Business - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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A study of employee attitudes as they affect absenteeism and turnover in a government corporation

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1977
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Dept. of Economics and Commerce
Thesis type: 
Res. project (M.B.A.)--Simon Fraser University.

Technologies for Exploration and the Pursuit of Innovation: Three Essays on Strategic Knowledge Creation and Schumpeterian Competition

Date created: 
2012-10-29
Abstract: 

Schumpeter introduced a new perspective on the nature of competition in market economies–one dominated by innovation and the dynamics of 'creative destruction'. In so doing, he opened up new perspectives on the nature of competition itself. At a more macro-level, the Schumpeterian perspective focuses on the role of innovation in transforming existing industries and markets and constructing new ones and shaping the competitive battles between firms. But perhaps even more importantly, where older models primarily focused on competition in product or factor markets, the Schumpeterian perspective forces consideration of the processes involved in invention, discovery, and capability creation; processes that underlie innovation and the dynamics of creative destruction. From this perspective, competition in markets is complemented by activities focused on knowledge creation and capability creation. For firms, knowledge creation becomes a strategic end unto itself; for scholars, the phenomena of knowledge creation comes center stage in the fields of strategy, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The essays presented here are focused on a set of technologies for exploration and innovation that underwrite Schumpeterian competition. The first essay proposes a theory of strategic domain pioneering that seeks to explain how organizations can develop new domains of scientific, engineering, and/or technological knowledge for strategic ends. The second essay examines how management control systems influence the construction of new organizational capabilities by influencing the outputs of an organization‟s dynamic capabilities. The third essay examines how management control systems influence the pursuit of exploration- and exploitation-related activities at the organizational level of analysis. The focus of all three is on the fundamental processes of knowledge creation that underwrite the process of innovation and capability creation at the core of Schumpeterian competition–processes at the very core of the fields of strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ian McCarthy
Department: 
Beedie School of Business Faculty: Segal Graduate School
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Three Essays on Hedge Funds: Performance Fees, Tail Risk and Performance Diversification

Author: 
Date created: 
2012-12-03
Abstract: 

Hedge funds are favoured by pension funds, institutional investors, and high wealth investors for their flexible investment trading strategies and possible diversification benefits with existing portfolios. The following three research papers help us understand certain hedge fund characteristics by examining fund performance and by making comparisons to other types of investments. The first essay investigates the relationship between hedge fund performance fees and risk adjusted returns. The paper introduces an “effort” variable and reasons that the performance of hedge funds and the payoff of the performance fee contract are endogenously determined by the fund manager’s effort. The paper concludes that the performance fee contract aligns the interest of the fund manager and the investor, and creates a win-win risk sharing instead of a risk shifting situation. Empirically, we find that performance fees are positively associated with risk adjusted returns. The second essay examines the hedge fund tail risk in terms of the Value at Risk (VaR) and Expected Shortfall and compares these measures with those of mutual funds. It also studies the hedge fund tail risk dependence on the stock market index and VIX index as well as the phase-locking effect. The third essay studies the cross-sectional difference between hedge fund style indexes and industry portfolios. It also examines the diversification benefit of investing in a pool of hedge funds.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Peter Klein
Department: 
Business Administration: Faculty of Business Administration
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Performance-related feedback in multicultural organizations: The role of regulatory focus, feedback framing and sign

Author: 
Date created: 
2012-07-13
Abstract: 

