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

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Strategic analysis for Business Career Services at Simon Fraser University

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Business Career Services (BCS) is a strategic business unit operating under the Faculty of Business at Simon Fraser University. This report analyses this unit's structure, objectives, and resources required to reach its goals. Through industry and internal analyses, this report reveals that there is a considerable distance between BCS and its goal of being a differentiator. Despite the expertise found in the unit, it is under-delivering in certain key areas, primarily due to a lack of resources. The issues facing BCS include differing expectations among MBA students; determination of metrics to measure BCS7 performance; selection of primary targets for marketing activities; and building the alumni network. The recommendation is for BCS to conduct a comprehensive survey with the MBA students and alumni; develop and implement a full-scale marketing campaign; and adjust strategic fit by identifying more funding sources and generating additional revenue.

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

Chemicals and corporate social responsibility: Is there a fit?

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

In this paper, the author develops an argument for the adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility by Canadian Chemical industry firms. The majority of Canadian firms in the chemical industry are members of the Canadian Chemical Producer's Association and a requirement of that membership is the adoption of Responsible Care. Responsible Care is a riskbased initiative that applies to all facets of the chemical business throughout product lifecycles. This paper provides a comparison of Responsible Care and Corporate Social Responsibility as well as a business case for adopting any voluntary initiatives including Responsible Care and Corporate Social Responsibility. A case study of one chemical firm that has adopted both initiatives is included. This paper concludes with observations and recommendations for firms who are contemplating the implementation of a social initiative such as Responsible Care or Corporate Social Responsibility.

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

A Dividend Yield-based Trading Rule with Industry Data

Author: 
Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

There is significant and ongoing debate regarding the power of dividend ratios to predict returns. Many papers statistically study the predictive ability of dividend yields using a broad market index, such as the S&P 500, both "in-sample" and "out-of-sample". Another area of study tests the economic strength of using dividend ratios as a primary input to a trading model or rule, again using a broad market index. This paper examines the robustness of tests of a dividend trading rule using disaggregated data from 12 Industry sub-indices.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Bus Admin - GAWM - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Gray (Research Project)

Strategic analysis of a pellet fuel opportunity in Northwest British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The Haisla Business and Development Corporation (HBDC) is in the process of being incorporated. Its purpose is to create independence for the Haisla people by generating wealth and developing their people. The HBDC has access to many natural resources and has many opportunities to develop those resources to achieve their goals. This project will evaluate the feasibility of building and operating a wood fuel pellet plant as one means to achieve early success for the HBDC. An industry analysis will provide an overview of the dynamics of the industry, including its attractiveness. The resources and expectations of the HBDC will be reviewed to ensure appropriate strategic decisions are aligned. Finally, the pellet plant opportunity is analysed through a detailed market analysis, a competitive position overview, and a detailed financial analysis. Finally, a recommendation is made based on the feasibility and the fit with HBDC objectives.

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

Strategy for a municipal purchases of goods and services

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This paper explores how the application of purchasing expertise may benefit municipal government operations. Municipalities are entrusted with public funds and have a responsibility to apply these resources in a cost effective manner for the benefit of all citizens within their jurisdiction. However, fiscal responsibility is not the only factor in municipal decisions. Municipalities are also entrusted with providing essential and non-essential services to the community. If these services are not delivered in a competent manner, risks may be introduced that would affect the community and local government. Or try: If these services are not delivered in a competent manner, the community and local government could be adversely affected. Recognizing that all organizations are constrained by limited resources and that municipalities are fiuther constrained by onerous legislative requirements and high citizen expectations, this paper analyzes purchasing options in this environment and identifies initiatives to improve performance.

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

A strategic analysis of property and casualty insurance broker in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the property and casualty (P&C) insurance brokerage industry in British Columbia and recommend strategies that would allow Westland Insurance, a British Columbia based insurance organization, to extend its leadership position in the industry, to grow its competitive advantages, and to increase its profitability. This paper consists of five chapters. Chapter one presents an overview of Westland Insurance, its products and the markets in which it operates. An analysis of the property and casualty insurance brokerage industry in British Columbia is provided in chapter two. Chapter three presents and internal analysis of the firm. Chapter four identifies key issues facing the firm. Lastly, chapter five provides recommendations that address the issues identified in chapter four.

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

Prospects for a satellite engineering office in a remote community

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

An established engineering office needs to consistently monitor usual business measures such as financial analysis, revenue capture and employment opportunities to be sure that the operation is on the right track. Other areas that should be evaluated as part of an ongoing commitment are: community values, long-term relationships, and internal and external corporate culture. Without this evaluation Earth Tech runs the risk of not being able match their resources to meet the customer requirements and deliver effective solutions. Other areas that should be evaluated as part of an ongoing commitment are: community values, long-term relationships, and both internal and external corporate culture, to determine if there is a fit over the long term. This paper reviews the intangible aspects of business and discusses their relevance when conducting business in a remote community. It presents some of the issues that are of concern at present, evaluates how previous events, decisions, and past actions may have conspired to create these circumstances, and suggests actions or guidelines for future operations.

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 kraft linerboard and sackkraft mill

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This project presents a strategic analysis of a linerboard and sackkraft mill. The industry analysis of the two different industries shows that both industries are facing substitution pressures and some growth that is largely occurring in non-traditional regions. Competitors are closing high cost facilities and new capacity being built represents low cost production. The cumulative effect of changes is a reduction in unit costs throughout each industry. The internal analysis of the company identifies the fundamental issues the company faces are low productivity and higher manning and energy costs. While the company has good reputation for quality, it has not been able to achieve cost parity with its competitors and remains unprofitable. The broad strategic direction recommended is to lower costs to achieve cost parity with key rivals, while maintaining a reputation for slightly better quality.

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

Strategic analysis of a small information technology management consulting company

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Perceptron Technology Inc., an IT Management Consulting and Services company, provides consulting services to small corporate businesses. The B.C. small corporate market is a very attractive market to enter with 359,600 small companies and growing by >13,000 a year. Any company competing in this market has one critical success factor; highly skilled professionals with the specialized knowledge required to implement and maintain sophisticated business infrastructure and application solutions. A niche focused differentiation strategy is used because this service is perceived as unique. This strategy can be sustained and a competitive advantage can be obtained with core competencies in project management and in technical resource management. To achieve this, the company needs a capital infusion to grow, recruit and compensate highly skilled personnel and change the business model from a time and materials model to a fixed price long-term contracts model.

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

Downside-risk performance measures and hedge funds

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

This paper delves into performance measures which have recently emerged in an attempt to circumvent the well recognised flaws of conventional measures derived solely from mean and standard deviation. I use several of these measures to rank both equity indices as well as hedge fund strategies based on their likelihood of achieving a particular return level, relative to the downside risk associated with that target return. This method makes intuitive sense since one of the key characteristics of hedge funds is to seek to capture most upside while protecting the downside. While the conclusions clearly point to the superiority of hedge funds at all return thresholds, with the equity indices improving their rankings from worst to middle of the pack at the higher threshold levels, the use of the downside measures is not clear-cut and can be fraught with some ambiguity in the interpretation of rankings which they yield.

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