In the 13 years which have elapsed since the publication of the original edition of this book, there have been many changes in the world of business education. The original volume was intended to act as a self-study refresher course which students could follow in order to revise the necessary mathematics prior to entering a BA Business Studies or an MBA programme. It is now more common for mathematics of this kind to be incorporated into an assessed course within programmes of this kind. This new version of the book is thus conceived primarily as a text for such courses, though it should still serve also as a self-study tool for those who wish to revise their mathematics independently. The book has therefore been completely rewritten, to give a much greater focus on business applications. Some of the less widely useful topics covered in the first edition, such as integration, have been omitted in order to allow for a more thorough and indepth treatment of other areas. More exercises and case studies have been incorporated (and further resources of this kind can be found on the companion website).
The book now includes elements, such as the specification of prerequisite knowledge and learning outcomes, which have become the norm within higher education programmes. Also included are ‘Pause for reflection’ sections intended to encourage, not only effective learning, but reflection on the learning process. In this way it is hoped that the book will instil good habits in the study of mathematics which will persist should readers proceed to more advanced work in the subject.
Two things, however, have not changed. First, anything with ‘mathematics’ or ‘quantitative’ in the title still causes concern to many students embarking on business courses.
The book is aimed at building confidence, particularly in those readers who may hitherto have classed themselves as ‘not much good with maths’, as well as helping them to develop their skills.
Second, the book acknowledges that, while many of the topics covered might be found in a school-level mathematics course, they need to be covered in a quite different manner for an audience of adults whose primary interest is in business and management.
A less formal, more ‘conversational’ style has therefore been adopted, which it is hoped will render the ideas more readily accessible.
My thanks go to my editor, Martin Drewe, for his patience and support throughout the preparation of this new edition, and to Sonia Taylor for her careful checking of the examples and solutions. I am indebted to numerous colleagues with whom I have had constructive discussions about teaching quantitative methods at this level, and to the many students who have helped me to refine my ideas on the subject, particularly those taking the University of Gloucestershire’s module ‘Confidence Counts’ who were kind enough to complete questionnaires concerning their experience of the course. I am also aware of the contribution of Emmanuel Thanassoulis to the first edition of the book.
However, since I have carried out all the revisions, any errors which have crept in are also entirely my responsibility.