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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

BUS 101 - Professional Responsibility and Business

Wicked Problem Search Examples

Below are some example database search strategies using competitors of the companies you will be working with, coupled with one of our three wicked problems. 

Start with the Company Research Databases tab in this LibGuide, shown below:

This page provides links and brief background information for the three main academic research databases you will be using: Business Source Ultimate, Nexis Uni, and ProQuest One Business.

Big Tech and Gender Inequality 

Open Business Source Ultimate (linked in the LibGuide shown above).  Start with a general search for ‘gender inequality in the workplace’.  This returns many results, so we need to determine what will be helpful for our research.

 

Once you have noted subject headings and/or author-supplied keywords, you can further limit your search by inputting a subject heading (ex. 'diversity in the workplace') and selecting 'SU Subject Terms' from the field selection drop-down box immediately to the right of the search box.  This can be done for subsequent search terms as well.  The example shown below inputs Twitter and selects 'CO Company Entity'.  Defining search limits in this way will sharpen your search results.  This method may also yield no results.  That's alright: try a different subject heading, or leave the field selection blank.  Often, relevant material may be categorized under a different subject heading.

Johnson & Johnson and Waste (Sustainable Consumption)

Start with the Company Research Databases tab in this LibGuide.  This page provides links and brief background information for the three main academic research databases you will be using: Business Source Ultimate, Nexis Uni, and ProQuest One Business.  For this example, we will use ProQuest One Business.

We want to research Johnson & Johnson's approach to the waste (sustainable consumption) wicked problem.  First, a basic search to begin exploring our problem:

This search for waste AND consumption AND Johnson & Johnson, with corporation selected from the field drop-down box to the right of the search box, yields 202 results.  Search terms are highlighted in each result, allowing us to see if a given article seems relevant to our needs.

Mental Health

Start with the Company Research Databases tab in this LibGuide.  This page provides links and brief background information for the three main academic research databases you will be using: Business Source Ultimate, Nexis Uni, and ProQuest One Business.

For this example, we will use Business Source Ultimate to search for information related to how the consulting firm Accenture addresses the mental health wicked problem:

Notice how quotation marks are used for "mental health".  This serves to focus the search to instances of the words mental and health together, rather than all results for either mental and/or health.  For the second field, Accenture, we will delimit the field to only a CO - company entity, as shown in the drop-down field pictured above.  This further specializes our search so that we only see results where Accenture is the subject.  Since Accenture is a consulting firm, without such delimiting, the search may return results where Accenture addresses mental health in its consulting role for clients, versus addressing the matter internally.

This search returns four results.  While we have clearly focused our search, at first glance only four returns may seem discouraging.  However, exploring these results will give us more strategies for enhancing our search methods.  Let's look at the first search result, "Accenture: promoting good mental health".

 

Viewing the record for this case study, we can see the subject terms, company/entity, and NAICS/industry codes that have been assigned:

Subject terms here include employees, mental health services, and mental health.  Each of these is a hyperlink, which allows us to open a new browser tab to search Business Source Ultimate for all materials sharing a given subject term.  Note that this method will often yield a large volume of search results, so further tailoring the search may be necessary.  Noting the NAICS/industry codes used may also assist a search.  In this case, the hyperlinked codes listed center on mental health facilities and practitioners, which may not yield many results for our research purposes.