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Objects Clause - A section in a company's Memorandum Of Association which sets out the objectives of the company.

Obsolescence - The state of becoming obsolete or out of date. Old-fashioned.

Occam's Razor/Ockham's Razor - a guiding principle or maxim for theorists, writers, communicators, etc., which asserts that the most effective (and arguably most reliable) explanations and theories employ minimal assumptions. In other words, in choosing between competing theories or explanations for uncertain things, the most reliable theory will be that which entails the least use of assumptions and other unknowns. More generally the term is used in reminding/guiding us of a need for prudence, economy and simplicity in describing, justifying, or explaining ideas and concepts, etc. The 'razor' term seems first named and recorded by Sir William Hamilton in 1852, after the 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar Father William of Ockham (c.1285-1349), who was a notable early advocate of the principle. Philosophers and scientists throughout history (including Einstein, Russell, Newton) have described similar and basically supportive versions of the Occam's Razor principle, moreover many great thinkers have also demonstrably put the principle into practice in their own work, from which we can derive a reasonable degree of confidence in the validity of the concept itself. It's a very memorable and teachable idea - the theme itself, its Ockham derivation, and the metaphorical allusion to 'shaving' away unnecessary or unsubstantiated aspects of a written or spoken theory or explanation.

Occupational Hazard - Aspects of a job which can be dangerous or pose a high risk of injury.

Occupational Psychology - Also called Organisational Psychology. The study of peoples behaviour at work, covering personal relations, mental health, employee selection and training, safety, etc.

Ochlocracy - Mob rule. Also known as Mobocracy. Ocholocratic groups are typically prone to extreme actions and not very clever decisions, which may be a reflection of vengeful motivation, weak intelligence, lack of organization, or any/all of these. An ochlocracy is usually an example of ineffective democracy, and of the so called 'wisdom of crowds' not working very well. Often mob rule results from a reaction against oppressive leadership. A popular metaphor which criticizes mob rule is: 'the lunatics have taken over the asylum'. Ochlocracy derives from the Greek word okhlos meaning mob. An ochlocrat is one who advocates or participates in mob rule. See the word mob, which is interesting in its own right.

Off-Balance Sheet - (OBS) Refers to items such as assets or a debts which are not recorded on a company's balance sheet.

Offer By Prospectus - A description of a company, for example financial structure, prospects, aims, etc., used when new shares are offered to the public, or when the company is for sale.

Offer Document - A document which a prospective buyer of a company sends to the company's shareholders giving details of the offer in the hope of persuading them to sell their shares.

Office Of Fair Trading - (OFT) In the UK, a non-ministerial government organisation, established in 1973, to protect consumers and ensure that competing businesses deal fairly, and to prohibit cartels, rogue trading, etc.

Official Strike - A work stoppage by employees that has the backing and approval of a union.

Offline - Refers to a computer which is not connected to the Internet.

Off-Market - Refers to the buying and selling of shares outside the Stock Market.

Off-Peak - A time period when a service, e.g. phone network, travel, electricity, gas, etc., is being used less frequently by consumers, therefore prices and rates are cheaper at this time.

Offshore - Refers to accounts, investments, banks, etc., which are in countries where there are lower taxes and/or little government control.

Off-the-Charts - Something way below or way above normal expectations.

Off-the-Books - A payment which is not officially recorded, usually to avoid tax.

Off-the-Grid - A person who does not wish to be in 'the system' (for example has no bank account, employment or tax identification, no fixed address, etc). May instead refer to a person who lives self-suffiently in terms of gas, electric, water, sewerage services, etc. Or someone not connected to the internet.

Off-the-Peg - Known in the US as Off-the-Rack. Describes merchandise, usually clothing, which is made in standard designs and sizes, rather than made-to-measure, and is available in stock at retail outlets.

Oligarchy - A small, elite group of usually wealthy people or families who control a government or organisation, and who are unwilling to share their power.

Oligopoly - A market in which a small number of companies control the supply of certain goods and services.

Ombudsman - A government official who investigates complaints from the general public about companies, government officials, the media, etc.

Omnishambles - severe chaos, typically in several areas of organizational responsibility, and typically where a person or organization is expected to be well-organized (see omnishambles in the cliches origins page).

One-Stop - Describes a retail establishment which provides an extensive range of goods and services, so the customer can purchase everything they need without having to go elsewhere.

Online - Refers to a service or product which is available to use or buy on the Internet. A computer which is connected to the Internet.

Onshore Accounts - Bank accounts or investments held in countries which have normal rates of tax and strict government control.

Open Account - An arrangement between a vendor and buyer in which the vendor allows the buyer to pay at a later date for goods received.

Open-Book Management - A management technique in a company whereby all the employees are involved in the running of the company by training them in, and giving them access to, financial and operational details.

Open Border - A border which allows the flow of unrestricted goods and people between countries.

Open Cheque - Also known as an Uncrossed Cheque. A cheque which does not have to be paid into an account, and can be cashed at the bank of the person who wrote it. Also means a cheque which has been signed but no amount has been filled in.

Open Communication - In business, a situation in which employees have full information about the organisation, and are encouraged to exchange ideas and objectives with management.