Managers in today’s organizations face the challenge of giving appropriate performance-related feedback to employees with various cultural backgrounds. Performance feedback that motivates employees from one culture can frustrate employees from another culture. As organizations internationalize and workforces diversify, performance appraisal in a multicultural context becomes a more important yet understudied area. In this thesis, I investigate the influence of culture on performance-related feedback by examining the mechanism of regulatory focus. Regulatory focus is a person’s goal orientation and is classified as either promotion- or prevention-focused. In this thesis I develop a model of the effect of regulatory focus on performance-related feedback from both rater and ratee’s perspectives. I conducted three empirical studies to test hypotheses derived from the model. Study 1 used a scenario to examine the relationship between regulatory focus and feedback framing from the rater’s perspective in an American MBA student sample and a Chinese employee sample. The experiments that comprised Studies 2 and 3 examined the interplay between regulatory focus, feedback framing and sign from the ratee’s perspective. Both studies used undergraduate student samples. Results showed that promotion-focused people were more likely to frame feedback in terms of eagerness, whereas prevention-focused people were more likely to frame feedback in terms of vigilance. In addition, when promotion-focused people received positive-valence and eagerness-framed feedback, their future performance improved compared with when they received positive-valence and vigilance-framed, negative-valence and eagerness-framed, and negative-valence and vigilance-framed feedback. This interaction was not found among prevention-focused people. The model presented in this thesis examines the impact of culture (a country-level construct) through regulatory focus (an individual-level construct). It provides a theoretical basis for investigating intercultural interactions in the process of giving and receiving performance-related feedback. It also provides practical implications for managers involved in delivering feedback in multicultural organizations.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
David C. Thomas
Department: 
Business Administration: Faculty of Business Administration
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Do immigrant entrepreneurs do business with their country of origin? The effect of personality traits, perception of institutions, and network usage

Author: 
Date created: 
2012-08-21
Abstract: 

This exploratory study seeks to gain a better understanding of immigrant entrepreneurs’ decision to do business with their country of origin (COO) and their level of resource commitment in country of destination, and investigates how these decisions are affected by their personality traits, as defined by the Five Factor Inventory, perception of the institutional profile of COO and country of residence (COR), as well as their utilization of different types of networks. This research has important theoretical and practical implications. First, migrant recipient countries have begun to see the economic contributions that could be made by immigrants and their business activities. Understanding immigrants’ international business activities and the underlying reasons that fuel them will be of great importance to any migrant recipient country. Second, this dissertation sheds some light on the “why” and “how” of immigrants seeking to improve trade and investment between COO and COR. For the purpose of this research a series of interviews with immigrant entrepreneurs was conducted in 2011. Using a qualitative approach, data were analyzed and the results indicate that Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, and Openness were related to immigrant entrepreneurs’ perception of the institutional profile of COO and/or COR, network utilization, and the choice of a destination country. The positive and negative perception of immigrant entrepreneurs about COO and COR also seemed to affect their decision to do business with a country and their choice of destination country as well as their resource commitment there. Finally, and most importantly, the findings indicated that being essentially an active networker influences immigrant entrepreneurs’ perception of institutions as well as the type of networks they used in their international business activities. In conclusion, this dissertation shows that the personality traits of immigrant entrepreneurs is important in their perception of the institutional profile of COO and COR, network utilization, as well as their international business activities. Perception of the institutional profile of COR and COO as well as immigrant entrepreneurs’ utilization of their networks also plays an essential role in their international business activities. This dissertation puts forth several recommendations for practitioners, policy makers, and future research.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Rosalie L. Tung
Department: 
Business Administration: Faculty of Business Administration
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Monet’s, Nympheas… $11 Million; Rothko’s, White… $73 Million; My Youngest Son’s, The Burial of Our Dog Rover… Priceless!: Consumer Behaviour in the Fine Art Market

Author: 
Date created: 
2012-06-26
Abstract: 

