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Literature Search in Business   Tags: literature, literature_reviews, research  

Learn how to find books, articles, journals, dissertations and working papers; cite your work in APA format; get an overview of selected databases for business disciplines.
Last Updated: Jun 9, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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What is a Literature Search?

Why do you need a literature review?

  • You need to know what work has been already done by others (writers and researchers)
  • Link previous research to what you are researching and why
  • Identify the position of the study
  • Use relevant theoretical concepts
  • Apply theory to practice
  • Demonstrate knowledge in subject(s)
  • Demonstrate library research skills
  • Learn from other’s errors
  • Assist with your practical research
  • Identify what you can add or what is missing

What is a Business Literature Search?

“A literature review is a description of the literature relevant to a particular field or topic. It gives an overview of what has been said, who the key writers are, what are the prevailing theories and hypotheses, what questions are being asked, and what methods and methodologies are appropriate and useful" (Emerald Insight).

A literature review is not just a summary of everything you have read on the topic.  It is a critical analysis of the existing research relevant to your topic, and you should show how the literature relates to your topic and identify the gaps in the area of research.

A literature review is a critical discussion of existing knowledge drawn from:

  • Books
  • Articles
  • Journals
  • Research publications

A literature review:

  • is the vehicle for you to demonstrate your understanding of the topic and articulate challenges, and opportunities
  • is NOT a description of the literature
  • establishes an argument for your research

Search Systematically

  1. Plan your search first, thinking about your keywords
  2. Use the pages on this Research Guide to identify quality resources
  3. Use the Interlibrary Loan service to borrow books or to obtain copies of papers which aren't in the College Library
  4. Speak to the Instructional and Research Librarian, for help with your searches.

Read Critically

Think about the argument and the evidence

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