International Business and Management Glossary
Interested in the challenges faced by multinational corporations across various international business environments? We’ve defined some of the terminology you may come across when reading up on the study of international business and management.
Above board – Used to describe activity which is honest and legal.
Acquisition – When one company buys another or part of another company.
Agenda – A list of the subjects to be discussed at a meeting.
Alliance – An agreement between two or more organisations to work together.
Any other business (AOB) – Items to discuss outside of a formal agenda.
Asset – Something belonging to an individual or a business that has value or the power to earn money.
Balance sheet – A document showing a company’s financial position and wealth at a particular time.
Bankrupt – A state declared by court when an individual or company is unable to pay their debts.
Barrier to trade – Something that makes trade between two countries more difficult or expensive e.g., tax.
Benchmark – Something that can be used as a comparison to judge or measure performance.
Benefits package – The total amount of pay and all the other advantages that an employee may receive.
Brand – The name given to a product or group of products by a company for easy recognition.
Brand leader – The brand with the most sales in a particular market.
Brand loyalty – The degree to which people buy a particular brand and refuse to change to others.
Boom – Describes a period in time when business activity, demand, prices and wages increase rapidly.
Buyout – The act of buying a business or all the shares in a company of a particular shareholder.
Cash flow – The amounts of money coming into and going out of a company.
Business development – The act of pursuing strategic business opportunities e.g., new markets or partnerships.
Consumer behaviour – How, why, where, and when consumers buy things, and the study of this.
Crash – Describes a period in time when many investments lose their value very quickly.
Cross-cultural – Interaction between individuals from different cultures.
Cross-cultural communication skills – The ability to recognise cultural behavioural differences and similarities.
Cross-cultural sensitivity – The ability to respond appropriately to cultural situations, contexts and behaviours.
Culture – The shared values, norms, traditions, customs, arts, history and institutions of a group of people.
Cultural diversity – Differences in race, ethnicity, language, nationality or religion.
Cultural sensitivity – Deliberately being mindful of cultural factors that affect interactions with others.
Customs – The tax or government department responsible for collecting tax on imported/exported goods.
Development theory – A collection of theories about how desirable change in society is best achieved.
Dialogue – Communication that creates and recreates multiple understandings.
Diversify – A term used when a company or economy increases the range of goods or services it produces.
Entrepreneurship – The activity of setting up a business or businesses to make a profit.
Ethics – Any system or code of moral rules, principles, or values, or the study of moral right or wrong concepts.
Financial intermediary – An institution, e.g., bank, that holds funds from lenders to make loans to borrowers.
Franchise – An arrangement by which a company gives a business the right to sell its goods or services.
Global enterprise management – Describes how businesses manage international day-to-day operations.
Global development – Economic or human development on an international scale.
Globalised – Refers to something that makes international influence or operations possible.
Governance – The act of overseeing the control or direction of something.
Human resource management (HRM) – The department or act of handling everything having to do with people.
Industrial espionage – The act of secretly finding out a company’s plans, details of its products etc.
Innovate – To design and develop new and better products.
Interconnectedness – The state of being connected to one or more things.
Intercultural communication – How people from differing cultural backgrounds try to communicate.
International finance system – Managing monetary interactions that transpire between two or more countries.
International relations – The way in which two or more nations interact with and regard each other.
International trade – Economic transactions that are made between countries.
Joint venture – A business activity in which two or more companies have invested together.
Liability – An amount of money owed by a business to a supplier, lender, or other creditor.
Limited company – A company where individual shareholders lose shares (not property) if it goes bankrupt.
Legislation – The process of making or enacting law or a group of laws.
Market segmentation – Dividing customers into separate parts or sections with similar characteristics or needs.
Merchandise – Goods that are produced to be sold.
Multinational corporation – A business that operates in many different countries at the same time.
Niche market – A market where demand for a product or service may be limited but still profitable.
Operational management – The efficient administration of business practices in an organisation.
Organisational communication – The attitudes, values and goals that characterise an organisation.
Patent – A legal document recognising individual or business ownership of a new invention e.g., product.
Politics – The activities of government, law-making organisations and individuals or study of their activities.
Product portfolio – Refers to all of a company’s products or services on offer.
Profit margin – The difference between the price of a product or service and the cost of producing it.
Public limited company (PLC) – A limited company whose shares are freely sold and traded.
Redundancy – When someone loses their job in a company because the job is no longer needed.
Research and development (R&D) – The act of studying new ideas and developing new products.
Regulation – The act of controlling or directing something through the enforcement of a law or process.
Retail outlet – A shop through which products are sold to the public.
Sole trader – A company where someone who has their own business, with no other shareholders.
Subsidy – Money that is paid by a government or organisation to make something cheaper to buy or produce.
Sustainable business – Minimising negative impact on the environment, community, society, or economy.
Strategic – Describes action planned to gain an advantage or achieve a particular purpose.
Tariff – A tax on goods coming into a country or going out of it.
Takeover – The act of getting control of a company by buying more than half of its shares.
Total quality management (TQM) – Supervision of the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of goods/services.
Trade union – An organisation representing people working in a particular industry or profession.
Transaction – A business deal, typically involving the exchange of money.
Trend – The general way in which a particular situation is changing or developing.
Turnover – The amount of business done in a particular period, measured in money from sales.
Unique selling point (USP) – The thing that makes a particular product different from all other similar products.
Workforce – All the people who work in a particular country, area, industry, company, or place of work.
Wholesaler – A person or company that sells goods in large quantities to other businesses, who sell them on.
Find out more about our MSc in International Business and Management
Learn how to apply for our online master's courses
More resourcesSee all resources
We'd love to hear from you. Get in touch to discuss your course of interest and ask any questions about studying.