Wage Differential - The difference in wage rates between different types of worker, often those with similar jobs but who work in different regions of a country, have different skills, hours of work, etc.
Wage Drift - A situation when basic rates of pay are not as high as levels of wages actually paid. This is often because of increases in overtime, bonuses, profit share, etc.
Wage Slave - Someone whose is totally dependent on the wages they earn.
Waiver - A formal statement in which someone gives up a right or privilege.
Walk Back The Cat - A metaphor for troubleshooting. When something goes wrong, the situation is analysed in chronological order to find out when the problem happened and why, and correct mistakes so they don't happen again. Like when a cat unravels a ball of string and you have to rewind the twisted yarn to find the flaw.
Walking Papers - Also called Walking Ticket. A notification of dismissal from a job.
Wall Street - A street in Lower Manhattan where the New York Stock Exchange and financial centre is situated.
WAN - Wide Area Network. A communications network which covers a wide area of a region or country, connecting computers, phones, etc.
WAP - Wireless Application Protocol. An open network communications system which enables information to be sent between hand-held devices such as mobile phones, pagers, etc.
Warrant - A certificate which entitles the holder to buy a specific number of shares at a fixed price within a specified period of time. A legal document issued by a court of law authorising the police to make an arrest, search premises, etc.
Watchdog - A person or organisation that monitors the practices of companies to ensure they are nor acting illegally.
Watch List - A list of investments being monitored because they are showing signs of unusual activity, often because the companies who own the shares may be takeover targets.
WATS - Wide Area Telecommunications Service. In the US and Canada, a long distance telephone service which provides discounted calls for companies that place large volumes of long distance telephone calls.
Wayzgoose - A traditional August outing or party for printers, typically around St Bartholomwe's Day, 24th August, marking the end of summer, when work by candlelight began each year. The term persisted in the print industry in more general use referring to a company party, although its use is now rare since large-scale automation and workforce reduction.
Webinar - Web-based seminar. A meeting, conference, etc., which is transmitted over the Internet, with each participant using their own computer to connect to the other participants.
Webmaster - A person who is responsible for maintaining a website.
Webzine - An electronic magazine which is published on the Internet.
Weighbridge - Known as a Weigh Station in the US. A vehicle weighing system which consists of a metal plate set into a road which vehicles, usually trucks with loads, are driven onto to be weighed to check if they are overladen.
Weighting - An allowance paid to workers who live in certain areas of the country, such as London, to compensate for higher living costs.
Well-being/wellbeing/well being - Significant term and consideration concerning personal health and happiness in the workplace, with implications for performance, quality, organizational effectiveness and profitability. Well-being, and specifically the promotion and strategic improvement of personal well-being in the workplace, is a major extension of earlier principles and issues of stress and stress management. See workplace well-being.
Wet Lease - An arrangement in which an airline leases an aircraft, complete with crew, insurance, etc., to another company, usually for a short period of time.
Wheeling And Dealing - Making a profit, sometimes dishonestly, buy buying and selling things, or acting as a go-between for two parties.
What if?.. Scenarios/Modelling - 'What If?..' Scenarios or Modelling is a form of planning. 'What If?..' is a vague and general term covering methods of predictive or creative forecasting, in which scenarios or hypothetical situations are developed, almost always by extending or extrapolating an existing or historical situation. 'What If?..' methods in planning and problem-solving commonly seek to identify and predict new events and factors which arise in addition to what may be easily assumed from basic extrapolation, and therefore entail quite a high degree of creative and imaginative input. 'What If?..' planning may be organized with computerised systems, or may be mapped in more basic pen-and-paper terms. Effective 'What If?..' methods will often involvebrainstorming of one sort or another.
Whistleblower/Whistle-blower - A person who informs the public (usually via websites or news media) and/or relevant authorities (watchdogs, government, ombudsman, standards body, etc) about wrong-doings, failings, corruption, or other illegal activities within an organization. The wrong actions might be of a colleague, superior, workgroup, or any number of individuals working in the organization, or otherwise working with the organization. Often the wrong-doing is directly or indirectly a consequence of inadequate corporate governance. Typically, but not essentially, the whistleblower is or was employed by the organization concerned, or becomes quickly unemployed or at least suspended. Following a few high profile cases in the late 1900s when whistleblowers were wrongfully dismissed and persecuted and/or subject to legal action by their employers, laws were introduced (UK Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998) to increase protections and safeguards for whistleblowers. Similar safeguards have been enacted in different laws internationally, although legislation is often inconsistent; adherence among employers is patchy, and enforcement by governments is patchy too. Not all whistleblowing is rightly motivated - some can be vengeful, inaccurate, or otherwise unjustified, although the term 'whistleblowing' is generally considered to refer to justified reporting/publicizing of clearly seriously wrong and usually illegal organizational activities. Famous examples of whistleblowing cases include scandals in major industries such as banking, oil, mining, and media, involving some of the world's biggest corporations, as well as in government and state agencies.
