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

Receive updates for this collection

Family Ownership and firm Performance in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

This paper analyzes the relationship between family firm ownership and the firm value, as measured by Tobin's q, and firm profitability, as measured by return on assets, for a sample of 251 Canadian firms. The results indicate that family firm ownership does not have an effect on the firm's value. The results also indicate that Canadian family firms are not more profitable that non-family owned firms. The results of this paper vary from those of similar U.S. family firms published by Anderson and Reeb (2003). Anderson and Reeb (2003) concluded that family firms are more profitable and are more valuable than non family firms in the U.S..

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

A strategic analysis of a systems engineering business unit

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The Earth Observation Business Area of MacDonald Dettwiler is considering how to grow its revenues in accordance with the corporate parent's growth objectives. Demand for ground station systems is growing over the near-term to service increasing defence needs, particularly in the US. However, traditional customers are receiving less funding than in the past. Additionally, the US market is increasingly regulated. Competition and the collaborative agreements amongst suppliers continue to be stable, although recent years have seen some industry consolidation. EO's competitive advantage lies in project execution, data calibration and product generation technology and business development expertise. BA revenues have been flat over the last decade and have afforded few opportunities for staff development. Recommendations include the establishment of a US base to pursue US business leaving the Richmond operation to service the rest of the world. Additionally, addressing HR issues and reorganizing the corporate parent are recommended.

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

Analysis of Alcan Kitimat smelter's approach in maximizing values of the engineering services

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Alcan's smelter in Kitimat is equipped with 50 year old technology and is therefore close to the end of its operating life. A major capital investment will be required sometime in the future, to extend operations at this location. Each year, approximately $100 million is spent on sustaining projects and maintenance to support smelter operations. Sustaining projects fall into two categories, one is the replacement or upgrading of existing equipment and the other is the addition of new equipment to meet changing environmental, health and safety regulations. Managing the projects generated by these sustaining expenditures is a challenge for the engineering department. With limited manpower resources, Alcan engineering has to rely on the services of engineering consulting f m s . Consulting engineering firms play a key role in managing these sustaining projects by providing manpower and expertise for all project phases. An isolated location further complicates the availability of support resources for all three major industries operating in Kitimat. Finding a satisfactory solution for both industry and consulting firms is a challenging task. For Alcan, a long term planning strategy cannot be hlly developed without consideration and promotion of a long-term business plan.

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

Industry analysis - Canadian medical doctoral universities

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Most public sector and non-profit entities do not undergo standard business analysis that is typically found in their private sector counterparts, however such approaches may provide administrators with information to better understand their industry. A high-level industry analysis of Canadian medical-doctoral universities, based on Porter's five forces and value chain analysis, combined with an analysis of pertinent issues indicated that universities are greatly affected by strategic decisions imposed by government. Examples of these include movement towards a userpay environment and increased co-funding research relations with industry. Other influences outside of the control of universities, such as demographic impacts to customer base and human resources, also play a role. Through the use of similar analytic approaches, business administrators in universities can study the decisions and influences for future trends and their impacts and derive an understanding to augment their knowledge in order to compensate, prepare for and possibly eliminate negative impacts.

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

The January barometer: Fact or fiction?

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The January Barometer is a theory that claims 'As goes January, so goes the year'. Proponents claim that if the stock market rises in January, the year will follow suit. Conversely, if the market falls in January it will end the year lower. This study uses linear regression analysis to determine if January has any greater predictive value of the following 12-month returns than the other eleven months. It tests two stock market indices over four different time periods. The results of the study provided little evidence to show that January, or any of the other months, can predict the direction or magnitude of stock market returns for the coming twelve months.

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

Pivotal and the threat of open source CRM: A strategic assessment

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The open source idea is gaining currency. In areas such as scripting languages, web server platforms, and database servers, open source software has managed to compete with and surpass commercial incumbents. Could the CRM industry be next? To answer this question, we introduce four open source case studies: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Identifying commonalities between them, we suggest a framework for explaining the success of open source projects. Based on this framework, we evaluate the likelihood of open source CRM succeeding and pinpoint future developments that would trigger its widespread adoption. We conclude that open source CRM is likely to succeed and that its success will negatively impact commercial CRM vendors. In light of these conclusions, we propose recommendations that Pivotal Corporation - a commercial CRM incumbent - can pursue in order to better position itself in the industry's evolving competitive landscape.

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

An analysis of Company X's proposed strategy for entering the m-learning industry

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This is an analysis of an e-learning services company's proposed strategy for entering the m-learning industry. The company, referred to as Company X, is aiming to create generic courses that are deliverable via cellular phones. It plans to license these courses to telecommunications providers who will then make the courses available to corporate customers on a subscription basis. The analysis concludes that Company X should not pursue the proposed strategy. The m-learning industry is not yet commercially active, nor has a dominant design emerged. Company X has neither the financial nor the human resources necessary to develop commercially viable m-learning at this time. The combination of industry uncertainty and company instability renders the proposed strategy inappropriate. In order to meet its goals, the company should instead aim to be a holistic training solutions provider within its existing industry. This strategy would exploit the company's current strengths and leverage its reputation.

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

Strategic analysis of a software business

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

The goal of the software business analyzed in this paper is to grow revenue at an average annual rate in excess of 12% over the next five years, in a market with less than 10% annual growth, and increasingly intense competition. On its current path, it is not likely the focal business will achieve these goals. To do so, this analysis suggests the business should discontinue several nonprofitable products, divert the associated resources - and invest in additional resources - toward developing technology that will serve the attractive Manufacturing Execution Software for process industries market segment. In addition, the business should adopt a market (as opposed to sales or operations) orientation to improve customer satisfaction and penetration within served (and targeted) markets. Finally, the business should maximize the synergy among its portfolio of existing products to build a sustainable competitive advantage.

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

Strategic analysis of a midstream oil production service provider experiencing a labour shortage

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Recently, Flint Energy Services Limited announced its objective to double revenue in five years by becoming Service Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice. This paper will look at the challenges facing this organization concerning the current shortage of labour in the oil and gas industry of Alberta. For Flint, to double revenue, a Human Resource Strategy is fundamental. Continued success will depend on retention of its knowledge capital as competition for qualified personnel intensifies. The recommended strategy has three key pieces: outsourcing human resource recruitment function including independent contractors; focusing on retention, especially key personnel; and building programs to successfully recruit and retain employees from the non-traditional labour force, especially Aboriginals. Should Flint choose not to focus on a specific Human Resource Strategy to ensure differentiation, Flint will see its competitive advantages diminish and profit margins decline as competitors increase their capabilities and customer expectations intensil'y.

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

The reversal of the Monday effect in Canada and the US

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This paper examines the Monday effect in US and Canadian equity markets and finds that: 1) the Monday effect in US and Canadian equity markets reversed during the period 1988 to 1998, and 2) there is a concentration of positive Monday returns during the first half of the month, i.e. the week-of-themonth distribution is more positive in the first and second Mondays of the month. Keywords: Monday (weekend) effect; US and Canadian equity markets; reversal; concentration of Monday returns in first half of the month; week-of-themonth distribution.

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