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

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Exploring marketing transformations: A marketing systems approach to understanding impoverished contexts

Date created: 
2018-01-09
Abstract: 

Scholars have investigated the role of marketing in impoverished contexts for decades. A historical review of this literature from World War Two onward identified four key themes: a persistent rhetoric regarding the need for transformation of impoverished contexts; an ongoing lack of investigation of available resources in such contexts; a general consensus that markets therein are inefficient; and an ongoing debate regarding the role of local intermediaries in these contexts. These interrelated themes give rise to the key research questions of the dissertation which are explored across three papers. The first paper explores the potential effects of a transformation recommendation in impoverished contexts. Through identifying and discussing the important resource of community knowledge, this propositional-based paper delineates both the social harm and the benefits that can occur if companies appropriate this resource. It also provides a theoretical framework to guide marketers in their transformation activities. The second paper explores a foundational concept in marketing, that of efficiency, in relation to understudied available resources in impoverished contexts – conceptualized as capitals. It provides a more appropriate goal of efficiency, that of well-being efficiency, and creates an Integrated Capitals Framework, while examining the implications of the relationships between these capitals for marketing and development. The third paper of this dissertation, using an inductive approach, investigates the role of traditional intermediaries in impoverished contexts. The author conducted interviews with small-scale intermediaries and collected observational-based data in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The findings indicate that these small-scale intermediaries, through pooling, meshing, and mobilizing, contribute to the resilience and well-being of their system, with implications for resilience theory and for the transformation recommendation of disintermediation. Across the three papers, the dissertation furthers marketing scholarship within important theoretical areas. It joins the growing number of critiques regarding approaches to marketing and development through challenging existing assumptions aimed at transforming impoverished contexts by calling for and contributing to a marketing systems perspective towards improving well-being. It also provides insights for practitioners and policymakers who engage in these contexts.

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

Motivation, careers, and experiences of individuals moving to their country of heritage

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-06
Abstract: 

This dissertation examines the antecedents and outcomes of self-initiated expatriation of bicultural individuals to their country of heritage (COH). The first study of this dissertation is a qualitative phenomenological study which took place in the European context with a sample of 14 participants who were born outside of Turkey (in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland) and had moved to Turkey (in this case the COH) in adulthood. The goal of the first study was to explore the possible motivators that drive global mobility among biculturals. Based on the qualitative study, and the existing research I develop an individual-level theoretical model describing the motives that influence biculturals’ willingness to move to their COH, the individual differences that facilitate cross-cultural adjustment, and the resulting impact of this mobility on both career and (personal) life outcomes. In the second, quantitative study, I test the front-end part of the proposed model by conducting a survey with 257 bi- and multiculturals. The results highlight that ethnic identity is an important predictor of the willingness to move to the COH. The studies in this dissertation provide support for the notion that personal motivators are an important antecedent of international mobility, maybe so, even more than previously assumed.

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

Essays on auditor competencies

Date created: 
2018-06-20
Abstract: 

This dissertation consists of three essays that present new evidence on auditor competencies to deliver high audit quality using various auditor attributes, including auditor size, audit firm competencies and industry specialization. In the first essay, I provide new evidence on the influential role of external auditors in enhancing the informativeness of 10-K reports. Specifically, I find that the client’s choice of Big 4 auditors contributes to cross-sectional variations in 10-K disclosure volume. I also find that the benefit of enhanced disclosures provided by Big 4 auditors (PwC, EY, KPMG and Deloitte) is more pronounced for audit clients with poorer accrual quality and those with higher information asymmetry. Additionally, I introduce the portion of 10-K length unexplained by operating complexity and observable clients’ characteristics as an alternative proxy for audit efforts. I employ this measure because abnormally long disclosures induce external auditors to reduce the risk of material misstatement through additional audit effort, as evidenced by higher audit fees and the increased likelihood of going-concern opinions. In the second essay, I provide new evidence on audit pricing differences within the Big 4 audit firms in the U.S. market. I estimate an audit fee model and consistently show that the positive coefficient for PwC is significantly larger than those of the other Big 4 audit firms. This result indicates that PwC earns above-average audit fee premiums relative to the other Big 4 audit firms. Because the industry expertise research stream argues that an audit firm with greater competency will be able to differentiate itself from its competitors in terms of within-industry market share and charge an audit fee premium for its services, I reveal that PwC has maintained its leadership position as the market share leader across most industries in the U.S. market. More importantly, I find that the evidence of an industry specialization premium is consistently observed for the group of PwC specialists, but not for the group of other (non-PwC) specialists. In the third essay, I provide further evidence on audit quality differences at the inter-audit firm level. Unlike other studies that implicitly assume a homogeneous level of audit quality within the Big 4 firms, I reveal that the existing differences among the Big 4 firms lead to cross-sectional variations in audit quality as measured by earnings quality and going-concern audit opinions. Specifically, I find that the negative relationship between PwC and accrual quality appears to be larger for PwC clients than for those of EY clients. I also find that EY clients are less likely to receive a going-concern audit opinion in both the full sample and a subsample of severely financially distressed firms. Consistent with the evidence of an industry specialization premium in the second essay, I find that the association between industry expertise and higher audit quality is consistently observed for the group of PwC specialists, but not for the group of other specialists. Considered together, these results reinforce the importance of individual audit firm competencies, particularly the PwC effect, and suggest that not all Big 4 audit firms are the same.

