planning are among the skills that would be beneficial to develop across research-intensive and non-research intensive careers (Sinche, 2016).

Recognizing this gap, several universities are now teaching business courses to scientists to help prepare them for new roles as an independent researcher. For one such program, “Business and Management Principles for Scientists” at Vanderbilt University, the vast majority of graduate student and postdoc participants found content on building teams and managing budgets to be valuable, and felt that it would help them establish their labs and lab culture (Petrie, 2017).

In applying a business lens to establish your research program, readers will be able to:

  • define their short- and long-term goals, and metrics of success
  • identify stakeholders, and their roles and responsibilities
  • determine how their research program fits into the larger scientific enterprise (i.e., their department/center/institution/scientific field)
  • develop a plan for taking on and evaluating new projects and collaborations
  • set up individual development plans (IDPs) to develop leadership and career goals, and celebrate wins


What is strategy.

Strategy is determining what you want to achieve, and how you want to do it. Identifying why your work is unique and important, who cares about your work, and how you measure success are all part of defining your strategy. Intentionally identifying these elements and iteratively refining them can help direct your tasks, and align daily actions to your overaching goals. As a scientist, you may need to develop strategy on several different levels, including as an individual, part of a lab or group, and part of a scientific enterprise.

Your Value Proposition

Identifying your value proposition is answering why your work is important and why your research is unique. Defining your research vision in this way can help you convey the value of your work to key stakeholder groups. If you can determine this early on, you will have an easier time articulating your research vision to others as you give presentations, write grants and publications, and recruit personnel. A value proposition can also be described as your lab’s brand and what you want your work to be known for. The Strategy4Scientists podcast features PIs who talk about framing and communicating their research brand (Ansel, podcast #7; Farese, podcast #6; https://soundcloud.com/user-8523475 ).

Your value proposition can also serve as a compass by which you make key decisions. Refer to it as you decide on what projects to initiate, equipment to purchase, grants to apply for, collaborators to work with, and so on. For example, it may be helpful to consider whether your lab is focused on curing a particular disease versus developing and applying technologies. Will you aim to 1) solve basic questions for one biological process or pathway(disease)? Or 2) use techniques that allow you to test questions applicable to many diseases and mechanisms (platform)? Identifying your approach can help you to build out your research program and grow your team in ways that relate to your strategic focus.

While many of these decisions seem quite basic, defining this and communicating it with your team can help you protect your time and prioritize projects. Consider sharing your value proposition with potential or existing lab members, collaborators, and bosses at meetings and also on your lab website. Sharing your strategic focus with others may make it easier to decline a new opportunity, because it falls outside of that defined focus. If you find yourself with many collaborative opportunities, evaluate them using your value proposition (see discussion on “ Strategic Partnerships: Considering Collaborations ” below).

Communicating Your Value Proposition

Effectively communicating your value proposition means knowing who has a stake in the outcomes of your work, and understanding what they value. One key stakeholder group is members of your lab.

Conveying a clear research vision to members of the lab is critical for effective leadership. Team members who understand the research vision and all the components necessary to execute it will be more engaged, motivated, and excited. Checking in with lab members about what they value and how their work contributes to the overall research can help them stay on track and motivated. For example, lab members who value organized lab structures may be more engaged in diligent data storage practices and record keeping. Lab members who value rigor and reproducibility of the research may be more motivated to validate their cell lines. Achieving the research vision requires many different contributions. As you map out your lab’s stakeholders and what they value, make a plan for how you will reinforce and communicate your lab’s research vision.

Another stakeholder group are stakeholders in your organization. They may include senior researchers and administrators in your department and university who have institutional knowledge as well as individuals in regulatory, financial, and legal units. We discuss these examples in detail below below.

External stakeholders such as policy makers, the public, publishers, and funders will also impact the success of your research program. When you communicate your value proposition or research brand to external stakeholders during conference presentations, media interviews, published articles, and grant applications, tailor the message to the values of each stakeholder group and what may motivate them to care about your research.

Organizational Context

Your lab in relation to the department and institution.

The success of your research program will also be influenced by your institution’s resources and structure; this is the organizational context. Knowing the priorities and capabilities early on can help you shape the growth of your research program. How does your department prioritize clinical duties, research, and teaching? Understanding how your institution prioritizes each of these pillars can shape how you fit your research into the larger organization, and how you approach future partnerships.

