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

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Product development in company ABC: Strategic analysis and recommendations

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

ABC is a mature company, operating in the power electronics market, using the stage gate process to develop products. This analysis evaluates the company's development process including innovation and portfolio management. An examination of the market reveals that speed-to-market and commitment to innovation are critical success factors. Benchmarking shows how comparable companies have adapted the traditional stage gate process to incorporate more flexible practices. Analysis of ABC uncovers the need to streamline the process and improve the commitment to innovation. Recommendations include reducing the number of gates, defining "GoIKill" criteria unique to each project but adhering to them, implementing flexibility in resource allocation to foster innovation and building the capacity for ongoing process improvement. A draft of an implementation plan is provided.

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

The mobile handset outsourcing landscape

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This document describes the handset industry players – component vendors, contract manufacturers, original design manufacturers, OEMs – and explores the shifting roles and relationships between them. Focus is given to ODMs and brands of mobile devices, with particular attention to design models between them. A relationship map represents the industry’s outsourcing structure, seeking to identify trends and patterns between successful firms’ performances and their partners. Handset designs originate largely from OEMs and ODMs, but innovative firms also gravitate towards certain design flow models. The commoditization of mature technologies and basic reference designs further allows new entrants to develop products with relative ease, creating complementary assets as prized core competencies: OEMs developing key design and feature innovations in-house are found to enjoy stronger brand value, better global sales, and higher profits. ODMs taking their own design lead also rank higher in shipment volumes than those mainly manufacturing client designs.

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

Tests of the CAPM and FAMA and French Three-Factor Model

Author: 
Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

This project compares and tests the effectiveness of two asset-pricing models: the Sharpe (1 964)-Lintner (1 965) capital asset pricing model (CAPM) and Fama and French (1 993) three-factor model. Effectiveness is measured by focusing on the models' alphas and includes the mean absolute value of alphas (MAVA) and the Gibbons, Ross and Shanken (1 989), or GRS F-Test. Fama and French (1 996) claim their model outperforms the CAPM because their MAVA is smaller than that of the CAPM in a universe of twenty-five portfolios sorted by size and book-to-market equity. This paper examines these twenty-five portfolios over longer time periods. The threefactor model outperforms the CAPM according to the MAVA. However, both models are rejected by the GRS test. A dataset composed of twelve industries is also employed, where the MAVA of the CAPM is smaller than that of the three-factor model and the CAPM is not rejected by the GRS F-test.

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

Benefits of International Diversification of Portfolios: Using International Equity and Bonds

Author: 
Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

Much academic research has been completed on the use of portfolio optimizers in an international setting. Many optimizers use historical data and almost all allow for short sales. Some researchers have begun to question the output from such strategies. While some papers have tackled the problem of finding reasonable estimates for risk, the focus in this paper is on the inherent risk of investing in the tangency portfolio while allowing short sales. To test this theory, I first used historical data to test the validity of the theory that diversifying into international stock and bond index investments can provide gains to a US investor. Second, I performed the same test but with quarterly portfolio revision based on four separate strategies, two with short sales and two without. Last, I compared the results to those of an investor who followed two passive strategies. I found that while there was evidence that international diversification did provide US investors with an opportunity to increase returns, the risk adjusted return was not superior to that of the passive strategies. I also found that the use of short sales greatly increased the overall risk of the portfolio.

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

Strategic analysis of a manufacturing firm

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Collins Manufacturing Company Limited has experienced a divergence from its traditional differentiation strategy which constitutes the need to review and revise its strategy to meet the changing needs of the market. Coupled with this is the impending loss of land due to the government bridge building project, scheduled to commence in the fall of 2005. If no action is taken, customer service levels will decline and the firm's reputation of premium quality service will be in jeopardy, putting the entire firm at risk of failure. This paper puts forth the recommended course of action to proceed with acquiring and expanding to the adjacent lot to the south of the current property. Expansion would include a new structure to house the highly differentiated service and customization division, leaving room in the main structure to operate a separate costbased, mass production division.