White Collar - Refers to employees who work in offices or business rather than manual workers.
White Collar Crime - An illegal act such as fraud, embezzlement, bribery, etc., committed by a worker in business or administrative function.
White Goods - Large domestic electrical appliances, such as cookers, washing machines, fridges, etc.
White Knight - A company, individual, etc., who offers favourable terms in a takeover, usually saving the acquired company from a hostile takeover.
White Paper - An explanatory document produced by a political group or government or business or other organization. Originally a white paper (early 1900s UK) was a governmental document which explained and justified a matter of law or legislation which was shortly to be introduced for debate and parliamentary vote. A white paper is highly persuasive by nature - it 'sells' a particular proposition or change using (in print) debating techniques, evidence, statistics, cause-and-effect arguments, facts and figures, etc., so as to build a convincing case aimed at securing the approval of represented interests or an affected/targeted audience. White papers tend to contain elevated and technical language and to adopt an official tone, so as to appear expert, wise and authoritative. Not surprisingly therefore sometime towards the late 1900s commercial organizations began adopting the white paper concept/instrument as a marketing tool, as a means of introducing a topic to an audience in a way that reflects a sense of importance and authority on the subject and advocating (selling) body, and which seeks to minimize challenge, objection, etc., and maximize and accelarate acceptance and support. There is often an educational aspect, and a need/opportunity to convince influential opinion-formers and commentators, media, etc The commercial purpose is similar to the political purpose, and there may be overlap anyway since many big commercial issues are also political too. In governmental situations a white paper is often preceded by a green paper, which by nature is less firm and specific and is more of a discussion document, but which is nevertheless usually formulated with a particular outcome or poposition in mind. Precise meanings vary in different parts of the world for these terms and caution/clarification is recommended, especially in non-government situations, where people use the terminology vaguely.
White Van Man - A derogatory term for drivers of white commercial vans, who have a reputation for driving recklessly and intimidating car drivers by driving about three inches from their rear bumper.
Wholesale - The sale of goods in large quantities, usually to retailers who then sell them for a profit.
Wholesale Bank - A bank which provides services to large organisations, financial institutions, etc., rather than individual customers.
Widget - A small program which is run by certain computers. A small device, switch, gadget, etc., whose name is not known.
Wi-Fi - Wireless Fidelity. A wireless technology which enables computers, mobile phones, video games, etc., to be operated by using radio frequency.
Windfall - A sudden, unexpected sum of money or piece of good fortune received by someone.
Wind Farm - A large area of land, which has strong winds, on which a group of wind turbines are placed in order to produce electricity by driving generators.
Win-Win - Describes a situation or arrangement in which all parties benefit or profit.
Without Prejudice - Written on a document in legal proceedings, negotiations, etc., meaning that any information contained in the document does not affect the legal rights of a party involved in a dispute.
Without Recourse - A legal term written on a bill of exchange which signifies that the buyer accepts the risk of non-payment from a third party, rather than the seller.
With Profits - Describes an insurance policy which pays the sum assured plus any bonuses which may have accumulated over the term of the policy.
Workaholic - A person who is addicted to work.
Working Capital - Also known as Net Current Assets. The amount of funds which are available to a company for everyday running costs, such as wages, rent, etc.
Work In Progress - Also called Work In Process. Work on a product, contract, etc., that a company has invested in but is not yet completed. A piece of music, art, etc., which is unfinished but may be available for viewing or listening.
Working Time Directive - Rules set by the European Union which limits the maximum number of hours in a working week, the minimum amount of annual leave and the minimum amount of rest period in a working day to which an employee is entitled.
Work Permit - A legal document which gives a person a right to employment in certain foreign countries.
World Economic Forum - WEF. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, an non-profit, international organisation which brings together politicians, business and education leaders from all over the world to discuss ways to improve economic and social growth, health and environment issues, etc.
World Trade Organisation - WTO. An international organisation, established in 1995, with more than 150 member nations, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The WTO monitors international trade, helping importers and exporters conduct their business, and provides assistance to developing countries.
World Wide Web - WWW. Also known as The Web, a computer network system in which documents are inter-linked using hypertext computer code, and allows information to be accessed using the Internet.
Wow Factor - The instant appeal of a product, property, etc., which impresses and surprises people the first time they see it.
Wrap - The end of a film shoot when everything is finished, the set can be taken down and everyone can go.
Writ - A written order issued by a court of law which orders someone to do, or not do, something.
Write-Off - In accounting, to reduce the book value of an asset, sometimes to zero, or cancel a debt which has not been, or is unlikely to be, paid.
Write-Protect - In computing, protect the data on a disk or file from being accidentally deleted or edited.
Writ Of Execution - A court order which ensures that a judgement is enforced.
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