Business Administration

Research Assignment: Organization in the Age of Deisruption and Innovation

November, 2018

Much of organization theory (and thinking about business in general) has evolved and emerged in the era before the internet, and before the rapid pace of change that we are familiar with now.

In today’s business and organization environment, two of the most frequently heard words are ‘disruption’ and ‘innovation’.

The task for this assignment is to focus on ONE aspect of organization theory (your choice) that we look at it in this course (i.e. any element of our text in chapters that we cover), and consider it in light of EITHER disruption OR innovation.

This guide should help you get your research started.

Planning Your Search

The two most important parts of your search are always;

  1. Look in the right place.
  2. Use the best search terms.

Where to Search

The right place for most of your Business research is Business Source Complete, but you can find other potential databases listed on this guide under "Articles" or "Books".

Search Terms

Select your topic from those you've covered in class.  Choose one that you're familiar enough with that you know the best terminology to use and you'll recognize articles that are relevant to your topic - they won't all have the exact wording you expect.  Computers don't think or interpret your ideas; they look for the letters you tell them to find.  You can't ask a scholarly database a question, only look for key terms.  So give some thought to what terms might be useful to your topic.

Example: How does disruption change the profile of advances and disadvantages of organization size?

  • Possible search terms:
    • organization size
    • organizational size
    • large organizations
    • small organizations
    • small business
    • SME
    • large business
    • corporate size
    • large corporations
    • small corporations
    • medium enterprise
    • company size
    • size and digital economy
    • SME and digital economy
  • Each of these searches will provide different results.  Try combinations until you find the best results.

Here's an example of a very complex search:

screenshot of a search using many search terms

In the first box, several options for "business" are entered, with OR between them:

  • business or corporation or enterprise or company

In the second box, options for "size" are entered (also with OR between them):

  • size or small or medium or large or sme

In the third box, "digital economy" is entered.  The boxes are joined with AND.

What happens?  the system looks for all items that include any of the terms in the first box AND ALSO contain any of the terms in the second box AND "digital economy". 

  • It finds 163 items. 
  • Use the options below "Refine Results" to limit the results to a type of publication, a particular publication, date of publication, etc.
    • Since you don't need to use scholarly articles, you can select "magazines" and "trade publications" for easier reading.


The Harvard Business Review is the most influential business periodical in the world, and you should look at it.  It's ONLY available online through the Business Source Complete database.  You can search it on its own, or include it in your search of all content.  Alternately, use Journals A-Z to search Harvard Business Review, and follow the link to all the available issues in Business Source Complete.

Search ONLY Harvard Business Review

Set the search to look ONLY in this publication using the following steps.

  1. Select "Advanced Search".
  2. Click "Publications"/.

screenshot of selecting Publication from Advanced Search

3. Under "Browse for:", enter "harvard".  Click "Browse".

4. A list of publications starting with the word "Harvard" is displayed.  Find th e title and click on it.

screenshot of list of publications starting with harvard

5. The resulting screen shows details for Harvard Business Review, including the dates covered.

  • Click "Search within this publication".

screenshot of search box with JN "Harvard Business Review" entered

The system enters a search term to limit searches to the Harvard Business Review.  Enter your search terms in the rows below it.

  • NOTE: you can enter this information from the beginning to avoid these steps, but if you get it wrong it won't work.  Going through this process ensures it's entered correctly.


Restrict Search Results to Articles in Harvard Business Review

This can be quicker, and it finds articles in other publications at the same time.

  1. Enter your search term(s).
  2. View your results.
  3. Use the "limiters" on the left side to restrict your results by "publication".

Refine Results

screenshot of limiting results by publication

Click on the box to see only the articles from a specific publication.  Un-click it later to see everything again.

The Stanford Social Innovation Review is an influential periodical for people interested in the social and environmental and community aspects of organization, business and management. It's available through the Business Source Complete database.

Use the same techniques to find articles in this publication that you used for the Harvard Business Review.

Loading ...