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

Emerging markets for Canadian portfolios: Are they still worth it?

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Conover, Jensen, and Johnson (CJJ 2002) concluded that evaluating U.S monetary conditions is an important pre-requisite to identify an optimal asset allocation to international equities. Using 148 months of data, this study will identify emerging markets as worthy additions to a Canadian investor’s portfolio of developed market equities. The study will show that rising correlation between global equity markets has negated much of the diversification benefits. By incorporating emerging market equities, a Canadian portfolio’s returns increased by approximately .25% annually. When considering the Bank of Canada monetary policy, the benefits of investing in emerging markets accrued exclusively during periods of expansive Canadian monetary policy. During restrictive monetary conditions, there was no benefit for a Canadian portfolio to hold emerging market securities. The implication of the study is that evaluating Canadian monetary policy is a necessary prerequisite in identifying an optimal allocation to international equities for Canadian investors.

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

Can Emerging Markets offer diversification benefits to Canadian investors during credit crisis?

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This paper examines whether emerging markets offer benefits to a Canadian portfolio when it is needed most during a credit crisis. The study considers the relationship of the monthly data of ten emerging market indices (EM) and its weighted index with Toronto Stock Exchange Composite Index (TSX) through out 1998 to August 2007. We add S&P500 and MSCI EAFE to represent a diversified developed market portfolio. While the findings indicate most individual emerging market and its weighted index do not add values to a Canadian portfolio when credit risk is tight, China stands out differently. China adds significant diversification benefits to the developed market portfolio when credit risk is tight. When examining the subprime credit crunch in summer 2007, the results are consistent with the sample period, that is, Canadian investors benefit from diversifying in China during credit crisis.

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

Analysis of neurodegenerative disease indications using risk adjusted net present value

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Pharmaceutical drug development is a costly and risky venture characterized by low clinical success rates. The neurodegenerative disease market segment has the highest drug development costs and the lowest clinical success rate of any therapeutic disease area. Small biotechnology companies that specialize in the neurodegenerative disease market must carefully select the appropriate disease indications to pursue. This study examines the neurodegenerative disease market and analyzes the attractiveness of drug development in four key market indications. The purpose of this study is to identify the most economically viable neurodegenerative disease indication for a small biotechnology company to pursue. Recommendations are made based on a risk adjusted net present value analysis that assesses the drug development risks, costs, and potential value of each disease indication.

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

Does environmentally responsible investing penalize investors?

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This study analyzes the performance of environmentally responsible investing, in order to uncover whether investors are penalized for their choice to invest in environmentally responsible companies. An equally weighted index of environmentally responsible companies, measured by the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI), achieves abnormal returns using the Sharpe ratio, Jensen’s alpha and Fama and French Three Factor models. However, equally weighted portfolios of the non-CDLI companies as well as the Financial Times 500 companies as a whole, achieve higher abnormal returns on all three performance measures. The results clearly demonstrate statistically significant abnormal returns on all three indices. Therefore, environmentally responsible investing does not penalize investors on a risk-adjusted basis. However, it does not reward investors to the same extent as investing without constraints

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

Strategic opportunities in the corporate sustainability reporting market for a specialized software firm

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Companies preparing sustainability reports face many challenges, including the management of increasing amounts of data as well as the effective communication of non-financial information to stakeholders. A new category of performance management and reporting software is emerging in an effort to help companies address these challenges. The original mandate of the project was to identify industries for which a particular sustainability reporting solution was a good fit, based on the specific needs of each industry. Fourteen corporate reporters from six different industries were interviewed to better understand the key problems faced by individuals who prepare sustainability reports. Responses to interview questions indicated that firm size rather than industry sector was more likely to determine fit. The project provides recommendations on how the software firm that produced this particular solution can approach the corporate market, based on the strengths of its solution and key opportunities identified through research and the interviews.

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