Open-Ended Investment Companies - (OEIC) Limited investment companies which manage mutual investment funds. An OEIC can issue more shares if there is a demand from investors. The fund reduces if investors sell their shares back to the company.

Open Market - A market which operates without restrictions, in which anyone can buy and sell.

Open Offer - Also known as Entitlement Issue. An offer to existing share holders of a company, which entitles them to purchase new shares at a fixed price, usually lower than the current market price, in order to raise money for the company.

Open Shop - A business or factory which does not require employees to be members of a trade union.

Open Source - Describes computer software for which the original source code is freely accessible to everyone, so that anyone can modify or copy the program without paying a fee.

Operating Income - The gross earnings of a company minus operating costs, excluding taxes and interest.

Operating Lease - An arrangement in which a business leases equipment, cars, buildings, etc., for a period of time which is less than the expected useful life of the asset.

Operation Process Chart - Used in manufacturing, a chart which shows each stage of a production process, including when materials are needed, how much time is to be allocated for each job, how many people are required to carry out the work, etc.

Opinion Leader - A high-profile, influential public figure, such as a celebrity or business person, whose opinions and tastes are respected and/or copied by the general public.

Opportunism - The practice of exploiting and taking advantage of opportunities which present themselves, with no regard for other people or eventual consequences.

Opportunity Cost - Term which refers to the value or benefit of something which will be lost in order to achieve or pursue something else.

Optimise - To get the most out of something. To use something in the best possible way.

Ordinary Capital - The amount of capital invested in a company by shareholders.

Ordinary Creditor - A creditor who has no priority or security if a company which owes them money goes bankrupt. Therefore, they will be paid only after other creditors have been paid.

Ordinary Interest - Interest paid which is calculated based on a 360 day year, or 12 months of 30 days.

Ordinary Resolution - A resolution accepted and passed by a company's shareholders by a simple majority, i.e., more than 50%, at a shareholders meeting or by a signed postal resolution which has been sent to the shareholders.

Ordinary Share - Also called Common Stock. A share in a company which entitles the owner to a share in the company's profits, and the right to vote at shareholders meetings.

Organic Growth - Describes when a company develops and expands by increasing output and/or sales through its own activities, rather than by a merger or acquisitions (buying other companies).

Organigram - Also called Organisation Chart. A diagram which shows the structure of a business or organisation, showing connections between departments, jobs, etc.

Organised Labour - Employees who are members of a Trade Union.

Orphaned Technology - A term which refers to computer products, programs, etc., which have been abandoned or not marketed by their developers.

Orphan Product - In medicine, a test, device, drug, etc., which may be useful for certain rare diseases or disorders but is not financially viable, so is therefore not developed for commercial use.

Outbid  - To offer more money than a rival for something, especially at an auction.

Outbound Telemarketing - When a company calls prospective customers on the phone in order to sell them goods or services, compared to Inbound Telemarketing where the customer calls a company for assistance or to purchase goods.

Outdoor Advertising  - Also known as Out-Of-Home Advertising. Advertising which consumers can see while they are outside, e.g. billboards, newsstands, skywriting, advertising blimps, etc.

Outgoings - Term used in the UK to describe money being paid out on a regular basis by an individual or a company.

Outlay - The total amount of money which has to be spent to acquire an asset or start a project, including costs, taxes, delivery charges, etc.

Outplacement - A service provided by a former employer which helps a terminated employee find a new job.

Output Tax - In the UK, the amount of VAT (Value Added Tax) a company or business adds to the price of its products or services.

Outside Shareholder - A shareholder who doesn't own more than 50% of a company's shares.

Outsourcing - An arrangement in which a company produces goods or provides services for another company, usually in the same country.

Outstanding Shares - Also called Outstanding Stock. A company's ordinary shares which have been issued and are owned by investors.

Outward Investment - Investments which are made abroad.

Overage - A company's surplus, such as money or goods, which is available but exceeds the amount needed or required.

Overallotment - On the Stock Market, the offering for sale of more shares, etc., than are actually available, in the anticipation that some orders will be cancelled.

Overbought - On the Stock Market. a situation in which there has been too much buying of shares, etc., which has therefore caused prices to rise too high.

Overcapitalised - Refers to a business which has been provided with more money than it needs. To overestimate the capital value of a business.

Overdraft - Refers to the amount of money that is owed to a bank because withdrawals from an account exceed deposits. An arrangement in which a bank extends credit to a customer, usually up to a maximum amount.

Overheads - In business, regular costs which are incurred, such as wages, rent, insurance, utilities, etc.

Overmanned - A situation in which there are more workers than are needed for a job.

Overproduction - To produce more goods than are needed or wanted, an excess of supply over demand.

Overriding Commission - A commission paid to an agency office manager based on business created by agents who work at that office.

Overtime - Time worked in addition to normal working hours. The pay received, usually charged at a higher rate, for working outside regular working hours.

Overtrading - A situation which occurs when a company expands its business too quickly and does not have enough capital to pay expenses, such as debts, wages, etc., which often results in liquidation.

Own Brand - Known as House Brands in the US and Home Brands in Australia. Products which are sold by a retailer under the retailer's own name, rather than the name of the manufacturer.

Owner-Operator - A self-employed commercial truck or lorry driver who uses their own vehicle to run a business.

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