Business chemistry

Content chemistry
A 2012 business chemistry cover stylized book by American marketing theorist Andy Crestodina (Ѻ).
In human chemistry, business chemistry is the application and chemistry principles, e.g. catalyst (human catalyst), synthesis (planning), emulsification (human emulsifiers), reaction (human chemical reactions), transition state (e.g. start-ups), collision theory (e.g. mergers), bonding structure (infrastructure), etc., to the study, modeling, and management of business operations.

The first to pioneer this subject, in large part, was American chemical engineer William Fairburn who, in 1914, outlined the view that a factory, for example, can be considered as a reactive system (or beaker), such that that the foreman acts as the "human chemist", aligning proper work reactions between individuals, and that in this sense, a manager must study the basic principles of chemistry so to intelligently perform their occupation. Fairburn suggested that workers may be classified by their energy, entropies, and properties, even explaining how some people can act as human emulsifiers, functioning to cause a mixing of unmixable groups or components, just as soda or gum Arabic, act to cause oil and water to blend. [1]

In 1921, American chemist-turned-consultant Arthur Little outlined the field of business chemistry as such:

Chemistry is the science that deals with the properties of matter and the changes which they undergo. Whether you know it or not, chemistry is, therefore, a partner in your business. As wise businessmen you carefully take into account the man-made laws of legislature and congress. Chemistry [however] has laws of its own that are not man-made: laws beyond the power of any legislature or congress to repeal. What do you know about them, or how far do you take them into account in the conduct of your business?”

On this basis, Little suggests that each business hire its own chemist to consult them. [2]

To clarify, there are two ways in which the term ‘business chemistry’ is used: one in the sense of modeling a business as a chemical laboratory, test tube, work-producing reactive engine, etc., in which one applies the principles of chemistry, modeling people as chemical elements or human molecules, to facilitate business operation; the other in the sense of someone who, for example, has a degree in chemistry, but then goes to business school to learn to become a manager at a chemical or pharmaceutical plant. In the former sense of the term, one has to adopt the human chemistry/‘human molecule’ point of view of business operation; in the latter sense of the term, Southern Oregon University, for example, offers a ‘business-chemistry’ major, requiring coursework in both chemistry and business, at about a 50/50 ratio. [3]

Business thermodynamics
The connective field of business thermodynamics, specifically concerns the topics of thermodynamics, e.g. studies on energy, entropy, enthalpy, chemical potential, efficiency, system, etc., applied to business.

1. Fairburn, William Armstrong. (1914). Human Chemistry. The Nation Valley Press, Inc.
2. (a) Little, Arthur D. (1921). “The Place of Chemistry in Business”, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, 13 (5): 386-91.
(b) Little, Arthur D. (1922). “The Place of Chemistry in Business”, The Technology Review, 25: 360-62.
(c) Little, Arthur D. (2009). “The Place of Chemistry in Business” (PDF), Journal of Business Chemistry, 6 (2): 57-63.
3. Business-Chemistry (major) - Southern Oregon University.

External links
Journal of Business Chemistry (aim and scope) –

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