CH — Business and Economics

Lexikon ökonomischer Werke: 650 wegweisende Schriften von der Antike bis ins 20. Jahrhundert [Encyclopedia of Writings in Economics: 650 Groundbreaking Texts from Antiquity to the 20th Century]. Ed. Dietmar Herz and Veronika Weinberger. Stuttgart: Schäffer-Pöschel-Verlag, 2006. vii, 573 p. 25 cm. ISBN 3-87881-158-6: EUR 99.95 [06-2-317]

This guide to economics literature, in characterizing the contents as groundbreaking rather than canonical, offers a suggestive view of the history of economics, one liberally informed by contributions from the fields of political science and sociology as well as the “dismal science” itself. The 650 titles from 460 authors take in all historical eras and offer a display likely to intrigue non-economists as well as specialists in the field. The signed articles come from 206 contributors, mostly but not exclusively academics from the German-speaking world; they consist of a brief assessment of the author, some biographical data, and bibliographical information about the work, as well as citations to secondary literature in a remarkable variety of languages. Sadly, a lack of indexes, especially to titles, countries, eras, topics, and “schools” unnecessarily limits this work’s usefulness to the general reader. Despite these shortcomings, this dictionary, along with the publisher’s 2004 Ökonomen-Lexikon [Dictionary of Economists] (see RREA 10:201), belongs in large academic and public libraries, as well as in specialized economics or political-science libraries. [sh/gw]

Wirtschafts-Lexikon: das Wissen der Betriebwirtschaftslehre; BWL von A-Z [Dictionary of Business: Concepts of Business Administration from A to Z]. Ed. Handelsblatt. 12 vols. Stuttgart: Schäffer-Poeschel, 2006. xxiv, 6,700 p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 3-7910-2600-3: EUR 198 [06-2-318]

The Wirtschafts-Lexikon is a project of Schäffer-Poeschel, longtime publisher of the business journal Handelsblatt as well as a series of specialty encyclopedias covering various aspects of business (see, for example, their 2001 Handwörterbuch des Bank-und Finanzwesens [Pocket Dictionary of Banking and Finance], RREA 8:211) to revamp its reference publications for the Internet Age. The paperback Wirtschafts-Lexikon, published in 12 volumes, comprises some 800 term entries (in close to 7,000 pages); its content comprises selected articles from these other dictionaries (see the full IFB review for a list of these sources). Articles are signed; authors are for the most part university professors from the German-speaking countries. The online version offers the same content with the advantages of searching, linking, and processing capabilities.

It should be noted that the oldest of the Handelsblatt reference works, those for Public Enterprises and Exports/International Corporations (both issued last in 1989), are not represented in the Wirtschafts-Lexikon; the most recently revised, Business Administration (2007), contributes only 57 entries; and the 1996 Production Management a mere 43. The remaining seven, Banking and Finance, Marketing, Management and Organization, Personnel, Production, Accounting/Auditing, and Cost Control contribute between 86 and 146 articles each. Many articles have been revised and updated for the Wirtschafts-Lexikon, and some have been abridged; at the same time, several entries (including “Marketing” and “Advertising”) lack needed updating. While the formal structure of the articles has generally been preserved in the Wirtschafts-Lexikon, the see-also references are missing.

For now, the move to electronic publication offers newfound convenience and the hope of more frequent updating. In the meantime, both the consolidated and the subjectspecific reference sources will appear somewhat outdated and incomplete. [lf/gw]

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Last update: October 2010 [LC]
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