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

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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.

Social innovation and institutional work: a study of the role of place and place-making in social innovations for the "hard-to-house"

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-06-21
Abstract: 

There is increasing interest in the practice and study of social innovation to tackle complex problems in society. Our understanding, however, of innovations that are transformative - they lead to significant shifts in the way a social problem is understood and managed - is still underexamined. In this dissertation, I explore transformative social innovation by focusing on the relationship between social innovations and existing ways of thinking about social problems. I adopt an institutional lens, which highlights the processes and structures that affect how people talk about and act towards social problems. More specifically, I ground this institutional perspective by focusing on the roles of places and place-making in transformative social innovation. Empirically, I examine two cases of innovations, the Tri-Cities Mat Program and the Dr. Peter Centre, that address the needs of the “hard-to-house” - individuals with complex health and social needs who have difficulty in maintaining stable housing and risk becoming or are homeless. I found that places and place-making played key roles in these social innovations: places acted as mediators, containers and portals that shaped how social problems and solutions were understood; place-making included mapping, engaging and connecting work that played foundational, enabling and extending roles for each social innovation. My study presents a different perspective to the prevailing view of transformation in the social innovation literature, one based on replication. A social innovation may gain its transformative effects as much from the process to create, implement and maintain it than from its technical characteristics. Rather than focus on transformation as solution replication, I argue the transformative impact of a solution should be measured in terms of whether it generates more solutions, more recognition of the social problem, and more change in existing ways of thinking about the social problem.

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

Equity returns, corporate profitability, the value premium and dynamic models of equity valuation

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-04-04
Abstract: 

This dissertation investigates the relation between equity returns and profitability. I develop several dynamic equity valuation models that have the common characteristic that a value maximizing manager suspends corporate growth upon low profitability. Profitability increases the likelihood of future growth which engenders risk and increases return. Thus, over some range of profitability, returns and profitability relate positively. I use these dynamic equity valuation models to investigate a number of hitherto unexplained phenomena in equity markets. These phenomena are all related to the “value-premium” which is the empirical observation that low market/book “value” stocks have higher returns than high market/book “growth” stocks. First, I propose a new explanation for the value-premium: the “limits-to-growth hypothesis.” With organizational limits on growth expenditure, profitability decreases risk for high profitability “growth” firms but increases risk for low profitability “value” firms in anticipation of future growth-leverage. Consistent with a modified version of the limits-to-growth hypothesis, I find that profitability increases returns to a greater extent for value compared to growth firms. Second, I find no evidence of limited growth opportunities that would otherwise induce low returns for high profitability non-dividend paying companies. Non-dividend paying firms do not face the same growth limits as dividend paying firms. They finance growth investments internally only as profitability permits. These investments increase risk and return. Consistent with this prediction, I find high returns for high profitability, high market/book, growth stocks, which is a negative value-premium for non-dividend paying stocks. Third, I show that distress-risk is part of the reason for the value-premium despite the commonly reported anomalous observation that high distress-risk firms have low returns. Profitability impacts two risks in opposite ways. Profitability decreases distress-risk but increases growth-leverage. Thus, high profitability firms with low distress-risk and high growth-leverage can have higher returns than low profitability firms with high distress-risk and low growth-leverage. The value-premium for firms in financial distress arises from a U-shaped relation between returns and profitability and a hill-shaped relation between market/book and profitability. When market/book is low (high or low profitability), returns are high.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. George W. Blazenko
Department: 
Business Administration: Faculty of Business Administration
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The regulation of morality in formal organizations: the case of Iranian oil industry

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-01-17
Abstract: 

Questioning the moral foundations and consequences of formal organizations has become a central concern in organization theory. Despite the extensive research in this broad area, organization scholars have not yet adequately investigated the systematic effects of a formal organization on the morality of its own members, particularly from a process perspective. As a result, today little is known about the internal dynamics of organizations as it treats and influences the morality of organizational members. To address this issue, the present study takes a discursive understanding of morality and explores the intra-organizational processes that regulate the moral discourse of organizational members. The theoretical foundation of this research draws on the literatures of institutional theory and critical management studies, and highlights two domains – practice and privilege – as primary sites of moral regulation in organizations. The question that guides the present study is – what are the common patterns of regulating practice and privilege that characterizes the organizational regulation of morality? This work investigates these patterns in the context of the Iranian oil industry, which has been the largest industry and the main source of national income in Iran for the past century. The oil industry is particularly appropriate and interesting for this study because in the face of several radical changes in the broader moral order of the Iranian society, the organizations of this industry have been able to regulate the morality of their members regarding the issues of concern for their business. The findings suggest that organizations in this industry regulate the morality of their members mainly through four processes: Repositioning, restructuring, reframing, and cooperating/not cooperating. The collected data also points to some of the salient institutional characteristics that underlie the organizational regulation of morality. I discuss the insights that these findings provide for organization research on moral phenomena and highlight the various aspects of the active role of organization in regulating morality. I conclude the thesis with a review of the implications for theoretical understanding of morality and propose directions for future research in this area.

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

Consumer motivations for creating and consumer responses to consumer generated advertising

Date created: 
2011-01-07
Abstract: 

Three papers are presented on the emerging phenomenon of consumer generated advertising. These papers provide knowledge and build theory related to both how consumers choose to create such advertisements and also how consumers respond to them. The first details a qualitative exploration of the motives of consumers that create advertisements. The paper draws on literature related to brand relationships, intrinsic motivation, and consumer creation to help inform and direct an investigation of 61 ad creators. The next paper develops a theoretical model for understanding consumer response to consumer generated advertising. This paper reviews existing research on endorsement before proposing a new approach based on social identity theory. The final paper experimentally tests the framework developed in the second paper. While manipulation failed, results do provide insight and confirmation of the relationships outlined in the developed theory. Implications of the papers for research and practitioners are discussed.

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