Getting a basic overview of the company:
Doing research of a company can be easier that you think, if you follow the right steps. Some basic steps that you should follow are:
- Know what you want, be clear what you are looking for
- Check around – find what has already been done
- Look for leads: Lots of good stories begin with a rumour
- Note all references as you may need to come back to them
- Review your findings, have you answered what you were looking for?
Some first steps for researching a company are: Go to their website address, here you will find lots of information of what they are doing, but treat this information carefully since the corporations are promoting themselves. Their Annual Report will have information on their business. Check out websites and resources of NGOs doing work on this field. Don’t ask them to do your research, but check to see what they have already done. Use search engines, you can sign up for Google alerts and they will send you information related to the company or topic you choose. The media can be helpful, but information should be checked for accuracy. You can also find corporate information in business and financial resources. Libraries are always good sources, the best is to go to a reference or business library which have the most useful information on companies.
On the internet you can find most of the information you will need and there are many useful links for researching war profiteers and corporations in general, and we can not include them all. We are working on a detailed list in our Wiki
(http://wri-irg.org/wiki/index.php/WarProfiteers), we welcome contributions. But we would like to highlight some of them here.
We draw your attention to two corporate research guides: The Corpwatch (www.corpwatch.com) research guide from the US and the Corporate Watch (www.corporatewatch.org.uk) guide from the UK. These two guides are very helpful regarding the steps you should follow and with many useful resources. WRI published an article by Frida Berrigan “The Military Industrial Complex: How to research corporate connections” in our Broken Rifle No 67 (http://wri-irg.org/pdf/br67-en.pdf) where you will find many useful tips and sites to search war profiteers in the USA.
We list the following sites because their links on war profiteering:
- Campaign Against Arms Trade:
(http://www.caat.org.uk/links/) in the UK has a detail list of links divided in four sections: Arms trade campaigns, research and campaigning, arms industry and government.
- War Resisters League – Stop the Merchants of Death:
(http://www.warresisters.org/smod/links.shtml) With links on counter corporate & peace and justice groups
- Arms Trade Resource Center:
(http://www.worldpolicy.org/ projects/arms/links.html)With links on, Defense contractors, industry organizations, international organizations, think tank, regional, Africa, Latin America, Middle Eadt and Asia
- Netwerk Vlaanderen:
(http://www.netwerkvlaanderen.be/en/)Good resources especially on banks with links on: Sustainable economy/development, alternative banking/financing, peace organisations, human rights organisations, environmental organisations and various.
- Campagne tegen Wapenhandel:
(http://www.stoparmstrade.org/)With good resources on the arms trade and: International reports and institutions, Dutch defense industry, the biggest 10 world arms producers and peace organisations.