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

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Strategic analysis of the impact of a powerful new industry entrant on an open standards-based company's business

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Google Earth is an increasingly popular geospatial application that lets users create, share and visualise maps in Google's proprietary Keyhole Mark-Up Language (KML). KML is similar to but incompatible with Open Geospatial Consortium's (OW) open standard Geography Mark- Up Language (GML). This project aims to determine the best strategic response to the impact that KML may have on a company, Galdos Systems, whose business is based on OGC standards. The current situation is analysed on three levels: the Geographic lnformation Systems (GIs) industry, the OGC-related industry segment, and the firm. In addition, an application ofthe theories on diffusion of innovation and economics of technology standards assesses the potential of KML to substitute for GML. The analysis concludes that KML is not a threat to Galdos, and that Galdos should treat KML as an opportunity to be approached using real-options reasoning and within the context of their current strategy.

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

Customer responses to dual mode personal rapid transit

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Since the 1960s the personal rapid transit lield (PIU) has been building momentum as an exciting alternative to both the automobile and the bus. Work within the PRT field has been p:rimarily engineering or scientific in nature. Little work has been done using the tools of marketing to validate customer expectations or desires around personal rapid transit. This study focuses on dual mode PRT systems, which means vehicles that can switch from the PRT network to the normal road network at odoff ramps. Hypothetical dual mode PRT systems based on current knowledge are drxeloped ,and conjoint analysis used to measure customer responses to the variable attributes of the potential systems. The attributes studied are the type of vehicle (electric, ultra-compact smart car and compact car), the price per month for access to the network and the distance from an on-ramp. The results suggest that dual-mode PRT is acceptable to customers and could be implemented using a toll road business mode:. given a corridor of suitable density as show in chapter 5.3.1.

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

Beyond the film: Using the internet to enhance the experience for experiential products

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

There is little research that has attempted to identify the role of websites in promoting experiential products, such as movies. Whereas traditional advertising methods can only mirror a movie's experience, websites, because of their ability to incorporate a large amount of features, should be able enhance the experience. By introducing a new construct titled Beyond the Film, this study explores how to create a positive consumer experience within a film's website. The influence of a movie's website on consumer attitudes and behaviours related to the website and movie is also examined, as is the effectiveness of websites compared to movie previews. Results suggest that consumer preferences for movie websites are considerably different from those for other media forms and that websites can play a significant role in driving consumers to engage in critical movie-related behaviours. Marketing implications are provided as well as recommendations for future research on this dynamic topic.

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

Three perspectives on Canadian mining: Evolutionary, resource-based, and strategic

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

This research, comprised of three essays, considered the evolution of Canada's population of mining firms over much of the 2oth century, the resource characteristics of the firms that survived the industry shakeout, and the strategic positioning of the firms that ranked among the largest mining firms in the world. In the first essay, the forces responsible for the change in the number of Canadian mining firms between 1929 and 1999 were explored using a set of mathematical models designed to identify the underlying dynamic. Density, or the number of mining firms in the population, was found to be responsible for the industry's evolutionary profile. Organizational populations typically experience a significant decrease in membership at one point in their history. This phenomenon, known as a 'shakeout', occurred in the 1980s for the population of Car~adian mining firms. In the second essay, the survival of a cohort of 741 firms that were active in 1969 was tracked over a thirty year period. The firms that survived were no1 only the older firms and the firms with more financial resources but also those firms in possession of a portfolio of resourcebased assets in the form of deposits and mines. In the third essay, the strategic positioning of twenty-six of the world's largest mining firms, seven of which were Canadian, was examined. In an industry where little competitive or corporate strategic variety would be expected, the few firms that chose to position themselves somewhat differently than their competitors were found to outperform those who aligned themselves with the majority of firms.

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

Economic feasability study into the viability of air cargo in the Pacific Northwest

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

In British Columbia there is a business opportunity to move airfreight between Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest. At present airfreight is not viewed as a prior it:^ by the airlines serving the area. There is sufficient demand for reliable airfreight delivery to the Pacific Northwest of British Columbia to support a viable business opportunity. This project presents an estimate for the dernand of airfreight in the Pacific Northwest, a strategic evaluation of the local air freight industry, a determination of the status quo with regard to existing facilities, and a description of a sample of aircraft suitable for the transport of freight. The project concludes with a financial analysis of an airfreight business opportunity, and offers recommendations for increasing the sustainability of an airfreight operation.

