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Management and business studies

This page explains what the subject of management and business studies covers, gives an overview of the material the British Library holds for this subject, and advice on how you can find and use it. It also gives details of current activities for developing the collections for this subject.

Covers all aspects of business and management theory, including: strategy, international business, corporate social responsibility, organisation theory, change management, public sector management, operations management and operations research, management development, leadership, organisational psychology, HR management, employment relations, marketing; business history; and theoretical aspects of entrepreneurship and innovation. For information and advice about starting a business or patents/intellectual property, please see our Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) or find out about our innovations research service. 

Collection overview

If you want content right now, free of charge, we recommend our Management & Business Studies Portal website, which brings together rights-cleared digital reports, papers, summaries and articles that you can download immediately together with a powerful search of the British Library's vast collections. 

The British Library's business and management studies collection is extensive and has particular strengths in English-language material published in the UK and North America. Most printed collection material is kept offsite and has to be ordered in advance of your visit; or ordered via our Document Supply Service; but a selection of around 800 relevant books and reports published in the last three years, and selected key journals published in the last 12 months, are available on the shelves in the London Social Sciences Reading Room. See the collections leaflet (pdf)

Overall we have:

  • A comprehensive collection of UK material acquired through legal deposit, including report literature, working papers and conference papers
  • Strong English-language collections from other countries, especially North America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and to a lesser extent, Africa. East European collections are also strong, reflecting interest in the transition to capitalism.
  • Extensive collections of market research reports, company annual reports, patents and trade directories in the Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) in London, where you can also use financial, market and news databases.
  • Extensive journals coverage, with many journals in full text online in our London Social Sciences Reading Room, plus indexing and abstracting databases to help you find articles.
  • Extensive newspaper collections, print and online.
  • Electronic resources (databases) such as Ebsco Business Source Complete, Proquest ABI Inform, Web of Science, JSTOR, Factiva.
  • Management & Business Studies Portal: our dedicated website providing quick, easy and free online access to rights-cleared downloadable research reports, papers, summaries, editorial articles and selected journal content.
  • Oral histories of various aspects of business and finance.

Finding aids

Social Sciences Enquiry team

For more help on using the Social Sciences collections, contact the Enquiry team at or telephone +44 (0)20 7412 7894 from 10.00 - 20.00 Mon- Thurs or 10.00 - 17.00 Friday.


Current activities


British Library Content Strategy

We have refined our Content Strategy (i.e what we collect now and in future). Please see the content strategy pages on our website. These pages are organised by subject. Please remember that different aspects of a research theme may be described under more than one subject. A subject will also cover a variety of research themes, so even though your topic may not be specifically listed, it will likely be found under one of our headings.

If you have comments on the Library's content strategy, we would be pleased to hear from you.