To learn about the organizational context seek out internal academic and administrative stakeholders and ask - “What’s important for being successful at this institution?”. Internal academic stakeholders may include other faculty, your department chair, deans, and senior colleagues. They may give concrete requirements for success or tenure, or they might give advice for how to navigate different processes within the department or university in order to succeed. They may even suggest committees to serve on or to avoid, because they are aware of time commitments and your goals, if you have shared them.

Often times, universities have centers and/or institutes that bring together scientists and clinicians with similar interests. Joining and actively participating in such centers and/or institutes can greatly enrich you scientific environment. Additionally, this will help you meet and interact with colleagues, hear about related research going on at your institution, learn about relevant resources, and find opportunities for collaborations.

Your Department Chair, a key stakeholder

During the hiring process, you’ve likely interacted extensively with your department chair. As your research progresses, your department chair will continue to support your research needs, including resources and laboratory space. Keep your supervisor informed of progress and share expectations. Your chair will be critical in connecting you to people in other departments on campus. For example, they may know about other research studies on which you could collaborate. It will be on a case-by-case basis, but overall, your chair can serve as an advocate for you and can share institutional knowledge (unless they themselves are also new at the institution). Additionally, your chair will likely support you by writing letters of institutional support for your early career grant applications.

In some cases, the department chair may also take on additional roles including collaborator and mentor. As a collaborator, your chair may connect you to people, provide access to resources and samples, and suggest new projects where you have shared interests. As a mentor, they may suggest grants to apply to, funding mechanisms and foundations to consider, leadership opportunities, and share experiences with different offices on campus like tech transfer and regulatory issues. When you want to interact with your chair in a mentoring capacity, it may be helpful to schedule a separate time to discuss your list of topics, so you both can focus the conversation on your professional and career development goals. You will also want to identify other mentors on campus, because these individuals can provide additional objective feedback and guidance.

Internal Administrative Stakeholders

Build your network intentionally. Connect with professionals in finance and grants administration to learn about how funds work at your specific institution. As you gather information, begin to lay out how best to work with each stakeholder. Develop relationships and learn their timelines. Learn specific information about the restrictions and expiration of start-up funds, and if there are budgeting templates that can be shared with you. Plan around their timelines for submitting grant applications and learn what the internal review process looks like. Get a list of people who work on key research committees on campus or people who know about the research infrastructure at your institution.

Other individuals who have institutional knowledge that could be important for your research and development include professional staff in tech transfer, biosafety, IACUC, the Human Research Protections Office, and others. Invest in identifying and meeting with them.


What is business development.

Business development is the process of growing or expanding a business by identifying gaps and ways to fill them. Different types of gaps in research programs could include knowledge, technological, financial, talent, etc. For your first year or two in the lab, you might initiate new projects and apply for grants to fill in such gaps. Developing these types of business opportunities is important to the growth of your research program. An expanding research program also means taking on new personnel, so your business development objectives will evolve as you bring new postdocs and students into the decision making process regarding projects to start.

The first step is identifying your lab’s gaps. Then evaluate the options based on your resources and capabilities. For example, if you have financial gaps to fill, you can then decide to apply to grants, or partner and synergize with others’ resources and expertise.

Go, No Go Decision Making

In making decisions about expansion of your research program, ask these questions:

  • What is the gap? Is it technological, financial, talent, etc?
  • How will you execute filling the gap?
  • Who will you partner with?
  • How will you measure success?

To illustrate this type of decision making, here is an example using a technological gap. In this example, you have decided you want to pursue a new area of research, but will need to learn a new technology to execute your research. Do you decide to develop that technological expertise in the lab or outsource it? You’ve done step one, and identified it as a technological gap or talent gap. The next step depends on your capabilities and resources ( e.g., current collaborations, finances, trainee’s motivation and timing, and other factors). Your options include optimizing the technology in-house, outsourcing to a company or clinical research organization, working with a collaborator, or hiring someone else with the relevant expertise. There is no right answer – rather, only an informed decision as you evaluate your options. And as you make your decision, you will need to define the timeline by which you want to accomplish this work, and milestones by which you will determine if the project is viable (e.g., make go and no-go decisions). Aimee Kao, MD PhD talks about this example in more detail, and how she did a cost and time analysis for doing CRISPR in the lab, in her Strategy4Scientists podcast episode (Kao, podcast #11; https://soundcloud.com/user-8523475 ).