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

A strategic analysis of mental health services in the central Okanagan

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Many public sector organizations are struggling to meet community demand. Waitlists raise concerns about access, and over-stretched caseloads jeopardize quality. In serving young children with delays and disabilities, the Central Okimagan Child Development Association (COCDA) is facing the same challenge. To keep pace with the increased demand, the COCDA decreased the intensity of service. Case management practices were allowed to drift. These adjustments shifted the COCIDA to a mixed differentiation strategy. Quality is emphasized for some services, but a high volume, adequate quality strategy is accepted for others. Considering the COCDA's history, human resources, mission and vision, and culture, the appropriateness of a mixed strategy was assessed. Several alternative strategies were evaluated. From this, a recommendation was put forward to adopt a combination strategy. Under this strategy, cost-based methods are targeted for less popular services, while better quality standards are applied to high demand services. This strategy also fits well with two emerging forces in the COCDA's envir~mment: increased contract accountability, and a more competitive labour market. iii

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

Momentum Trading Strategies for Industry Groups: A Closer Look

Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

This paper builds on Jegadeesh and Titman (1993) and Grinblatt and Moskowitz (1999) to take a closer look at intermediate-term momentum trading strategies for industry groups. Specifically, it is found that: momentum trading strategies for industry groups are significantly more profitable when we include more industries in the universe and purchaselsell fewer winningllosing industries in the strategy; the winner and loser portfolios are made up of cyclical industries; industry momentum peaks after a total time period (evaluation period plus holding period) of thirteen to fourteen months, regardless of the number of industries examined; returns to momentum trading strategies vary significantly throughout the year, and June and December are by far the most significant months for momentum profits; and, the winners momentum portfolio outperforms the market in 6 out of 9 bear markets during the sample period, even though this strategy i s perceived as much riskier because of industry concentration.

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

Can Investors Benefit from International Diversification without Trading Abroad?

Author: 
Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

This paper examines whether investors can benefit from international diversification without trading abroad. This study uses monthly return data from 1988 to 2003 for S&P 500 Index, Lehman Brothers U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, MSCI ACWorld ex U.S Index and DJIA Index. The original return correlations, skewness and kurtosis, Sharpe performance measure, and QOS-15 optimization reports provide strong evidence that gains beyond those attainable through homemade diversification have become statistically and economically insignificant. However, the extreme portfolio weights in this optimization indicates that the asset with the higher expected return like the DJIA Index dominates the optimization, and clouds the effect of correlations which are far more relevant to my study. As such, I adopt two corrections that are motivated by a "reverse optimization" approach suggested by Sharpe (2002). The corrected findings do not support EHH's conclusion, that is, trade abroad is still necessary to gain the benefits of international diversification.

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

The predictive power of yield curve in forecasting U.S. recessions

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Since the last recession in 2001, the U.S. economy has continued to grow; yet speculation of a recession has surfaced on the basis of the yield curve flattening. Yield curve inversion has been strongly associated with U.S. recessions over the last forty-six years. This paper examines the predictive power of the yield curve, the index of' leading indicators, monetary growth and stock returns in forecasting U.S. recessions. A probit model is used to generate recession probability forecasts three, six, nine and twelve months forward. Empirical results show that the yield curve embodies the highest degree of explanatory power beyond a three-month forecast horizon. Results for the last two recessions are analyzed as well as forecasts going forward into 2006. As a final observation, an asset allocation trading strategy is tested out-of-sample.

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

Energy income and optimal investment policy for the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

The present paper illustrates the impact of the inclusion of the economic value of government energy income in the optimal asset al1oc:ation decision for the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund. Existing investment policy does not consider exogenous income when determining asset mixes. The result is an over-allocation of capital to energy stocks, higher volatility and lower expected utility among all government assets. Two tests are conducted to examine the differences in asset allocations when energy resources are considered to be a nontradable asset in an expanded portfolio and when the allocation decision only involves financial assets. The first test assumes that the existing asset mix is ideal. An optirniser is calibrated to produce parameter estimates that result asset weights consistent with exi:sting industry sector weights as of March 31, 2005. The second test uses parameter variables estimated using historical data. Associated Sharpe Ratios are compared to determine whether the investor receives an economic benefit from the new portfolio weights. When compared to existing industry weight!; within the financial portfolio, the optimal portfolio mix decision will always exclude energy stocks except in those instances where the nontradable asset is smaller than the optimal allocation to this industry sector. In the latter case, the values are highly improbable and so I conclude that the Alberta Heritage Savings kust Fund should not be investing its funds in the energy sector. I also show that over allocation. prevents the fund from more effectively diversifying its holdings.

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