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

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Implementing sustainability at Alcan Primary Metal - British Columbia

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This project is a strategic analysis of the environmentally driven pressures affecting Alcan Primary Metal - British Columbia (APM-BC), and its ability to be a sustainability driven company. The objective is to develop a set of recommended strategies that will bring both social and economic balance and create value by acting on the identified issues. Using a stakeholder analysis and a modified PESTLE analysis, seven key components of APM-BC's value chain were analyzed to identie eighty-one key environmental issues. These issues were mapped according to business and environmental risk. Using a SWOT analysis, seventy-five strategies for managing the environmental issues while building value through incorporating stakeholder participation and creating economic opportunities for communities within APM-BC's sphere of influence were developed. The set of recommendations provides an opportunity for further implementing sustainability into the company's business plan. This can be accomplished through eco-efficient strategies to improve operating margins, risk management strategies that create environmental awareness and strategies to build capacity with APM-BC's stakeholders.

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

What has explained IPO underpricing?

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

For the period 1998 to 2004, the average first-day return on initial public offerings of common stocks is 33%. This paper explores what has explained the IPO underpricing. Using data on 1598 firms-commitment, I find the cross-sectional distribution of one day average returns is modelled better as a mixture of three components: underwriters' reputation, industry composition and market valuation. I also examined the difference in initial average return between issues underwritten by prestigious banks and nonprestigious banks. I find, during the tech bubble period 1998-2000, the underwriters' reputation is positively related to IPO initial returns; and during the post-bubble period 2001-2003, IPOs managed by more reputable underwriters are associated with less shortrun underpricing. As time changes, underwriters' reputation is not a significant determinant of IPO initial returns. The firms industry and market valuation are consistently positively related to the IPO initial returns.

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

Technology roadmap and resource allocation methodology for the Canadian Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (IFCI)

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

A technology roadmap and research resource allocation methodology was develoded for the Canadian National Research Council's Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (LFCI). This report outlines the roadmap and portfolio mapping tools developed, demonstrates how they were applied to the institute's 2005 portfolio of projects, and outlines a process by which the tools can be applied in the future. This work also includes a review of the relevant literature on technology roadmapping and research portfolio management as well as an internal and external analysis of IFCI. The technology roadmap and resource allocation methodology will aid IFCI in determining which projects to fund when faced with limited resources. The external analysis shows that IFCI is well positioned to make a substantial contribution to fuel cell commercialisation and to build a world-class reputation. However, being a young institute in an emerging field, IFCI is finding it challenging to define and implement a coherent strategy. IFCI is working to refine its strategic direction and build capabilities that match the needs of the cluster which it is intended to serve. This report closes with recommendations for further improvement.

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

Analysis of a cold water release facility in the Nechako Reservoir

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

As part of the 1997 Agreement with the British Columbia provincial government, Alcan committed up to $50 million toward the design and construction of a Cold Water Release Facility (CWRF) at the Kenney Dam for the environmental enhancement of the Nechako River. The CWRF will become part of the Nechako Reservoir, which is located in northwestern BC. The design and operation of the CWRF will be determined through discussions with stakeholders including the provincial government, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), the Nechako Watershed Council (NWC) and First Nation groups. The project and its stakeholders will have direct and indirect effects on Alcan and its objective of maximising value for its shareholders. Alternatives for Alcan include adjusting the time line of the project to complete it as soon as possible, following the proposed NWC time line or delaying the project. Alcan and the stakeholders could also bring a third party to the project. All options could include power generation to the CWRF. In order to meet the primary goal of creating value for the shareholders, Alcan should follow the time line set out by the NWC. This will permit Alcan to build positive relations with the key stakeholders and to protect the provincially granted water rights for the continued operation of the works in Kemano and Kitimat. This paper will in no way reflect the thoughts or intentions of Alcan. The ideas explored within the paper are those of the author only, and are not in any way binding upon Alcan, Simon Fraser University or anyone else.