Strategic Partnerships: Considering Collaborations

If you’re approached for a new collaboration (by academic or industry scientists), the first step is to ask what gap they propose to fill. Is they gap they propose one that you previously identified? Or is it a service you are willing to provide after calculating the opportunity cost? Consider these factors:

  • Alignment with your research goals and value proposition – Go back to your strategic vision and mission statement to make sure you’re on track. Does it help you reach your long-term research and professional goals?
  • Time commitment, for you and your lab members – Do you and/or other lab members have the bandwidth to take on the new project? Also consider the opportunity costs involved, which may translate into other potential projects that you would have to forego.
  • Scope of the project – How does the anticipated time frame of the project match up with that of lab members who would be involved in the collaborations? Do you want to be doing bits and pieces? Is your role a collaborator or a co-PI with more involved and long-term commitments? For example, if the scope of work they propose is a single experiment that your lab can easily do, you may be inclined to help your colleague with it even if it doesn’t align with your own research goals (Grueter, podcast #13; https://soundcloud.com/user-8523475 ).
  • Excitement to continue the studies – Would an exploratory project be something you and your lab could tackle? Some investigators have cautioned that if you’re not willing to continue with the project after you get the results, perhaps you should consider not initiating the project in the first place (Alto, podcast #10; https://soundcloud.com/user-8523475 ).
  • Cost – Does your lab have sufficient flexible funds that can support this new line of investigation? And if you continue on with this research project, are there funding mechanisms that you can apply for? Keep in mind the adage, “you have to spend money to get money,” meaning that spending money to do exploratory research will help you obtain preliminary data, which in turn helps make your grant applications more competitive for funding.

Communicating with your collaborators will be an important part of executing and maintaining the partnership. The interpersonal side of collaborating and being influential includes giving and receiving feedback and how to share data depending on your relationships to the stakeholder ( e.g., boss or colleague). For example, when reporting reults to your boss, utilize the technique called “peeling the onion” by giving the most salient data first, and could be the outcome of the work or the punchline. This is information by which your boss may need to make decisions. Then if your boss wants more information, they will ask. In giving and receiving feedback, utilize the “SBI: Situation, Behavior, Impact” technique where you frame the event or conversation in an objective way. For example, “In the meeting yesterday (situation), a few of your data slides were incomplete (behavior) and lab members were looking forward to using that time to give you comments and there may not be another opportunity (impact); rather than “your presentation yesterday was terrible.” Jessica Tashker, PhD walks through other frameworks to enhance interpersonal communication in “Business Concepts Module 3: Strategic Collaborations”( https://courses.ibiology.org/courses/course-v1:iBiology+BCLS+SP/about ).

Hiring Lab Personnel

You will need person-power to carry projects forward. How can you think about hiring strategically to move forward high priority projects? Hiring will depend greatly on the person’s talents and personality and their overall fit with the lab culture and team. While there are myriad factors involved in making responsible and strategic hiring decisions, we suggest a few to consider:

  • (Alignment, skill gap) How closely do the person’s expertise and technical skills align with those needed for the project? – what projects will you need to execute to make strides in the first few years and can you find a person who is excited about your research vision, too?
  • (Time Commitment and Scope) How much time can you devote to mentoring responsibly? Are you committed to mentoring training?– this can impact whether you hire a grad student or postdoc or take on undergraduate researchers. During the first year or two as you are setting up your lab, consider your capacity to responsibly mentor grad students and postdocs as you are learning to juggle your own responsibilities. This consideration may influence whether you hire for non-trainee positions such as technicians and staff scientists. For these non-trainee positions, it is also important to provide opportunities for professional growth and development.
  • (Cost) What size lab can you sustain? – this impacts the time you spend writing grants, stability for research projects, and ultimately how your research moves forward.
  • (Institutional knowledge gap) Are you hiring individuals that have previously worked at your institution? – they will likely provide helpful organizational context that may accelerate your research program.