Today’s international fine art market annually accounts for billions of dollars in revenue, millions of jobs, and boasts consumers who are among the world’s wealthiest and most influential individuals. Outside of the financial impact of the industry, the fine art market is unique in that it provides value for consumers on multiple levels: social, financial, and aesthetic. Despite the complexity and enormity of the fine art market, limited research has been conducted related to consumer behaviour within it. What motivates individuals to buy fine art? How do affect tags embedded in paintings influence buyer behaviour? And how do consumers evaluate art once purchased? Two essays are presented around consumer behaviour in the fine art market. These papers build theory and extend the literature about consumer motivations in the purchase and sale of fine art, how negative affect tags influence buyer behaviour, and how intimacy can be created between consumers of fine art and the creators of it. In essay one, twenty-seven interviews were conducted with art consumers and dealers from around the globe. These interviews were analyzed inductively and coded for themes and patterns. From these interviews themes of consumer-creator connectedness, generational gifting, consumer-product connectedness, and self-concepts emerged. Stereotypes of downtrodden, even depressed artists are pervasive in society. Much of behavioural research has focused on an individual’s desire to avoid negativity, and yet there exists a paradox whereby individuals seem to seek out art laden with negative tags (such as depression of an artist, or the sadness of the subject matter). Consumers even seem to appraise artwork with negative tags as more valuable. This paradox is examined in essay two, which proposes a theory that negative affect tags (versus positive) increase consumer evaluation of fine art and that this relationship is mediated by the intimacy the consumer feels with the creator of the painting. Three experiments and one field study were conducted to examine these phenomena.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Leyland Pitt
Department: 
Business Administration: Faculty of Business Administration
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Corporate social responsibility communication: firm strategies and consumer responses

Date created: 
2012-04-20
Abstract: 

While corporate social responsibility (CSR) currently occupies an important position on the corporate agenda, the relationship between CSR and financial performance is equivocal. Specifically, previous research suggests the way in which CSR activities are executed determines whether or not consumers or other stakeholders will support them. Through three papers, the research provides a nuanced understanding of both how firms communicate their CSR activities and how consumers in turn respond to different types of marketing appeals associated with CSR activities. Using both qualitative and quantitative data, the research provides key insights that help explain the equivocal nature of the business case for CSR, and provide practical recommendations for firms’ CSR activities. The first paper uses content analysis of over 4,000 magazine advertisements to examine the commitment of managers to CSR in the recent recession. The findings demonstrate that the recession dramatically changed the face of CSR communication and impacted how managers balance longer-term brand building objectives with short-term economic realities. The second paper demonstrates that, consumers’ support for retailers that engage in both CSR and Corporate Social Irresponsible (CSIR) activities is influenced by the size of the retailer through two key intervening variables: community interdependence and attributions. The paper combines data from depth consumer interviews and three experiments and finds that small retailers are perceived as more socially responsible compared to their larger counterparts while also being protected by a layer of insurance in the event of socially irresponsible behaviour. Finally, the third paper explores the effectiveness of environmentally friendly promotion that includes either self-benefit or other-benefit appeals. The paper seeks to reconcile the conflicting findings on the efficacy of each type of appeal, and finds that public accountability is a key moderator. In settings where public accountability is high, other-benefit appeals are more successful, and in private consumption settings self-benefit appeals are more successful.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John Peloza
Department: 
Business Administration: Faculty of Business Administration
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Institution, internationalization and innovation: three papers on penetration of emerging-market multinational enterprises into developed markets

Date created: 
2012-02-27
Abstract: 

Three papers are presented on the emerging phenomenon of penetration by emerging-market multinational enterprises (EMNEs) into developed markets (DMs) through outward foreign direct investment (OFDI). Paper 1 examines the roles played by home market-supporting institutional development, at sub-national levels, in OFDI decisions from emerging markets (EMs) into DMs. Paper 2 focuses on the next stage of EMNEs’ investment in DMs – going in, or choosing a mode of entry. It extends the first paper by investigating the effects of home market-supporting institutional development, at the sub-national level, on a local EM firm’s choice of ownership (partial vs. full) when entering into a DM. In Papers 1 and 2, I argue that the home institutional effect, measured at the sub-national level, is twofold. First, there is a positive direct effect on both the propensity to enter DMs and the propensity to choose full-ownership entry. Second, there is a positive indirect effect on both factors through the mediation of market-related firm capabilities such as technological capability. Papers 1 and 2 are among the first attempts to investigate the roles of home institutions, particularly at sub-national levels, in global strategy and to explore the mediation roles of firm capabilities. Paper 3 focuses on a later stage for those EMNEs that are sourcing knowledge in DMs – going back. It examines whether and to what extent EMNEs use OFDI in a DM to capture knowledge spillovers so as to improve their technological capabilities at home, an effect termed “reverse spillover.” This is one of the first studies to examine spillover effects in this direction (from foreign subsidiaries to home parent firms), and among the first EMNE studies to examine after-entry issues. In all three papers, I find supportive empirical evidence using regression methods. Overall, my thesis provides new insights: EMNEs are home-related, and this relationship is bidirectional, in that their international activities are shaped by their home institutional environment while their overseas activities can affect their technological capabilities at home.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Daniel Shapiro
Department: 
Business Administration: Faculty of Business Administration
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

