Understanding Economic Activity
This chapter first introduces the different economic agents and types of economy that make it possible for needs to be satisfied. Types of economic entity are presented, and the point is made that not only companies are economic entities, but also institutions like hospitals, city administrations and schools. An overview is provided of local, regional, national and supranational economies. Economic efficiency and effectiveness are discussed and it is emphasised that these principles are important for all economic entities, not just firms. Secondly, there is a discussion of the tasks of business administration and of economics as academic disciplines. The areas of interest are outlined and the links between the two areas are made clear. In addition, neighbouring disciplines that are relevant for the study of economic activities are described. Possible approaches that can be taken to study economic entities and economic activities are presented. Thirdly, the argument is made that those interested in the study of economics, business and management should understand the building blocks of reality as our actions as humans are driven by our perceptions, thought processes and learning processes. Finally, there is a discussion of research as the quest for truth.