Once you’ve hired, here are other considerations:

  • As you hire a diverse workforce with a range of abilities and backgrounds, how are you creating an equitable and inclusive environment and providing each trainee or employee with the resources they need to succeed? Are you participating in and hosting anti-bias training? Are you including discussions about cultural competency and safe work environments? For employees with different abilities, are you providing accommodations and checking in with them?


Strategic planning is a way to generate, and prioritize your actions and goals. Strategic planning can be simplified to two steps that can be done solo or with others: first brainstorm, then prioritize. Brainstorming is the process of laying out all your options and ways you can achieve your goals. Then, in prioritizing, you to rank or map those options or activities based on factors that are important to your overall research program and stakeholders.

Take the time to define key performance indicators (KPIs) or ways that you will know you all are making progress. Define what success looks like for your research program at defined intervals (e.g., each quarter, every 6 months or year), and then communicate this to members of the lab. Lab retreats can be a good opportunity to share this information. As you monitor the lab’s progress, keep in mind communication questions such as the frequency at which your students and fellows like to touch base (ideally once a week)? How do they like to communicate (face to face or by email), and will they benefit from accommodations (i.e., language interpreters for individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired)? Consider what time of day is practical, particularly for individuals with family obligations. And to promote healthy boundaries for work and life, consider sending your emails at reasonable hours. Knowing these things will help you to optimize communication and trust with each lab member, and enable you to track the progress of research projects.

Two factor matrix, one way to prioritize projects

Two factor matrices are a way to map potential projects based on variables you care about. The variables are used to indicate the x and y axes in a simple graph. Two factor matrices are used in different sectors such as consulting and non-profit to determine projects to fund or divest. As a new PI, two factor matrices can be helpful when you’re feeling overcommitted or when you’re unsure of which direction to pursue next. For example, you could label the x and y axes for cost and time and then start to put all projects or next experiments on the matrix based on your perception of the cost and time commitment. Another example is the Eisenhower Principle, in which you place tasks (or experiments) into a matrix with urgency and importance as the x and y axes. The quadrant in which a particular task falls would dictate how you handle that task (i.e., do it, schedule it, delegate it, or ignore it). Experiments that are low in both urgency and importance would be ignored, even if they are interesting or opportunistic. This is one distinction between having a goal and being strategic.

Then take a step back and examine the projects you’ve mapped out. Is there a big project that will cost a lot and take a lot of time, but you’re excited about and will strengthen your value proposition? Be strategic about pursuing this project; perhaps consider breaking it up into smaller pieces and deciding if a strategic collaboration might be a good next step. Deborah Dauber, PhD MPH talks about using two factor matrices to prioritize your research goals in “Business Concepts Module 4: Strategic Toolkits” ( https://courses.ibiology.org/courses/course-v1:iBiology+BCLS+SP/about ).

Individual Development Plans – Making Progress On Your Career

Part of your success as a researcher will depend on your growth as the leader and manager of the group. How are you planning for your own professional development? Your faculty appointment may already include teaching, mentoring, managing, responsible conduct of research, supervisory tasks, and others. How do you select the professional skills to focus on and develop any given year?

Start back at the beginning, and refer back to your value proposition and your stakeholders. In that coming year, did you take on a new stakeholder group, and therefore need to gain skills to be successful? For example, taking on a new graduate student or postdoc comes with the privilege and responsibility to mentor and supervise them to the best of your ability. This may require you to invest in additional mentoring and management training. Or do you want to enhance your public speaking skills, because you plan to go on the conference talk circuit that?

To make progress on your professional skills in a structured way, create an individual development plan (IDP). An IDP is an outline of activities and trainings you wish to complete, but listed in small and step-wise tasks, and put onto a timeline. IDPs aren’t just for trainees; they can be useful for any level professional, and are used by professionals in several different sectors including the government and industry.

Using the example above, if you’ve decided to focus on enhancing mentoring skills this year, start by breaking down the discrete tasks that involves, such as finding opportunities. Next, ask colleagues about mentoring groups on your campus or look up online trainings, and schedule the sessions on your calendar. Then define metrics of success ahead of time, so you can measure progress as you improve your mentoring practices and supervisory skills. You may consult your lab members and also your own mentors. An important step is to check your progress periodically. If you’re meeting your goals, take the time to celebrate. If you’re not meeting your goals, ask how you can prioritize it? Would it help to find a different format for learning, location or timing, or accountability partner? Adjust your goals, and keep working at them.

