Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Master of Energy Business: Company Research Strategy

This Library Research Guide will introduce library resources relevant to students enrolled in the Master of Energy Business Program

Company Research Strategies

This is a selected guide for research on Company Information in the McFarlin Library Collection.


Company Background


There are many tools available for doing company research.  Basic search strategies are needed for locating company background such as corporate structure, history, mission and objectives, services and products, and financial background.

The strategies will focus on researching public companies. Finding information on smaller private companies can be more difficult. Wherever possible, suggestions for finding information about private businesses will be included.

 The majority of  businesses in the U.S. are privately owned and are not legally required to disclose information to the public.  Since only publicly held corporations must disclose information to the public, only a very small percentage of American businesses can be readily researched.

Finding information about companies is basic to business research. Good background research allows informed decision-making for assessing competitors, analyzing companies for investment, and evaluating potential employers.

Consider the following outline for beginning company research:

Identify the company or companies
  • Publicly-held, traded on a stock exchange?
  • Subsidiary of a parent company?
  • Privately-held?
Mission and objectives of the company
  • Business involvement?
  • Products and services?
  • Goals and objectives?
Internal operations of the company
  • Company structure and management profiles?
  • Available resources?
  • Marketing and advertising?
External environment of the company
Identify the competition Competitive factors operating within the company Competitor profiles Environmental conditions
  • determine the industry
  • identify competitors
  • determine rankings and market share
  • buyers of the products or services
  • suppliers of raw materials and services


  • strengths of the competition
  • weaknesses of the competition
  • industry opportunities or threats
  • economic conditions
  • governmental regulation
  • technological development
  • societal issues