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

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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.

Understanding the social structure of television audiences: three essays

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-08-11
Abstract: 

Essay 1: “Measuring group viewing in television audiences”. Group viewing (GV) has been shown to increase enjoyment of television programs, to affect viewers’ intention to watch and to mediate cognitive processing of advertisements. We propose a simple measure of GV that can be easily incorporated by ratings measurement companies, and apply it to a unique Mexican people meter data set to show how demographic, psychographic and program content characteristics affect the level of GV. Furthermore, we show that consequences of GV include increasing individual viewership and reduced channel switching, and that these effects interact with group composition. Essay 2: “Group viewing and spousal preferences as predictors of individual preferences of Mexican television viewers”. We investigate the impact of GV on individual television consumption while accounting for other mutual influences between the members of the specific group consisting of husband and wife. Our findings indicate that most mutual influences between wives and husbands stem from GV. The residual influences are small although interesting: husbands’ influence on wives’ preferences becomes negative once group viewing is accounted for, but wives’ influence on husbands’ remains positive. We discuss consistency of these findings with past research and their implications for marketers and broadcasters. Essay 3: “Television auditoria: Hierarchical networks meet consumption systems”. Most empirical research on television audiences has framed audiences as demand sides of markets made up by unrelated individuals, while scholarship in communication has not delivered a unified theory of audiences. We present an empirically-grounded framework from a systems perspective, where television audiences and channels form broader systems we call auditoria. The sub-system audience is specified as a hierarchical network while the subsystem source (channels) is specified as a consumption system, building on extant marketing theory. We identify emerging properties of auditoria which explain consistent findings in the literature and allow us to formulate theoretical propositions. Findings from essays 1 and 2 are integrated into the proposed framework.

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

Entrepreneurial networks: a review, methodology and typology

Date created: 
2010-06-07
Abstract: 

In this thesis I explain how research on entrepreneurial networks has been dominated by two approaches: one focussing on network structures (connections between actors) and one on network flows (exchange or transformation of resources within relationships). Using configuration theory, I then make the case for an integrated approach that considers the interdependence between network structures and network flows. To achieve this, I present three papers, the first of which has been published and the other two are being revised for publication in a journal. In the first paper I examine the affect of network embeddedness (i.e., the degree to which social structure and processes shape economic action) on the performance of new technology based firms and argue that operationalizations of network embeddedness would benefit from incorporating structural network measures as well as measures of the attributes of individual relationships. I then present a second paper in which I describe a model and method (Q-analysis) for conceptualising and measuring variations in the structure–flow interdependence of networks. Together, the model and method facilitate richer examinations of the form and function of entrepreneurial networks. In the third paper I develop a typology of four network configurations based on variations in network structural complexity and network flow complexity. I then describe how different network management capabilities are suited to each of the network configurations. Together these three papers provide contributions that will help researchers to study how structure-flow interdependence affects the configuration, multiplexity (i.e., how multiple flows interact within and across relationships) and evolution of entrepreneurial networks.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ian McCarthy
Elicia Maine
Department: 
Business Administration: Faculty of Business Administration
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Water storage of pine - A strategy to mitigate losses due to mountain pine beetle

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The pine forests of BC are currently subjected to an epidemic infestation of mountain pine beetle. This paper provides a review of the history and extent of the infestation, a report on the likely economic effects of extensive pine mortality and an evaluation of a strategy to mitigate some of the projected negative economic impacts. Because of the infestation's scale, the limited shelf-life of dead standing timber, and milling capacity constraints, a majority of the affected pine will not be salvaged. The merchantable value of some of the affected timber could be maintained by storing it in lakes. Lake storage involves substantial carrying charges as logging costs are incurred in the near term while the timber will be processed and sold at some time in the future. Incentives will likely be required and it is recommended that the Province defer stumpage, facilitate regulatory approvals and appoint a "Facilitator of Innovation".

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

First Nation commercial land development, competitive advantage

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This paper explores the competitive advantages possible to First Nations developing reserve land for commercial purposes. The First Nation is introduced as a competitor to neighbouring municipal governments within a regional environment. The unique history and relationship of First Nations to land is established. Through a review of current municipal government practices related to commercial land development an industry analysis is undertaken. The author uses the analysis of municipal government practices to establish a benchmark of industry organization and best practices. A model of preferred relationships for a local government wishing to develop land for commercial purposes is established. A case study of two First Nations compares the organization and practices of First Nation commercial land development against the municipal benchmark and preferred relationship model. The key success factors and model limitations are offered as a general guide to other First Nations considering the commercial development of reserve land.

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

Internal IT strategy for XYZ Solutions Inc.

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

XYZ Solutions Inc. is a rapidly growing IT services company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Following a series of acquisitions, the company is expanding market share and developing internally. IT systems are instrumental in supporting corporate strategy and internal operations. XYZ's IT strategy currently focuses on developing these systems. This analysis outlines enhancements to XYZ's existing IT strategy in order to strengthen the company's ability to utilize information technology. In developing these enhancements, the analysis reviews the history, structure, and strategies of XYZ and characterizes the current alignment between business objectives and internal R&D. Further to developing enhancement recommendations, the analysis provides an implementation plan to address key sources of business-IT misalignment. The enhancements to IT strategy are an opportunity for XYZ to develop a sustainable competitive advantage through improved planning, development, and usage of IT.

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