ICT Literacy in Business

Compiled by Dr. Lesley Farmer, California State University Long Beach


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2008). Guidelines, standards, and frameworks. Source about Information literacy in business/commerce, listing resources such as professional associations, curricula, articles and presentations

Common Core State Standards and state content standards also refer to K-12 ICT competencies (sometimes listed as information literacy, digital literacy, media literacy, or research skills).



  • Key terms: Business, Commerce, specific aspects of business (e.g., accounting, marketing)
  • Academic Support Services/ EPortfolios / Learning-centered ePortfolios / Business
  • Academic Support Services/ Virtual Environments/ Disciplinary Content/ Business
  • Academic Support Services/ ICT literacy
  • Academic Support Services/Library and Information Services
  • /merlot/Business.htm 



  • University of Southern California guide to business research, including definitions and key concepts, databases, company and industry research, international business, blogs, statistics and data, business demographics, entrepreneurship, business trends, ethics, citations and academic integrity 
  • University of St. Scholastica guide to business and management information literacy, focusing on finding, evaluating and using sources ethically
  • CSU Long Beach guide to business research in general, with in-depth information about industry company information and career information
  • 20 research guides from Northwestern University about business-related topics, including: advertising, case studies, companies and industries, databases, entrepreneurship, financial ratios, statistics, marketing, social enterprise, social media, and related courses
  • Southern Methodist University introduction to advertising research. 



  • An, A., & Quail, S. (2018). Building BRYT: A case study in developing an online toolkit to promote business information literacy in higher education. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 12(3/4), 71–89.
  • Bauer, M. (2018). Ethnographic study of business students’ information-seeking behavior: Implications for improved library practices. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 23(1), 1–10.
  • Booker, L. D., Detlor, B., & Serenko, A. (2012). Factors affecting the adoption of online library resources by business students. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(12), 2503-2520.
  • Brewer, P. E., Mitchell, A., Sanders, R., Wallace, P., & Wood, D. D. (2015). Teaching and learning in cross-disciplinary virtual teams. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 58(2), 208-229. doi:10.1109/TPC.2015.2429973

    Booker, L. D., Detlor, B., & Serenko, A. (2012). Factors affecting the adoption of online library resources by business students. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(12), 2503-2520.
  • Cohen, M. E. (2016). The flipped classroom as a tool for engaging discipline faculty in collaboration: A case study in library-business collaboration. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 22(1), 5–23.
  • Cronin, A., & Carroll, P. (2015). Engaging business students in quantitative skills development. e-Journal of Business Education and Scholarship Teaching, 9(1), 1-14.
  • Decarie, C. (2012). Dead or Alive: Information literacy and dead(?) celebrities. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(2), 166–172
  • Devasagayam, R., Johns-Masten, K., & McCollum, J. (2012). Linking information literacy, experiential learning, and student characteristics: Pedagogical possibilities in business education. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 16(4), 1.
  • Griffis, P. J. (2014). Information literacy in business education experiential learning programs. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 19(4), 333-341.
  • Hesseldenz, P. (2012). Information literacy and the evolving MBA degree. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 17(4), 287-299.
  • Hungerford, B. C., Baxter, J., LeMay, S., & Helms, M. M. (2012). Strategies for ensuring computer literacy among undergraduate business students: A marketing survey of AACSB-accredited schools. Information Systems Education Journal, 10(4), 49.
  • Kesselman, M. A., & Sherman, A. (2009). Linking information to real-life problems: An interdisciplinary collaboration of librarians, departments, and food businesses. Journal of Agricultural & Food Information, 10(4), 300–318.
  • Stadler, V., & Rueckel, D. (2019, November). Serious business game on digitalization. In International Conference on Games and Learning Alliance (pp. 362-371). New York, NY: Springer, Cham.
  • Strittmatter, C. (2012). Developing and assessing a library instruction module for a core business class. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 17(1), 95-105.
  • Taylor, S. A., Mulligan, J. R., & Ishida, C. (2012). Facebook, social networking, and business education. American Journal of Business Education (AJBE), 5(4), 437-448.
  • Tschakert, N., Kokina, J., Kozlowski, S., & Vasarhelyi, M. (2017). How business schools can integrate data analytics into the accounting curriculum: Certified public accountant. The CPA Journal, 87(9), 10-12.


Ask students to research a manufacturer in terms of history, economics, personnel, products, and marketing.

Ask students to create an annotated timeline of business management “schools”.

Ask students to research the design, manufacturing, marketing, dissemination, and sales of a product. 

Ask them to make a flowchart of that process. Ask them to compare processes in different countries.

Ask students to research the history of branding, noting its impact.

Ask students to use drawing or image editing software to make variations of a brand/icon.

Ask students to research the cultural connotation of business relationship protocols, and compare them for different cultures. Then have them role-play business interactions between different cultures, and how to negotiate differences.

Ask students to research the history of workplace skills.Ask students to research generational (e.g., Millennials, Baby Boomers) perspectives on workplace attitudes and behaviors. Then have them role-play business interactions between different generations, and how to negotiate differences.

Ask students to research historical or cultural influences of contemporary marketing.

Ask students to research intellectual property law (both copyright and patents/trademarks) as it applies to business. 

Ask them to compare U.S., non-U.S., and international law for the same issue (e.g., patents).

Ask students to locate and analyze business codes of ethics. Ask them to create their own business code of ethics.

Ask students to compare different writing styles/tones for different audiences and agendas within a company (e.g., internal memo, press release, annual report, tax audit narrative, advertisement). Then ask them to compare those documents across companies (in the same and different sectors). 

Ask students to critique and compare advertisements for similar products across companies (e.g., autos), different products for the same target audience (e.g., kids’ toys and food). 

Ask them to compare the same product as advertised in different media (e.g., care sales by radio, TV, billboard, magazine ad, brochure).Ask students to interview personnel in different jobs within the business sector (both vertical within one company as well as the same job title in several companies).

Ask students to research the total cost of a product, from the raw materials (including costs of create it such as grain) to its processing, including all manufacturing/production costs, marketing and sales. Ask them to compare costs in different countries.

Ask students to research salary scales in different countries, both in terms of vertical within a company and horizontally for the same job in different business sectors.

Ask students to research the same topic in two database aggregators (e.g., ABI/INFORM, Business Source, LexisNexis) and compare the process and results.

Ask students to create a Venn diagram or table that compares different types of business databases (e.g., Hoover’s, IBISWorld, MarketResearch, Mergent Online, Value Line, RMA eStatement) in terms of content, scope, and interface.

Ask students to analyze the representation of business in movies (e.g.,

Ask students to research the impact of technology on some aspect of business (e.g., accounting, asset management, logistics).Ask students to research the impact of business on technology (e.g., security).

Ask students to create an infographic about some aspect of business.

Ask students to create a virtual museum exhibit about an aspect of business.

Ask students to investigate the history of business using primary sources (e.g., the Library of Congress’s American Memory collections:

Ask students to develop and critique business case studies.Ask students to locate business data sets (e.g., Statistical Abstracts of the U.S., Value Line, United Nations), and test business hypotheses (e.g., “Is there a relationship between tourism and transportation?”)