Reminiscent of business sources such as "Hoover's Handbook of World Business, 1992" ["RBB" Ja 1 92] and "The Global Marketplace: 102 of the Most Influential Companies Outside America" (1987), this new book presents information on 100 businesses, selected by the author as the most important enterprises controlling the destiny of the global economy. A variety of criteria were used to select the companies, beginning with size and extent of international activity. Also, the author attempted to present a diversified list in terms of industry and geography, to represent Third World multinationals, and to include some companies not yet in the top tier of international business but clearly on the way up (e.g., Apple Computer). The resulting list of companies includes 43 based in the U.S., 16 in Japan, and 32 in European countries
Business researcher and author Mattera, who also wrote "Inside U.S. Business" ["RBB" Ap 1 91], has prepared this new work with the general reader in mind, avoiding unnecessary business jargon and detailed financial analysis. For each company, he has tried to provide an overall understanding of its background, its main areas of operation, its current competitive position, and its labor and environmental records, while also providing some basic information on each firm. Special pains were taken to identify joint ventures, to focus on the investments in Eastern Europe, and to examine environmental and health issues related to each company. Mattera compiled the company data from corporate reports and from information supplied by citizens groups, research centers, and labor organizations
Entries are arranged alphabetically by company name and include sections on history, operations, executives, labor relations, and environmental and health records. Also supplied are several charts and tables presenting a geographic breakdown of revenues and operating income (e.g., for Mitsubishi, revenue in yen and by percentage for Japan, Europe, and "Elsewhere"). Entries conclude with a brief bibliography
"World Class Business" does not do as much ranking as "Hoover's Handbook" (covering 165 companies), and it does not approach "Hoover's" in terms of graphic presentation. It does provide more thoughtful analysis. Compared with "International Directory of Company Histories" (St. James Press, 1990), it is more succinct and obviously more up-to-date but considerably less comprehensive. The Board compared the Nissan entries from "Global Marketplace" and "World Class Business". The former source includes more than six pages of text and a map of Japanese car plants in the U.S. The latter includes slightly less text and somewhat more financial data. Both are well written and readable
In today's economic environment, it is virtually impossible to have too many up-to-date international business sources. "World Class Business" is a recommended purchase for medium-size to large public libraries and any academic library supporting business research.
There has been a proliferation of inexpensive reference books that offer brief company profiles. These books well serve smaller libraries that have limited budgets but regularly get requests for company information. They are also helpful to individuals looking only for a quick overview of what a company does. The limitation to these works, of course, is that such entries as sales figures or officers soon become out-of-date. Mattera, who previously profiled the 25 leading U.S. industries in the well- received "Inside U.S. Business" [RBB Ap 1 91], here profiles 100 of "the world's most important/powerful/influential enterprises," although his list also aims for geographic and industrial diversity. Thirty-nine industries and 13 countries are represented. Nonetheless, of the 100 companies, 43 are from the U.S. From this standpoint, "Hoover's Handbook" [RBB Mr 1 91], which profiles 500 companies, and "Everybody's Business" (Doubleday, 1990), which profiles 400, are better buys. Furthermore, "Hoover's Handbook of World Business" [RBB Ja 1 91] and "The Global Marketplace" (Macmillan, 1987) similarly profile companies worldwide. What does make Mattera's work unique is his inclusion of information about a company's record on labor relations and the environment. Also valuable is the addition of a brief bibliography of books about each company.
A guide to current and emerging business leaders headquartered throughout the world, arranged by industry. Each company analysis tells who they are, what they do, and how they do it; provides a historical sketch, financial performance, listing top managers and outside directors, and international joint ventures; and includes detailed analysis of the organization's labor relations and environmental record as well as a bibliography of further reading materials. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)