A la Carte - Technically à la carte, an eating-place menu from which individual dishes at separate prices can be ordered, or less commonly where a side dish may be ordered at no extra charge, from the French phrase meaning 'to the menu'. Increasingly now applied to non-food services in which individual selections are offered rather than fixed provisions.
A1 - Top quality rating, applicable to various business situations, e.g., credit-worthiness, and more general references to quality and fitness for purpose.
Abilene Paradox - Observed in many poor or daft decisions by groups or committees, in which the collective decision is considered silly by individual members. From Jerry B Harvey's book The Abilene Paradox and other Meditations on Management (Jossey-Bass, 1988): a family decide to go to Abilene, as suggested by someone believing others might want to go, though he had no strong personal view. The trip was a waste of time, after which it emerged that no-one wanted to go. The effect can also apply in elections and especially tactical voting, whereby the collective effect produces an outcome nobody wants.
Above The Line - Marketing and advertising through mass-media, such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, Internet, etc., which is less personal than Below The Line Marketing. Companies usually use advertising agencies for ATL marketing.
Abram's Law - Construction industry theory relating to concrete strength as determined by the ratio of water to cement.
Absolute Advantage - Being able to produce goods more cheaply than other countries.
Abstract - A brief summary covering the main points of a written article or research project.
Accelerator - A company which supplies office space, marketing services, etc., in exchange for payment, to help get new companies started.
Acceptance Bonus - The amount paid to an employee who agrees to perform a difficult task.
Accounts - An individual's or company's financial records. Also an arrangement to keep money with a financial institution, e.g., a bank, building society, etc.
.Accretion - Growth or increase in the value or amount of something..
Accrual - The accumulation of payments or benefits over time.
Across The Board - The involvement of, or affect on, everyone or everything in an industry or company.
Actuals - Real costs, sales, etc., that have occurred, rather than estimations or expectations.
Added Value - Enables and justifies a profit in business.
Addendum - An added section of information in a letter or report.
Ad hoc - Created or done for a particular purpose as necessary and not planned in advance.
Adjunct - A thing which is added or attached as a supplementary, rather than an essential part of something larger or more important.
Adoption Curve - A graph showing the rate at which a new piece of technology is bought by people for the first time. It is based on the idea that certain people are more open for adaptation than others.
Ad Rotation - Describes the rotation of advertisements on a web page - each time a user clicks on a different page or returns to a page they've viewed previously in the same session, a different advert appears on the screen.
Adverse Event - Term used when a volunteer in a clinical trial has a negative or unfavourable reaction to a drug, etc.
Advertising - The promotion and selling of a product or service to potential customers. To announce publicly or draw attention to an event, etc.
Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) - The UK self-regulatory body funded by the advertising industry for ensuring that all advertising adheres to ASA standards, notably not to offend or mislead people. Equivalents named the same exist in other countries.
Advertorial - An advert in a magazine or newspaper that is written like an article giving facts rather than appearing as an advertisement for a product.
Affidavit - A sworn signed statement of fact used as evidence in court whose signature has been witnessed by a commissioner of oaths or other authorised officer, for example a notary. Medieval Latin for 'he has stated on oath', from affidare, meaning to trust.
Affiliate - A company or person controlled by or connected to a larger organisation. In web marketing an affiliate normally receives a commission for promoting another company's products or services.
Ageism - Unfair prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age.
Aggregate - A whole consisting of the combination of smaller separate elements.
Aggregate Planning - The process of planning and developing the best way of producing the right amount of goods, at the right time and at the minimum cost, based on the total number of items which need to be produced, and the amount of materials, equipment and workers necessary for production.
Aggressive Growth Fund - A high risk investment fund in which shares are expected to increase in value very quickly in the hope of making large profits.
Agile Development Method - A type of business development which gets things moving quickly and adapts during the development, as distinct from conventional planning and project management implementation.
Agio - The percentage charged by a bank for exchanging one form of currency or money, into another that is more valuable.
Agitprop - Political propaganda (published ideas designed to motivate people into certain political views or actions) typically in art, music, literature, etc., a portmanteau word combining the original Russian words agitsiya (agitation) and propoganda, where the term grew from the state department responsible for disseminating communist ideas and information to its people in the 1930s. In the west the term is more associated with publication of left-wing or socialist ideas, often targeted against a governing right-wing authority.
Agribusinesss - Farming industry on a large corporate scale.
A-list - A list of the most celebrated or sought-after companies or individuals, especially in show business and entertainment.
Alpha Test - The first stage of testing a new product, especially computer software or hardware, carried out by a developer under controlled conditions.
Amalgamate - When two or more companies combine or unite to form one large organisation.
Amortize - To gradually reduce and write off the cost of an asset in a company's accounts over a period of time.
Anchor Tenant - The first and most prestigious tenant, typically a store in a shopping centre, that will attract other tenants or shoppers.
Ancillary Staff - People who provide necessary support to the primary activities and work of an organization, e.g: schools, hospitals.
Annuity - Often used to provide a pension. An annuity is a fixed regular payment payed over a number of years to a person during their lifetime.
Antediluvian - An interesting and humorous metaphorical description of something (for example a product or service or concept) that is obsolete, old-fashioned or primitive, or devised a long time ago. 'Ante' is Latin for 'before', and 'diluvian' is from Latin 'diluvium' meaning 'deluge', so the overall literal meaning is 'before the flood', being the biblical flood and Noah's Ark, etc. Antediluvian is therefore a clever way to say that something is (so old as to be) 'out of the Ark'.
Appellant - A person appealing to a higher court against a decision of a lower court or other decision-making body.
Apple Box - Used in films, TV, etc. Wooden boxes of various sizes which are used to elevate actors and celebrities.
Appraisal - A review of performance, capability, needs, etc., typically of an employee, in which case the full term is normally 'performance appraisal'.
Arbiter - A person who settles a dispute or has the ultimate authority to decide the outcome of a matter.
Arbitrator - An independent person or body officially appointed to settle a dispute.
Archive/Archives - A collection of records no longer active. Also pluralised - archives - meaning the same, and referring to the place of storage.
Articles Of Association - The document which lists the regulations which govern the running of a company, setting out the rights and duties of directors and stockholders, individually and in meetings.
Aspirational Brand - A brand or product which people admire and believe is high quality, and wish to own because they think it will give them a higher social position.
Assets - Anything of value which is owned by an individual, company, organisation, etc.
Asset Stripping - Buying a stricken company and selling off its assets with no thought for the future of the company or its people, customers, etc.
Atmosphere - In films, TV, etc., a general crowd of people, extras.
Attrition - The process of reducing the number of employees in an organisation by not replacing people who leave their jobs.
Auditor - A qualified person who officially examines the financial records of a company to check their accuracy.
Auteur - An artist or creative, for example a film director, whose personal style is recognizable because he/she keeps tight control over all aspects of the work.
Autocratic - Offensively self-assured or given to exercising unwarranted power. Expecting to be obeyed and not caring about the opinions and feeling of others. See X-Y Theory.
AV - Anti-Virus, a common abbreviation referring to virus protection software/services for computer and internet use.
Avant Garde - New or original and often unconventional techniques, concepts, products, etc, usually associated with the arts and creative areas.
Average Daily Rate - In the hotel industry a calculation of the average price at which a hotel room is booked each night based on total daily revenue divided by the number of rooms sold. The term may have more general meanings in other contexts.
Avatar - An identity, often in cartoon form, which can be chosen from a selection or created by the person using it to represent themselves in a website chatroom, etc.