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

The capital gains tax “lock-in” effect and equity offerings

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-06-07
Abstract: 

The essays presented here are focused on the impact of capital gains tax “lock-in” effect on equity prices and returns before and after the equity offerings. In the first essay, I theoretically document how investor’s deferral or “lock-in” term, as developed by Klein (1998), reacts to a Seasoned Equity Offering (SEO) that increases the existing number of shares in the market. I argue with the model and some numerical examples that prices and returns around SEO, reflect tax “lock-in” effect, and this “lock-in” term decreases from pre-SEO to post-SEO. This reduction in “lock-in” should decrease the post-SEO price from pre-SEO price that helps explain the negative SEO offer day return puzzle ceteris paribus. The second essay empirically tests the effect of capital gains tax “lock-in” on the abnormal issuance day return around SEOs using an event study setting. I find that the abnormal negative offer day return on the SEO issue day is more negative for stocks with higher accrued gains prior to SEO. This larger drop in offer day closing price from pre-SEO price stems from the weakening of the reluctance to sell by the “locked-in” investors with more shares in the market due to SEO. This reduces investor’s post-SEO “deferral” or “lock-in” term. Using U.S. SEOs between 1990 to 2012, I find that SEO shares with high-accrued gains (more “locked-in”) before issuance experience more decline in prices after issuance. The third essay uses the Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) of U.S. common stocks as a platform to explain the capital gains tax “lock-in” effect. I contend that the “lock-in” effect around IPOs is induced by the U.S. tax codes that allow a preferential tax treatment for long-term (LT) holdings where long-term capital (LT) gains are taxed at a lower rate than short-term (ST) gains. Applying Klein’s (1998) “lock-in” model on IPOs and using a large sample of IPOs from 1987 to 2015, I show that for initial investors who just subscribed to the IPOs, their “lock-in” is explained by the differential ST and LT tax rates along with accrued first day gains ceteris paribus.

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

The cultural change work of change agents without formal authority: Integrating sustainability into an organization’s culture

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-19
Abstract: 

Organizations are increasingly engaging in efforts to change their cultures. Reflecting this practitioner interest, scholars have explored how organizations can change their cultures, and the everyday actions of employees, to address concerns and opportunities including safety, sustainability, and diversity. Yet much research to date on the microprocesses of culture change focuses on the work of senior leaders, who tend to have the important advantage of formal authority, and on the catalyzing roles of crises and social transformations. We know relatively little about the microprocesses of cultural change, particularly when undertaken by individuals without formal authority. In my dissertation, I seek to shed light on the work undertaken by change agents to support cultural change, what I refer to as cultural change work. Drawing on recent research on work, I conceptualize cultural change work as effortful actions to integrate focal element(s) into other elements of an organization’s culture. Adopting an emergent and inductive research strategy, I study the cultural change work of a team of change agents rolling out a sustainability-oriented cultural change initiative at ManufactureCo, a North America-based global technology manufacturing company. Based on my analysis, I developed two pathways of cultural change – the cultural elevation pathway, and the cultural integration pathway – both of which are underpinned by different forms of direct cultural change work. I also identified three forms of indirect cultural change work, which refers to efforts to improve one’s capacity to undertake direct cultural change work, and unpacked the mechanisms through which each can support, and is in turn supported by, direct cultural change work. My dissertation makes three contributions to research on organizational culture and cultural change work. First, it expands our understanding of factors that constrain and enable the deployment of culture. Second, it lends insights into how change agents can improve their own capacity to undertake direct cultural change work through engaging in indirect cultural change work. Third, it expands our understanding of the nature of cultural change work by pointing to the effects of tailored versus broad work. Collectively, these contributions paint a picture of change agents as savvy navigators of culture that combine an appreciation for their organization’s culture with a diverse repertoire of cultural change work. My dissertation also makes numerous contributions to practice, providing change agents and designers of cultural change initiatives with specific guidance on how to structure their initiatives and how to successfully affect changes in meanings and actions.

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

Shaping the Framework of Capital Markets Regulation: Political Institutions and Securities Regulation in Australia and Canada

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004-03
Abstract: 

This project examines the relationship between capital markets and political institutions. I use Australia and Canada as case studies. The main hypothesis I advance is that the framework of securities regulation must “fit” into a society’s broader institutional context. A regulatory system that is not well adapted to its institutional surroundings risks becoming implausible. I also argue that one of the key conditions for capital markets to be regulated in a centralized way is the presence of institutions that allow national policy makers to overcome resistance from regional authorities. This condition is present in Australia, but not in Canada. Other developments in Australia, such as large-scale corporate scandals, facilitated the centralization of capital markets regulation.Political institutions descended from the British Westminster Parliamentary system govern both Australia and Canada. However, the framework through which each country regulates capital markets presents a sharp contrast: while Australia has a single national regulatory agency, in Canada each province retains jurisdiction over securities regulation. Analysis of this contrast provides evidence to support this project’s hypotheses.Regulating capital markets can have important effects on a society’s financial and economic development. Political authorities, whether national or regional, are generally keen to exercise this power in order to prevent market failures that can impede economic development and frustrate the implementation of a government’s economic agenda.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Aidan Vining
Department: 
Faculty of Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.B.A.)

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.