Business Dictionary – K

Kaizen

    Japanese for ‘improvement’. When implemented in the workplace, Kaizen activities help to improve the running of a business.

Kanban

    Japanese for ‘visible record’. In industry, a manufacturing system which is regulated by the use of cards or boards which contain specifications and instructions for the production process of goods.

Keiretsu

    In Japan, an alliance of companies or organisations which own shares in one another as a means of security, but each individual company operates independently.

Key Account

    In business, a company’s main client or customer, who represents a large percentage of the company’s income.

Keyword Advertising

    Used on the Internet. When a user types in a particular ‘keyword’, an advertisement which is linked to a business relevant to that word, is displayed alongside the search engine results.

Kickback

    A bribe or illegal payment made to someone in exchange for a successful referral for a job or transaction.

Killer App

    Short for Killer Application. Derives from the computer industry. A new product or service which is the first in its category and therefore dominates that particular market, creating huge returns on the initial investment.

Killer Bee

    Somebody, especially a banker, who helps a company avoid being taken over.

Kite

    1. Fraud

    A fraudulent financial transaction, for example, a bad check that is dated to take advantage of the time interval required for clearing.

    2. Finance

    To write bad checks in order to take advantage of the time interval required for clearing.

Knight

    A term borrowed from chess strategy to describe a company involved in the politics of a takeover bid. There are three main types of knights. A white knight is a company that is friendly to the board of the company to be acquired. If the white knight gains control, it may retain the existing board of directors. A black knight is a former white knight that has disagreed with the board of the company to be acquired and has established its own hostile bid. A gray knight is a white knight that does not have the confidence of the company to be acquired.

Knocking Copy

    In advertising, the criticism or attacking of a competitor or a rival product.

Knock-Off

    An unauthorised copy of a product, usually designer clothing.

Knowledge Base

    In a computer system, a database with a store of information, facts and rules which can be used for problem-solving.

Knowledge Management

    The coordination and exploitation of an organization’s knowledge resources, in order to create benefit and ompetitive advantage.

Knowledge Worker

    Also known as an Intellectual Worker. A person who is employed by a company to use their brain and intellect to work withinformation, rather than performing manual tasks.

Kudos

    Common management term meaning positive recognition, praise or fame – from the Greek word kydos, meaning glory.