What are primary sources in business?
According to the Concordia University Library website:
A primary source is any original work that is unmediated by external analysis, evaluation, or interpretation. A secondary source is typically an external study of primary sources, usually written retrospectively. A tertiary source typically amalgamates the content found in primary and secondary sources and is less critical or argumentative than secondary sources.Source: Concordia University Library, What are primary sources?
With regards to primary or secondary sources, the distinction usually about the identity of the organization issuing the source. In the field of business, primary sources are documents issued by the corporation (press releases, product catalogues, corporate websites, advertisements, financial statements and other filings, etc.) while secondary sources are issued by others, most notably journalists or researchers writing articles about the corporation.
Interviews throw an interesting curve ball into this distinction. I would say that a news or trade journal article featuring an in-depth interview with an executive would probably qualify for a primary source, if the article contains only the interview. If the article only has a few quotes from a company source but contains much more than just the interview (say, commentary or analysis), then the article in question ceases to qualify as a primary source (primary = from the mouth of the corporation or their executives).
It is important to note that certain academic disciplines may have a different definition for primary/secondary sources. Most notably, historians usually consider historical newspaper articles as “primary sources” in their disciplines because of how they conceptualize these sources within the framework of their academic discipline. This is important should you seek out information on the Internet about primary/secondary sources…