Management Glossary

  Terms beginning with s
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Service Level Agreement

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See: service level agreement

Small Business Administration
An organization established by the U.S. government to provide financial, technical and management assistance to help Americans start, run, and grow their businesses. It also plays a role in the U.S. government's disaster relief efforts by making low-interest recovery loans to both homeowners and businesses. Web site:
  1. subject matter expert
  2. small or medium-sized enterprise
  3. small and medium-sized enterprises
Contributed by: Managerwise Staff
See: subject matter expert

soft skills

Skills that don't have easily measurable characteristics and typically don't directly produce tangible results. Examples include presentation skills, listening skills, empathy skills, team-building skills, etc.

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Small Office (or) Home Office

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sole proprietorship
The simplest form of business organization. A sole proprietorship is not incorporated, does not have limited liability and depending on the country where the individual operates, a sole proprieters may not even have to register their company if they operate under their own names.
Contributed by: ManagerWise Staff

Able to pay debts when due.
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A term used to identify anyone who has a stake in the activities and/or success of an organization. This is an imprecise term, but is generally accepted to extend beyond shareholders to include at least employees. To the extent that the organization's activities affect life in the communities where it operates, this term is sometimes used to include members of those communities whether or not they are also owners or employees.
Contributed by: ManagerWise Staff

standard industial classification
A series of codes developed jointly by the United States as a standardized way of categorizing industries and assigning companies to industries. Abbreviated as SIC. Replaced by NAICS (North American Industry Classification System).
Contributed by: ManagerWise Staff


In a business context, stars are products that have high market share in markets that are large and growing.

"Stars" is one of four categories in the "Boston Matrix", a two by two matrix relating market share and market growth. The Boston Matrix was developed by Boston Consulting Group. The other three categories in the matrix are problem children, dogs and cash cows.

Contributed by: Managerwise Staff
See: Boston Matrix, problem children, dogs, cash cows

stock keeping unit
Typically abbreviated as SKU, a stock keeping unit is a type of item that may be kept in inventory. A stock keeping unit is the finest possible level description of an item, possibly including, size, volume, color and any other descriptors necessary to define a product such that all items with the same SKU are identical, apart from any minor flaws.
Contributed by: Managerwise Staff

stock options
A stock option gives the holder of the option the right to buy or sell a set number of shares of a company's stock at a particular price. Stock options given to employees as part of their compensation packages give those employees the right to buy stock at a set price, typically higher than the market price on the day the option is granted, as an incentive (so the theory goes) to work hard toward making the firm profitable and, therefore, increasing the stock price in the market. Employee stock options generally must be exercised (i.e., the shares allowed under the option must be purchased for the set price) within a set time-frame. If, during that period, the stock price on the open market never goes above the price specified in the option (referred to as the "strike price") it would be foolish for the employee to exercise the option because he or she could buy the stock for less on the open market. If, on the other hand, the stock price goes well above the strike price the employee can, potentially, make a fortune by exercising the option and immediately selling the stock. Employee stock options have fallen into some disrepute because of the incentive they create to take actions that will boost the stock price in the short-term to the long-term detriment of the company. If these incentives are too strong, less scrupulous individuals might undertake illegal activities to boost the stock price, as happened in some notorious business scandals. Stock exchanges also create options that allow the holder of the option to buy ("call options") or sell ("put options") a stock at a set price within a specified period. These options are traded on the open market and their price is determined based on which direction investors think the price of the underlying stock will go and by how much it will move during the option period. This option price also takes into account the risk of these guesses being wrong.
Contributed by: Managerwise Staff

strategic business unit

A division or other formal grouping within an organization that has considerable autonomy from the rest of the organization. Abbreviated as SBU. An SBU has its own business mission and objectives and assumes responsibility for fulfilling those mission and objectives and for determining how they are to be fulfilled.

Contributed by: Managerwise Staff

stretch goal

A goal that is difficult, but not impossible to achieve.

Contributed by: Managerwise Staff

subject matter expert
An individual with an in-depth knowledge of a business area, to a breadth and depth that goes beyond common knowledge. Abbreviated as SME. The SME is used as a resource when someone in the organization needs specialized information or assistance in that business area.
Contributed by: Managerwise Staff

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