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

An e-marketing plan for a Chinese import-export servicing company

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Winper Technology Corporation is a Chinese-based import and export logistics service provider for technology-related products. This paper introduces the company's current services, customers, organization, and operational model. The paper provides an analysis of internal strengths and weaknesses of the company. The paper then analyzes the competitive position of the company within the import-export servicing industry. The analysis provides advices on how to segment and target Winper's customer groups b:y recommending that it position itself as a total solution service provider, providing flexible and customized services. The analysis then develops an e-marketing strategy and e-marketing plan based on the competitive analysis. The development of the e-marketing plan covers e-marketing objectives, strategies, tactics and control management. The e-marketing plan provides step-by-step instruction on a marketing strategy. Finally, the analysis provides a recommendation on the integration of the long-term marketing strategy with a short-term revenue generation e-marketing plan.

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

Corporate governance in a transition economy: Business groups in Russia

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This study is an empirical examination of the impact of business group (BG) affiliation on various measures of firm performance in a transition economy, Russia. The Russian economy provides a unique opportunity for testing of the effects of BG affiliation, which is important for both mature markets and developing economies. A panel sample of around 1000 companies was constructed for the period 1998 to 2001, based on information obtained from a large commercial database, Arnadeus. For the purpose of this study, all firms are divided into two main subgroups: oligarchic business groups (OBGs - economically powerful private business groups with either horizontal or vertical control structures and concentrated ownership in the hands of few individuals) and non-oligarchic firms. A measure for OBGs is created and tested for reliability and validity and a structural model for OBGs is also developed. This measure is then used as a determinant of three major performance measures: profitability, investment and productivity. The results indicate that OBG affiliation is positively but weakly related to firm profitability and productivity. However, the study also finds a redistribution effect of OBGs on their affiliated member firms' profits and debts. This redistribution effect may suggest a stabilization role of BGs in the absence of appropriate market institutions, but might also suggest an opportunistic value transfer. Empirical support for a corporate version of the Laffer curve is also found. That is, relative to their unaffiliated counterparts, OBG affiliated firms have a tendency to outperform their un-affiliated counterparts in terms of taxes paid to state and local budgets, provided that tax rates are lower and tax law enforcement is stronger.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Faculty of Business Administration - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

A monthly effect in stock returns: Revisited

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This paper examines whether the monthly effect continues to exist in the CRSP equallyweighted and value-weighted stock market indices. I also examine for the monthly effect in the TSX/S&P Composite index. More recent evidence indicates that the monthly anomaly has weakened in the CRSP equally-weighted and value-weighted indices but a turn-of-month effect has appeared. I also find the turn-of-the month effect in the TSX/S&P Composite index for time period 1977-2002. These conclusions indicate that a trading strategy could be developed by switching between the stock market index and a cash bearing account during the turn-of-themonth in the U.S. and Canadian marketplace.

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

Do corporate governance standards impact firm performance? Evidence from Canadian businesses.

Author: 
Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

This study analyzes the relationship between firm performance, as measured by Tobin's q, and the Corporate Governance Index published by the Globe and Mail Report on Business for a sample of Canadian firms over the three year period 2002- 2004. Both annual and pooled data are analyzed. The results suggest that few measured governance variables are important, and the effects depend to some degree on firm ownership. In general, there is no evidence that a comprehensive measure of governance affects performance.

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

Do higher dividends lead to higher earnings growth?

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

Recent research has discovered that the market payout ratio is a good forecaster of future growth in market earnings. This runs counter to the thought that higher growth in earnings will naturally follow from higher, and astute, re-investment of earnings. This paper adds support to the extant research on this topic by testing for and finding a relationship between the payout ratio and future real growth in earnings for the TSX Composite. The strength of this relationship is robust to various tests; however, this paper also finds periods of time where the relationship does not hold.

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

A strategic analysis of entry into the Chinese fuel oil futures

Author: 
Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

Raffemet faces threats in the Chinese metal Futures market. Internet trading is leading to reductions in brokerage charges. Entry of international firms will challenge the company's competitive position. Senior management is seeking new business opportunities. Currently, oil Futures trading is an ideal product that the company should explore because of the continued increase in oil consumption and the launching of the fuel oil Futures market in Shanghai. This external and internal environment analysis evaluates the emerging trends and events, as well as strengths and weaknesses the company has. Conclusion: Raffemet should expand business to the oil Futures market. This solution builds on the huge potential of market growth and long-term profitability, while avoiding the problem associated with ever-tougher competition and the slowly growing metal Futures market. The strategy developed for the new business should provide both for stabilization in near-tern and allow for long-term growth and profitability.

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