Be strategic about volunteering for university service and volunteering to organize meetings, consulting gigs, and work in professional societies. Before agreeing or committing to new opportunities, ask how it fits in with your overall IDP. Defining this in advance of when opportunities arise will help you to more objectively and confidently accept or decline.

Overall, Keep the Parts Moving

Once the lab is up and running, an important responsibility is to help keep the lab running as smoothly as possible. This may involve things such as helping lab members overcome roadblocks in their projects as well as addressing conflicts within the lab. Of course, open communication can help to promptly identify and resolve such issues. Express or signal your willingness to communicate by inviting lab members to check in with you, bring lab notebooks to discuss experimental troubles, share raw data as they are receiving it. This may also help you keep an eye on the rigor and reproducibility of the research being done.

As you juggle back and forth with your own administrative duties and bench work, remind yourself of your value proposition. There’s a lot of flexibility in how you spend your time, so be deliberate and pursue growth opportunities that match with what you’ve intentionally defined for your research vision. For example, make strategic decisions about the grants you choose to apply for. Mentors may tell you to apply every funding cycle, or to submit less than fully developed proposals with the hopes of receiving helpful feedback and then resubmitting. However, if you don’t have a solid application, you may consider instead spending a grant cycle to generate key preliminary data that will strengthen your application. Being strategic in this way may help you avoid – at least to the extent possible – continuously writing grants.

Finally, no doubt, your time will be limited. In thinking about time management, consider applying the economic concept of opportunity cost. When you spend your time doing one task, this will necessarily take away time that could be spent on another task. For example, conferences are an important activity that allow you to participate in the scientific community, share your research, and make connections, but it comes with opportunity costs. To be strategic, consider defining the number of conferences will you attend in a year. One faculty member shares her approach to setting boundaries, such as the number of talk invitations she accepts, in order to prioritize her research ( Nagpal, 2013 ). Inevitably invitations and unexpected events come up, and being mindful of these trade offs can keep you focused on the most important activities.

Using a business lens in a lab setting can make the transition from graduate student to postdoc to an independent scientist (and then department chair) go more smoothly. In a recent Science article, the author encourages professors to “get good at management and work relationships and you’ll have more time [for the research]” ( Tachibana, 2016 ).

The frameworks introduced in this article can be useful for situations and decisions that require you to manage a budget, market your research to attract funds, hire employees, and manage a team with diverse backgrounds, abilities, and talents. In the end, if you are following your research interests, and cultivating a healthy and fun research work environment, then you’re on the right track.

This overview is just a starting point, and we suggest a few other resources and programs for readers interested in a deeper exploration. The New PI Slack group (for junior faculty) is a place to find discussion about these topics and more; such as negotiation and entrepreneurship. Check your local universities for business courses, some of which may even be tailored to scientists. A few established programs with open enrollment include “Business for Scientists and Engineers” by Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and “Biotech” courses with ASCB-Keck Graduate Institute. Readers are also referred to the free videos and podcasts which are organized as part of the broader introductory series on EdX, titled Business Concepts for Life Scientists ( https://courses.ibiology.org/courses/course-v1:iBiology+BCLS+SP/about ).


We thank the faculty, business professionals, consultants, staff and speakers who supported and developed the Business Concepts for Life Scientists course on iBiology; especially Mark Ansel, PhD, and Bill Lindstaedt, MS. We also thank Laurence Clement, PhD for notes on the manuscript and Michael Bemben, PhD for early research on the article. Thank you to our wonderful collaborators at iBiology for producing and hosting the online course, and members of the Graduate Career Consortium for piloting the course at different institutions. Development of the Business Concepts for Life Scientists online course was funded by the NIH (GM008568) and Burroughs Wellcome Career Guidance for Trainees. Research in the Nguyen laboratory is supported by grants from the NIH (AG047339, AG064069, UL1TR002345) and the Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia.



Website for Business Concepts for Life Scientists, a free, self-paced course from iBiology.


Strategy4Scientists podcast episodes with stories of scientists, in academia and industry, using strategy.

Contributor Information

Thi A. Nguyen, Associate Dean for Graduate and Career Professional Development, Graduate School, Washington University in St. Louis.

Andrew D. Nguyen, Assistant Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology & Physiology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine.


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