How firms innovate: exploring the role of language in organizational innovation

Author: 
Date created: 
2012-01-13
Abstract: 

While innovation is largely considered an organizational activity, a handful of studies in the organizational literature illustrate that it is individuals who innovate. Despite this, we are still left wondering: What role do individuals play in producing innovation outcomes in organizations? In this dissertation I divided this overarching question into three sub-questions: 1) How do individuals innovate and why do they produce different types of innovation outcomes?; 2) Why do individuals engage in innovation?; 3) Why and how are some ideas shared and developed into innovation outcomes, while others are not? To answer these questions I followed an inductive process; analyzing the interview transcripts of 32 individuals from three high-technology organizations, looking for patterns in the data first before I sought explanations for my findings from the literature. I addressed one question in each of the chapters of my dissertation. I repeatedly found that the individuals in my study fell into two distinct and mutually exclusive groups based on the different words and phrases they employed to talk about innovating. Individuals’ language indicated that each group of individuals approached innovating differently, and thus had different ‘innovation orientations’. I found that each group of individuals was motivated to pursue a different set of goals, which led them to engage in different types of innovation practices and produce different types of innovation outcomes. My findings add to the current conceptualization of innovation as I did not find that individuals’ innovation orientations, the goals they pursued, the innovation practices they engaged in or the innovation outcomes they produced were related to the roles individuals played in the organization or to their training. Furthermore, I found that the nature of the organizational innovation outcome depended on the orientation of the idea’s initiator, and on the initiator’s ability to successfully share the idea with others. My findings suggest that aligning individuals’ roles, tasks and job requirements to their innovation orientations may enable organizational leaders to successfully produce the types of innovation they desire and increase the production of innovation outcomes in the organization.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Daniel Shapiro
Department: 
Business Administration: Faculty of Business Administration
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Multicultural employees: A framework for understanding how they contribute to organizations

Date created: 
2011-05-24
Abstract: 

Organizations are now experiencing a rise in a new demographic of employees – bicultural and multicultural individuals. They are individuals who have multiple cultural identities because they have internalized multiple cultural schemas. In this dissertation, I propose that two dimensions that can be used to describe multicultural identity patterns: identity plurality and identity integration. Identity integration is the extent to which individuals integrate their cultural identities versus keeping them separate, while identity plurality refers to the number of primary cultural identities, ranging from one to many. Hypotheses are developed about the antecedents and outcomes of each identity dimension, and the moderating effects of organizational identification and diversity climate. A pilot study was followed by three correlational studies to test the framework, with a total of 771 participants. Based on descriptive, OLS regression and hierarchical regression analyses, the findings show that multiculturals with high identity plurality reported higher levels of psychological toll, higher structural social capital, and higher levels of action and analytical skills than those with low identity plurality. Multiculturals who separated their cultural identities reported higher levels of psychological toll, and action and analytical skills than those who integrated their identities. Organizational identification moderated the relationship between identity plurality and cultural metacognition at work, such that the positive relationship existed only for employees who were weakly identified with their organizations. Diversity climate further moderated this effect, such that in strong diversity climates, the interaction of organizational identification and identity plurality was more pronounced than in weak diversity climates. When employees perceived a weak diversity climate, there was no relationship between identity plurality and cultural metacognition, regardless of the degree to which employees identified with the organization. The framework presented in this dissertation provides a theoretical basis for studying unique multicultural identity patterns, relative to other multicultural identity patterns, and systematically examines multicultural employees within the context of their organizations.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
David C. Thomas
Department: 
Business Administration: Faculty of Business Administration
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.